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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra founded in 1895 gave its first concert the following year under the direction of Frederic Archer Victor Herbert was the chief conductor from 1898 to 1904 he was succeeded by Emil Paur 190410 The orchestra was then disbanded It was revived in 1926 and over the next decade it was led by Elias Breeskin 192730 and Antonio Modarelli 193037 The orchestra was reorganized by Otto Klemperer in 1937 Fritz Reiner was chief conductor from 1938 to 1948 followed by William Steinberg 195276 Andr Previn 197684 Lorin Maazel 198495 and Mariss Jansons 1995 Since 1971 the orchestra has performed in Heinz Hall the renovated Loews Penn Theater built 1927 To truly understand Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra we have to understand what symphony is Symphony is an extended work for orchestra usually in three or four movements It is traditionally regarded as the central form of orchestral composition In the 17th century the term was used in other senses for concerted motets for introductory movements to operas for instrumental introductions and sections within arias and ensembles and for ensemble pieces which might be classified as sonatas or concertos The roots of the symphony are found in the earlier Baroque period when composers enjoyed creating pieces for small groups of instruments sometimes featuring a solo instrument These concertos such as those by Vivaldi Bach and Corelli were one source from which the symphony evolved Another was the Italian opera In particular the symphony developed from the Italian operatic overture or sinfonia which by about 1700 had become the expected musical beginning of an opera The sinfonia was a purely instrumental composition made of three sections a fast section at the beginning and the end and a slow section in the middle Alessandro Scarlatti 1659-1725 was particularly influential in establishing the sinfonias form Usually the sinfonias had no particular musical connection to the opera they preceded and sometimes they were performed separately
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