Philadelphia brass to play for Pittsburgh strikers

Philadelphia brass to play for Pittsburgh strikers


norman lebrecht

October 21, 2016

A fine act of fraternal solidarity. Be there if you can.

At 6:00 pm Sunday, Oct. 23, East Liberty Presbyterian Church will host “A Brass Spectacular!” presented jointly by the Pittsburgh Symphony brass section and members of the Philadelphia Orchestra brass section.  They will be joined by additional colleagues from the Boston Symphony, National Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra brass sections.

The Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony have been on strike since Sept. 30, after management from Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc. (PSI) presented a so-called “final offer” which included drastic and unnecessary cuts which would forever damage the standing and reputation of the orchestra.  The PSI’s response, rather than to continue discussions with the Musicians, was to cancel all performances through Oct. 27.  The Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony have endeavored to present free concerts for the Pittsburgh community to replace every concert unnecessarily cancelled by management.

“My colleagues from the Philadelphia Orchestra and I are very happy to be able to play a concert with our friends on the other side of the state,” said Blair Bollinger, bass trombonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and one of the organizers of the concert.  “We are proud to stand in support of our colleagues in the Pittsburgh Symphony.”

Craig Knox, principal tuba of the Pittsburgh Symphony, said, “We were thrilled when our colleagues in the Philadelphia Orchestra proposed this concert, and are grateful for the display of solidarity shown by all the musicians who are donating their time and talents for this very special event.”

There will be no tickets to “A Brass Spectacular”; doors will open at 5 pm and seating in the sanctuary hall will be first come, first served. Admission to the performance at 116 South Highland Avenue in East Liberty is free.



  • Andreas Winkler says:

    Those acts of solidarity would be unimaginable in Vienna, unfortunately. What’s the music director’s position? Will Manfred Honeck risk the top quality of this remarkable US orchestra to be threatened?! … when I heard a couple of us orchestras within a week last year right after the leagues annual conference in Cleveland, Pittsburgh symphony’s performance was almost the most thrilling experience…

    • Bruce says:

      In the US, it is standard for the music director to stay out of the picture during a labor dispute. Osmo Vanska’s public stand during the Minnesota Orchestra dispute was highly unusual, and the board publicly called it an act of disloyalty. It would be very surprising if Honeck expresses any kind of opinion on the matter.

  • Linda Jones says:

    Wish we had known about this before it was over! We are greatly missing our symphony!