Pittsburgh Symphony Launches Online Archives Portal

On February 17, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra opened an online door to its archive of materials from the organization’s more than 120-year history to people around the world.

An online Archives Portal, accessible at archive.pittsburghsymphony.org or on the “About” page of pittsburghsymphony.org, offers visitors the opportunity to explore some of the treasures found in the symphony’s physical archives — from a picture of the 1980s reunion between Lorin Maazel and the Pittsburgh Symphony musicians who performed under his direction as a child prodigy in the 1940 to a searchable database to find the performance history of a particular piece or performer.

Visitors can delve into the portal three ways, through the “browse,” “discover” and “search” functions. The browse function allows visitors to explore the Communities & Collections groups found with the archives, including “Grand Classics concert program books,” “Public Affairs Department (photographs)” and “Performance History,” among others. The discover function allows visitors to start with a broad subject and delve deeper from there. Results through any function can be further refined with advanced filters and sorting options. (A quick start guide for using the portal can be found at pittsburghsymphony.org/pso_home/web/archives-quick-start-guide.)

“This launch is only the beginning,” said Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “We plan to add more media to this site, allowing a worldwide audience to explore the symphony’s historic legacy and check out rarely seen treasures.”

Visitors also can listen to newly digitized audio highlights, view photographs and programs, and check out Pittsburgh Symphony posters.

The Archives Portal was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), André Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004).  This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944 and John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. Its “Pittsburgh Live!” series with Reference Recordings has resulted in back-to-back Grammy Award nominations in 2015 and 2016. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground breaking PBS series “Previn and the Pittsburgh.” The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900 — including international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America—the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras.

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