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PSO Concerto Competition allows people worldwide to vote for soloist to perform with PSO at Heinz Hall in 2012

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and Music Director Manfred Honeck today announced a unique competition that will allow an instrumental soloist, unrepresented by management, to perform with the PSO and for people all over the world to pick that soloist by voting on the Internet.

“I am excited that the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is the first major American orchestra to hold an Internet competition to select an instrumental soloist to perform in concerts,” said PSO President and CEO James A. Wilkinson.

The PSO Concerto Competition calls for instrumental soloists in the United States to upload videos of a performance of selected repertoire to the PSO’s YouTube Channel. Anyone who submits a video must have a YouTube account.
After a select panel of PSO musicians, conductors and artistic staff picks up to 20 semi-finalists, people worldwide will be allowed to vote on those 20 videos to pick four finalists. The final four will audition at Heinz Hall for Honeck, who will pick the winner.

The winner of the PSO Concerto Competition will receive $10,000 and perform alongside the PSO at Heinz Hall in a BNY Mellon Grand Classics concert weekend next season.

“Technology has changed our lives in so many ways, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is now using the wonderful technology of the Internet to add excitement to our concerts,” Honeck said. “What is fantastic about this competition is that it allows people from all over the world to vote for a soloist to perform with our orchestra.”

The competition is supported by a $50,000 grant from the PPG Industries Foundation.

“PPG is strongly committed to supporting the communities where its employees work and live, especially through groundbreaking efforts such as the PSO Concerto Competition,” said J. Craig Jordan, PPG Industries Vice President of Human Resources, and PSO Trustee. “It is exciting to help the PSO discover great new musicians, and especially to invite everyone to be part of the star-making process using social media technology.”

Participants must be 18 and older (in most states, check our terms and conditions) and must not be under management.

The deadline to submit videos is March 22. During the submission phase, participants can enter by visiting the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra channel on YouTube, going through the Competition tab on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Facebook page, or by visiting

Contestants may upload one video of 10 minutes on the piano, violin, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, or harp. Please see our contest terms and conditions for approved repertoire.

Up to 20 semi-finalists will be chosen. Those winning videos will be posted on the PSO’s YouTube channel on April 13, and the public will be invited to vote for their favorite semi-finalists until April 30.

The four top finalists will receive round-trip tickets for a final audition with Honeck on June 11. The PSO will announce the Concerto Competition winner on June 12 and he or she will perform with the PSO on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2. 

“It is very exciting to hold a competition and pick a winner to perform with the orchestra,” Honeck said. “If you are a music-lover, and especially if you are one of our PSO patrons, please help choose the winner.”

The PSO would like thank the PPG Industries Foundation for its support of this concerto competition.

Established in 1951, the PPG Industries Foundation demonstrates the values of PPG Industries by enhancing the quality of life in communities where the company has a presence. PPG also supports charitable causes by encouraging employees’ volunteerism and board service with nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit

PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets to enhance more surfaces in more ways than does any other company. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in more than 60 countries around the world. Sales in 2011 were $14.9 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol:PPG). For more information, visit

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