Dear Pittsburgh Symphony Management

Dear Pittsburgh Symphony Management

Musicians of the PSO on Strike
Allie Thompson on the Picket Line

Dear Pittsburgh Symphony Management,

We have something unique to share with you. Are you listening?

The last six days have been amazing.

Friday morning, we declared a strike against our beloved organization. Our reasons have been well documented in many places. We need not repeat them here. What did we think would happen?

Did we know the people we would meet while walking outside our cherished concert hall on the corner of 6th and Penn? We have met people from all walks of life. We have talked to them, shared our personal stories, listened to theirs. They are our fellow Pittsburghers. Almost unanimously, they told us that they are on our side, they are rooting for us, and yes, many are even praying for us. They inspired us, brought us food, hugged us, and told us over and over that they want to keep the Pittsburgh Symphony great; like the Steelers, they want us to be a world class team.

Over the weekend, some of us played, on the street and outside a neighboring restaurant. Those of us watching were moved to tears. We were inspired by the beauty of our colleagues’ music, the passion we all share, and we were amazed and spellbound to watch the Pittsburghers around us having the same experience. We suspect many of them have never even been in Heinz Hall, never heard our PSO, and now they have, now they share the love and have been inspired in a way they never knew possible. We experienced them coming us to us afterwards and thanking us with hugs and accolades and tears and hopeful wishes for our future. We were humbled again and again, and truly amazed.

On Tuesday October 4th, we all went out into our community and presented our first ever Day of Music. We are so proud that we did this ourselves, just us Musicians, planned and executed free performances in a dozen venues in and around our city. Again, we brought music to many people who we believe may never have heard us in Heinz Hall. Again, we were humbled, and amazed. “We want to keep you great musicians in Pittsburgh,” we heard over and over. We never mentioned our strike in these venues. These concerts were our gift to our city, planned long before the present crisis. But the gift came back to us; the response of our fellow Pittsburghers was a balm for our wounded spirits, giving us a renewed sense of purpose and devotion that validates our aspirations.

In the last six days we have built amazing new bridges into our community. It’s not what we started out to do, but it is what we have done. From now until October 27, the period of time for which our PSO concerts have been cancelled, we all unanimously look forward to continuing our concerts, our conversations, our bridges to our beloved community. We believe we have created something that we will carry back into Heinz Hall with us, hopefully soon—a new and vibrant partnership with our city. Pittsburgh, we who have played for the world thank you, applaud you, and cherish you.

Pittsburgh Symphony Management, are you listening?


The Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra



4 thoughts on “Dear Pittsburgh Symphony Management

  1. Can’t remember the author but the quote is:

    For heights and depths no words can reach, music is the soul’s own speech.

  2. I feel empathy for all of my PSO musician friends. You are the heart and soul of this first class orchestra. As manager of the Westmoreland Symphony I was privileged to get to know several of you as you performed as soloists with our Orchestra. You are all “gems” of our community and thank you for incredible performances.

Leave a Reply