Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

founded in 1895, gave itsfirst concert the following year under the direction of Frederic Archer. Victor Herbert was the chief conductor from 1898 to 1904; he was succeeded by Emil Paur (1904–10). The orchestra was then disbanded. It was revived in 1926, and over the next decade it was led by Elias Breeskin (1927–30) and Antonio Modarelli (1930–37). The orchestra was reorganized by Otto Klemperer in 1937. Fritz Reiner was chief conductor from 1938 to 1948, followed by William Steinberg (1952–76), André Previn (1976–84), Lorin Maazel (1984–95), and Mariss Jansons (1995–). Since 1971 the orchestra has performed in Heinz Hall, the renovated Loew's Penn Theater (built 1927).
To truly understand Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra we have to understand what symphony is.Symphony is an extended work for orchestra, usually in three or four movements. It is traditionally regarded as the central form of orchestral composition. In the 17th century the term was used in other senses: for concerted motets, for introductory movements to operas for instrumental introductions and sections within arias and ensembles, and for ensemble pieces, which might be classified as sonatas or concertos.
The roots of the symphony are found in the earlier Baroque period, when composers enjoyed creating pieces for small groups of instruments, sometimes featuring a solo instrument. These concertos, such as those by Vivaldi, Bach, and Corelli, were one source from which the symphony evolved. Another was the Italian opera.
In particular, the symphony developed from the Italian operatic overture, or “sinfonia,” which by about 1700 had become the expected musical beginning of an opera. The sinfonia was a purely instrumental composition made of three sections, a fast section at the beginning and the end, and a slow section in the middle.
Alessandro Scarlatti (1659-1725) was particularly influential in establish…


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