12 Can’t Miss Fall Arts Events in Pittsburgh, Recommended by Local Experts

This past spring, TABLE Magazine did something a little different: with the help of guest editors, staff, and a wide range of expert voices from so many of the wonderful layers that make up the ‘Burgh, we aimed to bring readers a litany of things to do, see, try, and even revisit. As we move into the beginning days of autumn, it felt like an ideal time to take a look at those lists once again to see what upcoming fall arts events in Pittsburgh local culture experts marked as can’t miss.

A Raisin in the Sun

Pittsburgh Public Theater, September 19-October 8
Twice, I attended the production of A Raisin in the Sun at the O’Reilly Theater. Both times, I left with goosebumps, full of emotions. The stellar cast, magical costumes, wonderful storytelling, the highest-caliber directing. Pittsburgh Public Theater’s 2023-2024 “Ever up and onward” season is bound to move you, too. It’s always exciting to be the first to see a new production, so the world premiere of Billy Strayhorn: Something to Live For is on my list for the fall. —Moon Doh, assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Somewhere Over the Border

City Theatre, September 23-October 15
I am excited to see Somewhere Over the Border! The amalgamation of story, centering Latinx cultural traditions and experiences and problematizing the notion of “home” moves me. —Adam W. McKinney, artistic director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Violins of Hope

Posner Center at Carnegie Mellon University, October 7-November 21
This treasured collection of instruments were played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, offering powerful stories of hope and perseverance. —Jonathan Bailey Holland, formerly the Jack G. Buncher Head of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon

The Barber of Seville

Benedum Center, October 14
The perfect introduction to opera! Fun, light-hearted, full of physical comedy and enchanting melodies. You’ll recognize the music from Bugs Bunny and countless other appearances in pop culture. —Christopher Hahn, general director of Pittsburgh Opera

BNY Mellon Grand Classics 3: Beethoven’s Five Piano Concertos

Heinz Hall, October 27 & 29
Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2, 4 & 3
Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 5 “Emperor”
I think it’s fair to say that this will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In a Pittsburgh first, legendary pianist—and dear friend of the Pittsburgh Symphony—Rudolf Buchbinder both performs and conducts from the keyboard the five beloved Beethoven Concerti that have inspired pianists and audiences alike for more than 200 years. Buchbinder is celebrated worldwide for renditions with intellectual depth and musical freedom. —Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director 

Light In the Dark

Byham Theater, October 27-29
Pittsburgh Ballet’s season opener is going to be emotionally riveting and beautiful. The program’s central work, a world premiere by Jennifer Archibald, celebrates the life of Florence Waren, a Jewish dancer who lived in Paris and worked with the French Resistance during World War II. You won’t want to miss this powerful evening of dance. —Adam W. McKinney, artistic director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Dizzy Spellz

MCG Jazz, November 11
I had the chance to listen to the rehearsals and a concert paying homage to Antonio Carlos Jobim at MCG Jazz. The performers, in addition to the venue, space, and atmosphere, were spellbinding. I will certainly be returning to MCG Jazz and can only recommend their lineup! —Moon Doh, assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The Flying Dutchman

Benedum Center, November 11
A sweeping Wagner epic, this is the first time we’ll have performed this opera in 20 years. —Christopher Hahn, general director of Pittsburgh Opera

Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival

Highmark Stadium, November 3-4
Presented each year by the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, this festival showcasing the blues, rock, reggae, and soul genres is ground zero for a celebration of diversity and music. —Jordan Snowden, TABLE Online Editor

BNY Mellon Grand Classics: Thanksgiving with the Symphony

Heinz Hall, November 24-26
Korngold: Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 35
Gibson: “to make this mountain taller” (PITTSBURGH PREMIERE)
Strauss family waltzes and polkas
American violinist Randall Goosby, the youngest recipient ever to win the Sphinx Concerto Competition, will make his Pittsburgh debut performing Korngold’s cinematic concerto. This is an exciting artist whose Pittsburgh debut you’ll want to see. In addition to enjoying traditions like turkey and pie, I love Thanksgiving weekend for sharing the music of my home country, Austria — with favorite waltzes and polkas of the Strauss family. —Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director 

Brahms’ Requiem

Heinz Hall, December 1
I’m very much looking forward to hearing the talented soprano Elena Villalón perform with the PSO. She was a Grand Finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition. —Christopher Hahn, general director of Pittsburgh Opera

Handel’s Messiah

Heinz Hall, December 2
I would be utterly remiss if I did not include a concert with our outstanding choral partner, the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, and that is Handel’s Messiah. We will be joined by exceptional international soloists for this beloved masterpiece that sets a beautiful tone for the holiday season. —Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director 

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