Our reviews are not conventional. We have two reviewers attending several Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra events this summer. They are not trained students of classical music, but they offer a typical Pittsburgh perspective on what to expect if you’ve never been before and the reasons why classical music is an important cultural experience for everyone.
They recently saw the Unforgettable performances. Their opinions are fused into this column. Both are fans of the PSO and attend on a year round basis for traditional performances as well as the unique POPS shows. Coming up this summer, you can attend
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back featuring screenings of the complete film with Oscar®-winning composer John Williams’ musical score performed live to the film led by conductor Lawrence Loh.
Since the release of the first Star Wars movie over 40 years ago, the Star Wars saga has had a seismic impact on both cinema and culture, inspiring audiences around the world with its mythic storytelling, captivating characters, groundbreaking special effects and iconic musical scores composed by Williams.
Fans will be able to experience the scope and grandeur of this beloved film in a live symphonic concert experience!
The battle for the galaxy intensifies in this thrilling fifth episode of the unfolding saga. As Imperial Forces launch an all-out attack on the Rebel Alliance, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) flee to Cloud City where they are captured by Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) journeys to the mysterious, marshy planet of Dagobah, where the wise Jedi Master Yoda teaches the young hero the ways of the Force.
Little does Luke know that all his Jedi training will be called upon so soon. A stunning revelation– and a seeming life-or-death duel with Darth Vader– await.
Run Time: This perforamnce will last approximately two hours and forty-five minutes, including intermission.
Audiences will be able to relive the magical adventure of Harry Potter’s second year at school like never before. This concert features Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in high-definition while the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performs John Williams’ otherworldly score. Experience the wonder of talking spiders, scolding letters, and giant snakes all over again!
Other upcoming shows range from an exploration of the Roots of Rock and Roll to an evening with Gladys Knight to an evening of Tango. Tickets can start as low as $22 with even deeper discounts on select performances. Be sure to follow our blog and social media accounts for occasional discount codes as well.
Here are Laura and Sarah weighing in on their experience at the PSO in June. While they don’t agree on everything, they do have a shared respect for the symphony.
Laura: I had the pleasure of attending the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s celebration of the music of Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole. I love the symphony and being in the majestic Heinz Hall. We were fairly close to the stage which made the experience even more enjoyable.
Sarah: Heinz Hall is a great place to see a show. The view from our seats was good. The comfort level of the seats gets better the more you pay for the seats. We were able to get to our seats with no problems. We also commented that they have an elevator for people who have trouble getting up all the stairs.
Laura: The symphony had two singers, Dee Daniels and Denzal Sinclair, who both sang solo and as a pair. Daniels was resplendent in a gorgeous white gown while Sinclair was dapper in a fitted dark suit. The conductor, Byron Stripling, played trumpet as well as conducted the orchestra.
Sarah: The performers that they had along with the symphony were spectacular. I have attended several events at the symphony and I have been disappointed with the performers and how full of themselves that they were. I was pleasantly surprised. The female singer’s range was unbelievable. For the encore, they performed a gospel song a capella which was amazing.
Laura: Ms. Daniels and Mr. Sinclair’s voices were gorgeous, and the songs they sang I was mostly familiar with, having grown up in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s (at a time when my grandparents and my mom listened to WPIC out of Sharon, Pennsylvania, which played popular and “old time” hits).
Sarah: I was glad to hear things that I have never heard before
Laura: Although I am in no way shape or form a music critic, I enjoyed hearing songs I heard when I was a kid, and enjoyed being in the presence of great singers and fantastic music. I highly recommend attending the symphony because I believe both popular music and traditional symphony music is important. Music and the arts can enrich our lives so much, and in a month that has been hectic and stressful, this was an experience that was meditative and soothing.
Sarah: I love going to the symphony and watching the musicians. I also find it fascinating the wide range of music that they play, from classical to big band to folk to rock. Shows that have more modern themes will turn out people that wouldn’t normally go out to the symphony, which in turn would possibly get them interested in other more traditional shows.
Sarah: I have my eye on the Star Wars show and the Harry Potter show. I have never seen the symphony play the score of a movie but I think that it would really be a neat experience. I am thinking of taking my kids that enjoy these movies and their musical scores.
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