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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Picks Up Two Grammys For Recording

Keith Srakocic
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Conductor Manfred Honeck talks with the orchestra as he gives instruction during a rehearsal of a Mahler piece on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008.

*Updated on Monday, Jan. 29 at 3:30 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra picked up two Grammys at Sunday night's awards ceremony. 

The PSO musicians, under the direction of Manfred Honeck, took the award for Best Orchestral Performance for their recording of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, and Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. 

PSO President Melia Tourangeau said she was at a conference for orchestra managers in New York when she heard the news and jumped out of her seat.

"We’ve known for years that it’s a world-class institution and getting the affirmation of that is really amazing," Tourangeau said. "The orchestra, I don’t think, has ever played better."

The same performance earned engineer Mark Donahue a Grammy for Best Engineered Album, Classical.

Tourangeau said the symphony's director, Manfred Honeck, contributes to the organization's success. Honeck has been in his role for the past decade.

"He can take standard repertoire and is able to give it a new, fresh look," she said. "The Shostakovich, it's just a very special recording." 

It's been 26 years since the PSO won a Grammy; in 1992, they took home the award for a performance with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 *This story was updated to include comments from the PSO President.  

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community. kblackley@wesa.fm
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