ShareThis Page

Fanfare: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala raises $1 million

| Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Pianists Lang Lang and Maxim Lando performed during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Pianists Lang Lang and Maxim Lando performed during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Event chairs Mike and Angela DeVanney, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Event chairs Mike and Angela DeVanney, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Vivian Benter, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Vivian Benter, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Mary McKinney and Mark Flaherty, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Mary McKinney and Mark Flaherty, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Leif Johnson, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Leif Johnson, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Audience members give a standing ovation for pianists Lang Lang and Maxim Lando during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Audience members give a standing ovation for pianists Lang Lang and Maxim Lando during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Conductor Manfred Honeck outside Heinz Hall before the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Conductor Manfred Honeck outside Heinz Hall before the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Chris Duffy, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Chris Duffy, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Dirk and Candy Oxenrider, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Dirk and Candy Oxenrider, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Steve Webster, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Steve Webster, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Sam Badger and Timothy McVay, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Sam Badger and Timothy McVay, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Kevin Acklin and Katie O'Malley,Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Kevin Acklin and Katie O'Malley,Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Maria Donahue, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Maria Donahue, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Pianists Lang Lang and Maxim Lando with conductor Manfred Honeck during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Pianists Lang Lang and Maxim Lando with conductor Manfred Honeck during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Pianists Lang Lang and Maxim Lando leave the stage after a performance during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Pianists Lang Lang and Maxim Lando leave the stage after a performance during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Pianist Lang Lang speaks during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Pianist Lang Lang speaks during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Nick Khoo and Reggie LaFond, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Nick Khoo and Reggie LaFond, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Dick and Ginny Simmons, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Dick and Ginny Simmons, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Pianists Lang Lang and Maxim Lando performed during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Pianists Lang Lang and Maxim Lando performed during the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
Kate Tucker,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.
John Altdorfer
Kate Tucker, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Gala and Soiree, Heinz Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh.

It took one Steinway & Sons and two critically acclaimed pianists to bring close to 2,300 people to their feet for a standing “O” that almost required an intermission of its own when the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra raised the curtain on the 201 72018 season with its signature gala on September 16.

“They were just fabulous,” said honorary co-chairs Ginny and Dick Simmons.

“They” were renowned virtuoso Lang Lang and 14-year old piano prodigy Maxim Lando, who shared one bench to allow for Lando to play the left hand while Lang Lang nursed an injury he sustained a few months ago. When they did, the ivory sustained such a passionate beating that the piano was left shaking and a quick glance down any given row of seating in Heinz Hall revealed nothing but euphoric, mesmerized smiles.

“It's so great to be back in this beautiful city with the top orchestra in the world, the Pittsburgh Symphony,” said Lang Lang.

Prior to their arrival on stage, Maestro Manfred Honeck ignited the evening as well as his 10th year with the PSO with what he called a “brief tour of rhapsodies around the world.”

“There's a fantastic energy at the top of the season,” he said. “We are so happy to be back in Pittsburgh after our European tour.”

The teaser began with Bedřich Smetana's “The Bartered Bride” and ended with the entire house on its feet following George Gershwin's “Rhapsody in Blue.”

“I think that the PSO is truly Pittsburgh's ambassador to the world,” said Mike DeVanney, who co-chaired the evening with his wife, Angela.

Afterwards, guests had the option of noshing on courses served by the Duquesne Club or heading to the Fairmont for the after-party Soiree.

The event raised $1 million.

On the list: Devin McGranahan, Adam and Megan Bauman, Brian Ashton, Richard Ernsberger, PSO president and CEO Melia and Mike Tourangeau, Bill and Vivian Benter, Nadine Bognar, Marla Presley, Leslie and Phil Liebscher, Juergen and Lori Mross, Anil and Shruti Gupta, Mark Flaherty and Mary McKinney, Steve and Cynthia Lackey.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.