If you’re not listening to sleigh bells ringing (a prerequisite of all grinches), then we steer you toward seasonal sounds that are a bit more classy than “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” and “Dominick the Donkey.” ‘Tis the season of annual music and magic made by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; here’s a list you should check and double-check since ducats disappear faster than a plate of cookies found by Santa.
“A Waltz Tradition”
November 27 and 29
Thanksgiving weekend brings PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck’s Pittsburgh tradition–waltzes and polkas by the Strauss family. Pittsburgh Symphony’s principal clarinetist Michael Rusinek will also perform Rossini’s sparkling “Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra” and Weber’s catchy “Clarinet Concerto No. 1.” Bonus attraction: Buy one adult ticket and receive a complimentary child’s ticket; call the Heinz Hall’s box office for this offer (412-392-4900).
December 4 and 6
Featuring the “Coronation Mass,” the “Unfinished Symphony” and the “Emperor Concerto,” this weekend combines well-loved works from the classical period, all coined with nicknames not given by the composers themselves, but later added to suit the character of the works.
Saturday, December 5
The show’s flak calls this “the greatest story ever told,” though the Man upstairs may disagree. Consiered the most majestic music ever conceived, Handel’s inspiring “Messiah,” features Manfred Honeck, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Mendelssohn Choir.
Monday, December 7
Celebrate the holiday with the celestial voices of multi-platinum Irish singing sensation Celtic Woman as they present “Home For Christmas–The Symphony Tour” accompanied by the Pittsburgh Symphony. “Celtic Woman” promises a festive evening filled with mesmerizing music and holiday cheer. Gealltanas!
“Highmark Holiday Pops: Bigger than Ever!”
December 11, 12 and 13; December 19 and 20
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, Yuletide carols being sung by a choir… and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra delighting kids of all ages with the annual Highmark Holiday Pops concert. A sleigh full of guest artists will join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, including “The Voice” alum Chris Jamison, Three Rivers Ringers (Pittsburgh’s premiere handbell group), the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Attack Theatre and Jolly Old Saint Nick. We promise they will not perform
“Holiday Doo Wop”
Enjoy your holiday favorites and doo wop hits in the 14th Annual Holiday Doo Wop Show featuring Mary Wilson, Shirley Alston Reeves, Tommy Mara & The Crests, Lenny Welch, The Tymes and Johnny Angel & The Halos.
January 15, 16 and 17
The Pittsburgh Symphony and young American violinist Tim Fain will perform Glass’ second violin concerto “The American Four Seasons.” German conductor Christoph König returns to the podium, and will conduct the orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6.”
Check pittsburghsymphony.org for more information or call the number above.