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Guide To The Pittsburgh Symphony

May 21, 2011 2:00 PM

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(Photo Credit: Raul Arboleda/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Raul Arboleda/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Symphony is one of the world’s most talented and prestigious orchestras. Led by Vienna native Music Director Manfred Honeck, the Pittsburgh Symphony offers an eclectic mix of pieces for each season. Here are some things you might want to know, to help make the most of your symphony experience.

Pittsburgh Symphony Heinz Hall

600 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222-3259
(412) 392-4900
www.pittsburghsymphony.org

cello 2697481 Guide To The Pittsburgh Symphony

(Photo Credit: Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

PARKING:

There are 24 parking garages or lots in the city’s Cultural District alone, several within a block or two of Heinz Hall. If you’re attending the symphony on a weekend evening, there are plenty of spaces priced at the $5 weekend-evening-event parking rate.

If you’re worried about getting to downtown Pittsburgh and not being able to find a space, you can always use the city’s Reserved Parking Program. It allows you to reserve a space before you arrive. Here’s a list of participating garages and a link to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s online reservation form.

  • Smithfield Liberty Garage
  • Ninth and Penn Avenue
  • Third Avenue
  • Wood Street & Boulevard of the Allies
  • Fort Duquesne and Sixth
  • First Avenue Garage and Station
  • Oliver (at Piatt Place)
  • Grant Street Transportation Center
  • Theater Square Garage
  • Three PNC Plaza Garage
  • Sixth and Penn Avenue Garage

FOOD

Whether it’s a quick bite before the symphony starts or a relaxing dinner afterward, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. If you really want to stay close to Heinz Hall, why leave at all? The Mozart Room, catered by the Common Plea Restaurant, is inside the hall itself. The PSO encourages its patrons to pick restaurants that support the symphony and its mission. Here’s a list of them:

Habitat at the Fairmont
510 Market Street
Downtown
www.fairmont.com

Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh
1400 Smallman Street
Strip District
www.lidiasitaly.com

Melange Bistro Bar
136 Sixth Street
Downtown
www.melangebistrobar.com

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
PPG Place, Downtown
www.ruthschris.com

Six Penn Kitchen
146 Sixth Street
Downtown
www.sixpennkitchen.com

flute 104938175 Guide To The Pittsburgh Symphony

(Photo Credit: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

BECOMING A SUBSCRIBER

If you’ve gone to the PSO once or twice, and you’re considering a subscription, here are a few things you’ll be offered:

  • An assigned representative who will manage your account via phone or e-mail, your choice
  • Early notice of, and discounted rates on additional concerts
  • Exchange policy that allows you to change your tickets if you can’t make a concert
  • Pre-paid parking discounts
  • Free downloads of some concerts

OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

Have some additional random questions? Hopefully, we’ve answered some of them here.

Not sure what to wear? The PSO doesn’t have a dress code. A lot of people like to dress up, but you certainly don’t have to.

Going to arrive late? There’s a place inside Heinz Hall called the Latecomer’s Gallery, where you can sit and still enjoy the music, until you’re allowed to go to your actual seat.

Not sure what to do with the kids? The PSO does offer a youth concert series. However, if you’re just bringing the little ones along for a regular concert, and they get restless, the symphony organizers encourage you to take them to the Latecomer’s Gallery. There, you can still see the show without disrupting the audience.

EXTRAS

If you’re looking for more than just a musical experience, the PSO does offer some extras.

Music Workshops
The PSO offers workshops before and after some of their Sunday afternoon concerts. They’re free and open to any ticketholder.  Check the PSO’s website for more information on dates, times, and which concerts that apply.

Book Club
Did you know the PSO has a book club? They’ve partnered with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Books range from historical fiction to biography to creative nonfiction, but all share the common theme of music and musicians. Book club meetings are usually in the evenings at 6 p.m. in Oakland.

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