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Bob Lauver: Final Tour Days in Bonn

As we approach the final concert of our European Festivals Tour 2013, I get a chance to reflect on the weeks the Pittsburgh Symphony has spent traveling and performing, and also to anticipate our return home. As a member of the horn section I am acutely aware that when we bring a piece like Richard […]

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Sep 14
 

David Sogg: Beer Mats or Beer Coasters

For my turn at the Pittsburgh Symphony tour blog, I have chosen to write about an often overlooked part of German culture, the beer coaster. Bierdeckel have been around forever in Germany, and are now becoming standard in American pubs. These mats or coasters generally advertise the particular brand of beer served by the pub. […]

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Sep 14
 

Jennifer Orchard: Beethoven in Bonn

Hello from the Pittsburgh Symphony’s European Festivals tour, Bonn, Germany! I took a short video of the this beautiful city, including the main attraction (at least for musicians!), Beethoven’s birth house. In the second video, we will show you his grave in Vienna. The soundtrack for this video is Beethoven’s Triple Concerto performed by yours truly, […]

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Sep 13
 

Joann Vosburgh: Swiss Cheese and French Music in Lucerne

Following a rainy day yesterday, we awoke to a sunny morning in this picturesque town where the mountains separate the sky from the lake. Even though the day soon turned cloudy, orchestra members reported a number of enjoyable activities between our morning rehearsal and evening concert: visits to the poignant Lion Monument (commemorating Swiss Guards […]

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Sep 11
 

Bob Lauver: The Best Seat in the House

The PSO is closing in on the end of our European Festivals Tour, with a second concert in Lucerne tonight and then one remaining city (Bonn, Germany) to visit, where we also play two concerts. I have said before that I have the best seat in the house for every rehearsal and concert, but on […]

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Sep 11
 

Noah Bendix-Balgley: Portraying Strauss’ Wife

This European tour has been particularly exciting for me because we are performing Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben in many of our concerts. In addition to its status as one of the greatest tone poems, Heldenleben also features the perhaps the biggest and most challenging concertmaster solo in the standard orchestral repertoire. For virtually every concertmaster audition, […]

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Sep 8
 

Photos from Dusseldorf

The Pittsburgh Symphony played in Dusseldorf on Saturday, Sept. 7. The city is celebrating it’s 750th anniversary and we played Happy Birthday to mark the occasion. Yuja Wang also performed with the orchestra in the magnificent Tonhalle. Today we are in Frankfurt and tomorrow move onto Lucerne, Switzerland!

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Sep 8
 

Chad Winkler: Vintage Sound

For orchestral trumpet sections, striving for a unified concept of sound across the section is of great importance. Traditional and historical factors usually contribute to this concept, including what ensembles the members performed with previously, their past education, the desire of the music director and how a section was made up in decades past–among others. […]

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Sep 7
 

Joann Vosburgh: Midnight in Paris

It is, in fact, midnight in Paris, as I write. I am remembering the first time I visited the City of Light with the Pittsburgh Symphony. It was a three-week tour in 1985 that took us to a number of capital cities, none more eagerly anticipated than Paris. Unfortunately, we arrived mid-afternoon, the hotel rooms […]

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Sep 6
 

Chad Winkler: Paris Bound!

Greetings from 32,000 feet! The orchestra is on its way to Paris from Bucharest, where we played last night for a packed house of 3500+ people. The concert hall is huge in comparison to the small European halls we are used to performing in on tours, and with the hall lined with velvet, curtains and […]

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Sep 4