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The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Receive an NEA Grant for a Digital Archive Portal

Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity.

In the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015, the NEA will make a $20,000 award to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for a digital archive portal. The NEA will make 1,023 awards totaling $74.3 million nationwide in this funding round.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, "The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States. Funding these new projects like the one from Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra represents an investment in both local communities and our nation's creative vitality."

"The long, rich history of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is full of treasures that we are excited to share it with our modern, technologically savvy audience," said James A. Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. "We are grateful to the NEA for providing a grant that will help us share materials, history, recordings and other media with our fans and supporters all over the world."

The digital archive portal project will provide broad, online access to media heritage and archival resources that are in line with the technological expectations of a 21st century audience, including a fully searchable performance history directory with recordings, oral history interviews and ephemeral records from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's 119-year history.

To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring2015. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, known for its artistic excellence for more than 119 years, is credited with a rich history of the world's finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" in 1944 and John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground breaking PBS series Previn and the Pittsburgh. The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900-including 36 international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America-the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world's greatest orchestras.


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