A Musical Thanksgiving Feast With The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

A gorgeous plenitude of music unfolds November 24 and 26 with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s BNY Mellon Grand Classics 5: Thanksgiving with the Symphony. The program features American violinist Randall Goosby playing Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s “Hollywood Concerto.” Music Director Manfred Honeck finishes the offering with effervescent Austrian waltzes and polkas to kick off the holiday season. To help you plan your symphonic night out in Pittsburgh, PSO staff share some of their favorite Heinz Hall-adjacent restaurants and cocktail spots.

Randall Goosby, a protégé of Itzhak Perlman, makes his Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra debut with Korngold’s Concerto in D major. Dubbed as the “Hollywood Concerto,” Korngold wrote it after his escape from Nazi Germany landed him in Los Angeles. He became a successful composer of movie scores, winning Oscars in 1936 (Anthony Adverse) and 1938 (The Adventures of Robin Hood), and the Concerto in D major draws upon lush, dramatic themes from cinematic music.

At 13 years old, American violinist Goosby became the youngest winner ever of the Sphinx Concerto Competition. Since then, he has gone on to play with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, and more. He has held recitals at Kennedy Center, Kravis Center, and Wigmore Hall. 

Completing the program, waltz king Johann Strauss II, and other members of the Strauss family, return with the annual PSO tradition of festive Austrian waltzes and polkas. Music Director Manfred Honeck hails from Austria, and he brings bright and tender insight into his conducting of these gems.

After you’ve reserved your tickets for Thanksgiving with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, plan your night out in Downtown’s Cultural District with visits to the following bars and restaurants.

Pre-Performance Cocktails

The Bar at Eddie V’s

PSO president Melia Tourangeau recommends this lively spot, known for its highly professional service and its lovely drinks. The cool weather is upon us, so the warming ginger notes of a Pomegranate Mule may be just the thing.

Con Alma

Shelly Fuerte, PSO’s Vice President of Popular Programming, often takes out-of-town guests to Con Alma for a libation. We’re especially fond of their Negronis, as well as their Sidewinder, which combines Courvoisier, lemon, and pickled Mandarin orange. 


Bae Bae’s Kitchen

Prepare for the drama of the “Hollywood Concerto” with the bold flavors of BaeBae’s Korean-inspired cuisine. Jacob Joyce, Associate Conductor of PSO, is known to frequent this Downtown spot, with musician colleagues and friends. Among the many delicious options, the Korean Fried Chicken Wings are a must

Gi Jin

Another bold option for dinner, Gi Jin specializes in sushi, hand rolls, and gin cocktails. You’ve never heard of gin and sushi? Perhaps it’s time to explore the originality on offer at this spot, evidenced by a dash of local grape jam on the Hamachi Crudo plate, or matcha tea-infused Matcha Misu for dessert. You might see PSO President Melia Tourangeau there. 


The Warren 

Just around the corner from Heinz Hall, The Warren is the creation of Spencer Warren, and his exuberant hospitality is its hallmark. Dare we say that all the nightcaps here are delicious? Perhaps that’s why PSO VP Shelly Fuerte recommends it. 

40 North 

It’s a short drive from Heinz Hall, but worth the trip–not just for their clever cocktails but also for dinner. Associate Conductor Jacob Joyce is perhaps drawn there for the sensitively compiled wine list, or for the briny Dilly Bean Martini. 

Story by Keith Recker / Photography by Grace Liu Anderson

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