Fiddlesticks, Symphonies, and Irish Pubs

This month has been a big one for the Pittsburgh Symphony with my family.  This weekend, we took my 3 year old son to the symphony.  PSO has a series of concerts called “Fiddlesticks” wherein kids 3 – 8 can go and experience it.  It starts at 10:00 on Saturday, and the kids get to enjoy activities such as coloring, dancing, and sing-alongs.

The actual concert began at 11:15.  The conductor was Lawrence Loh, and the soloist was Jessica George.  And of course, Fiddlesticks the cat showed up and Little Buddy loved it!  The pieces included America the Beautiful, If You’re Happy and You Know It, the Fiddlesticks song, and some classical pieces including Mozart and also Hadyn’s Surprise Symphony.  My son was enraptured and now tells me he wants to play the violin!  Well, we’ll see if he feels that way after the next two in the spring.

My only complaint is that I thought Little Buddy would get to meet more of the musicians and actually get to see the instruments up close.

Movement Room:

In the Movement Room

At the Performance:

My family at the Symphony

With Lawrence Loh and Fiddlesticks:

with L. Loh and Fiddlesticks

Overall, though, it was great, and I really enjoyed the family time.  Afterward, we went to Claddagh’s Irish Pub over in the Southside Works.  The food was good, the service great, and the atmosphere was pretty cool.

Yesterday my wife took me back to Heinz hall to see Beethoven’s Fifth.  The PSO, accompanied by the Mendelssohn Choir, did three pieces by Brahms, which were all very good, if somewhat depressing.  That assumes you read the words in English or spoke German.  I haven’t seen the orchestra paired with a choir before, so it was pretty neat.

Brahms Concert

As for the Fifth, WOW!  I’ve listened to it many times on CD and tape, but to hear it live….outstanding!  The PSO did great and of course got a standing ovation at the end.  What a great birthday present!

Our next trip to the symphony is next year, so now I’ll have to find other topics to write about!

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