Performance at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 12

PITTSBURGH –  Aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers, and strongmen performing feats of daring will all be seen on the Heinz Hall stage while the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) performs favorites from Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Khachaturian.

The PSO, led by Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh, presents “Cirque de la Symphonie” for one night only at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 12. This once-in-a-lifetime performance brings together the awe-inspiring cirque tradition with the lush beauty of orchestral music in Heinz Hall.

Tickets, ranging from $35 to $80, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting the PSO online at

The concert will feature some of the most accomplished veterans of exceptional cirque programs from across the globe. Their performances are uniquely adapted to stage accommodations shared with the symphony, and each artist’s performance is choreographed to the music arranged in collaboration with the maestro. When the artists of Cirque de la Symphonie perform in front of the full orchestra, an incredible fusion of these two great art forms takes place. The aerialists and acrobats turn the concert into a three dimensional entertainment extravaganza, and the orchestra seems to play with enhanced enthusiasm.  Veteran concert-goers and new patrons alike are thrilled by the exhilarating cirque performances combined with the majesty of a live symphony orchestra.

Alexander Streltsov is a Russian aerial artist who started working with famed cirque choreographer Pavel Brun and producer Valentin Gneushev when he was only twelve, performing on Broadway at the Gershwin Theater. The same year he won the gold medal in the competition among international cirque artists at the Festival Mondial Du Cirque De L’Avenir in Paris.

Christine Van Loo is a 7-time consecutive National Champion, Female Olympic Athlete of the Year, and Athlete of the Decade in acrobatic gymnastics. As a professional aerialist and acrobat she has performed in the 2002 Winter Olympics, at two Grammy Awards (with No Doubt and with Ricky Martin), at the American Music Awards (with Aerosmith), the Miss Universe pageant, and Paul McCartney’s European tour.

The mind-boggling strength and agility of Jarek and Darek’s “Duo Design” provides one of the most powerful acts to be included in Cirque de la Symphonie’s captivating program. This dynamic and exciting balancing act consists of Jaroslaw Marciniak and Dariusz Wronski, former Polish national hand-balancing champions.

Byamba Jigdengombo comes from the rich circus traditions of Mongolia. She began training at 6 with masters in the arts of contortion, hand-balancing and dance at the prestigious Mongolian Circus School.  The multi-talented artist also developed into a world-renowned aerialist on the flying trapeze and the lira. Her international performances with the Big Apple Circus, the Moscow International Circus and other major international organizations have astounded crowds around the world from Asia to South Africa and throughout North America.

Vladimir Tsarkov provides a spell-binding performance with combinations of mime and juggling feats. A favorite of the younger members of the audiences, Vladimir’s Red Harlequin act features rings, balls, and batons, and he’s even been known to teach the maestro a trick or two!

Irina Burdetsky lives in New York, but travels worldwide as one of the most entertaining hoops performers in the business. She grew up in a circus family in Moscow, trained by some of the greatest names in acrobatics, gymnastics, and hoops, and traveled as one of the youngest performers with the Moscow Circus.

Elena Tsarkova, the “Lady in White,” is a graduate of the famed Moscow Circus School and first-place winner of the prestigious National Russian Circus Festival.  From her “Master of Sports” in gymnastics, Elena developed into a unique and graceful performer with the Big Apple Circus, Switzerland’s Circus Knie, and Germany’s Circus Roncalli. Her combination of contortion, balance, and graceful dance moves has made her a major star with Cirque de la Mur in Florida and Circus Circus in Las Vegas.

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