PSO West Coast Tour footage – BlogHost Jonathan

Footage (visual, written and audio) from out tour to the West Coast is available at a number of locations online:

Stephanie Tretick is filing reports with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Read the first of them here (also copied in the ‘Continue Reading’ section below), and check back at the Post Gazette website for more reports later in the week.

Chuck Lirette left Pittsburgh armed with camera once again and his photos can be found here.
(also being updated after each stop on tour).

and for those in the Pittsburgh area, WQED fm’s Jim Cunningham is travelling with the orchestra and reporting back, sometimes live, sometimes recorded – you can hear all of this at 89.3 fm and hopefully soon on their website.

PSO musicians warm up in California

Friday, March 30, 2007

By Stephanie Tretick

VENTURA BEACH, Calif. — After Saturday’s concert in Heinz Hall,
Pittsburgh Symphony musicians packed instruments and equipment into
specially designed trunks, an experienced team loaded the cargo onto a
semi-trailer, and the orchestra’s West Coast tour officially began with
the truck’s departure on its three-day trip to California.

Charles Lirette

PSO principal oboist Cynthia
De Almeida retrieves her concert clothes from a wardrobe trunk
backstage before the concert in Santa Barbara on Wednesday night.

Click photo for larger image.

The PSO’s repertoire on this nine-day tour consists of the same program
performed for Pittsburgh audiences this past weekend: Stravinsky’s
Pulcinella Suite, Schumann’s Piano Concerto with soloist Jonathan Biss
and the Sibelius Fifth Symphony, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

The orchestra flew to Los Angeles on Tuesday and from there traveled up
the coast by bus. Although the first tour venue is in Santa Barbara,
the orchestra stayed at Ventura Beach, a coastal town about 40 minutes
south of the concert site.

Orchestra members were free most of Wednesday’s daylight hours. There
were many things to do: walking along the lovely clean beaches, poking
into shops in the historic section of the city, or seeking out unusual
restaurants to try.

Some orchestra members came prepared for very specific adventures:
Bassist Don Evans, cellist Michael Lipman and librarian Lisa Gedris all
brought their golf clubs. Early in the morning, they drove north from
Ventura Beach to a course in Ojai, where they played a round together.
Cellist Adam Liu accompanied them on the outing — his first experience
observing the game of golf in person. He appeared on stage for the
concert in the evening with sun and a big smile on his face.

Wednesday night’s concert hall in Santa Barbara, originally a small
movie theater, sports a Southwestern motif throughout. White stucco
walls, a tile roof and steeple grace the building’s exterior, not out
of place in a city where much of the architecture is of this type.

What makes the Arlington Theatre unique is its interior decor: The
auditorium walls are fitted out to resemble a cozy town square in a
Southwest neighborhood, complete with second-story verandas with tile
roofs and balconies from which hang long garlands of dried red peppers.
Looking out from the stage, the audience seems to be assembled on a
piazza under a clear and starry sky — there are constellation patterns
traced by lighting in the ceiling.

The Arlington’s stage is just barely large enough to seat the PSO. Not
having been built for orchestral events, the theater also lacks
backstage dressing areas for such a large number of people. Orchestra
members were advised to change into concert attire back at their hotel
rooms, if possible. But it was a lovely evening outside, so musicians
and staff were able to gather behind the building for coffee and
conversation when they were not needed on stage during the evening.

The Santa Barbara audience nearly filled the hall and proved attentive
and appreciative. Every piece on the program drew standing ovations,
and listeners were treated to an encore, the Sibelius Valse Triste from

Yesterday, the orchestra again boarded buses for travel south to Palm
Desert for the tour’s second concert. Then, after one day inland, the
PSO will return to the California coastal region to play its third
concert in Costa Mesa.

QUOTED FROM: Pittsburgh Post Gazette online, published on Friday, March 30, 2007 –


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