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Music, Theater, and Contemporary Art - Pittsburgh's Varied Cultural Scene

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Thanks in part to wealthy patrons such as Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick, Pittsburgh has a high concentration of art and culture venues. You can enjoy a Broadway show, listen to classical music, or watch a play. Elsewhere, former industrial areas have been transformed into art spaces, where you can admire the latest creations of local and international artists.

Theater and dance

 

Pittsburgh's diverse musical options allow you to enjoy a foot-tapping Broadway show, or be serenaded by moving classical symphonies. The Benedum Center puts on lavish musicals and family-friendly events. Cabaret at Theater Square hosts performances staged by the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera ensemble. Or for more serious musical works, you can take in a concert at Heinz Hall, considered to be among the country’s finest theaters. Byham Theater - built in 1903 - has a 1,300-seat auditorium, and features dance, theater, and music.

 

Benedum Center

 

In Downtown Pittsburgh, the Benedum plays hosts to big-budget musical shows, many of which began life on Broadway.

 

237 7th St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222Tel: +1 412 456 2600

 

Benedum Center website

 

Heinz Hall

 

Originally built as a movie house in 1927, this is now one of the city's foremost venues for classical music.

 

600 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Tel: +1 412 392 4900

 

Heinz Hall website

Contemporary art galleries

 

As Pittsburgh continues to reinvent itself, former industrial areas are gaining new leases of life as art districts. Warehouses have been transformed into galleries showcasing the city's talent. At the Society for Contemporary Craft gallery in The Strip, you'll find sculptures created from a variety of materials. Wood Street Galleries in Downtown focuses on new media. Space - situated in a former X-rated video hall - is another showcase for contemporary artists.

 

The Society for Contemporary Craft

 

Located in a docklands area, this gallery showcases inventive new works in ceramic, metal, and other materials.

 

2100 Smallman St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Tel: +1 412 261 7003

 

The Society for Contemporary Craft website

 

Wood Street Galleries

 

Wood Street Galleries hosts new media-based art, and holds themed shows throughout the year.

 

601 Wood St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Tel: +1 412 471 5605

 

Wood Street Galleries website

 

History in museums

 

Touring one of Pittsburgh's history museums is a fascinating way to learn about the region's past. In The Strip you can visit the Senator John Heinz History Center, part of the Smithsonian Institution. Its exhibitions cover Western Pennsylvania's 250-year existence. Housed in the same building, the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum celebrates the area's sporting history. In the Point Breeze neighborhood, the Frick Art and Historical Center is a group of museums and historical buildings. They focus on the life of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick.

 

The Senator John Heinz History Center

 

Exhibitions here cover Western Pennsylvania's 250-year history. You can also visit the sports museum in the same building.

 

1212 Smallman St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Tel: +1 412 454 6000

 

The Senator John Heinz History Center website

 

The Frick Art and Historical Center

 

Here, you'll find several buildings showcasing life in Pittsburgh around the turn of the century. They include a Car and Carriage Museum.

 

7227 Reynolds St., Pittsburgh, PA 15208. Tel: +1 412 371 0600

 

The Frick Art and Historical Center website

 

Other galleries

 

Not all galleries and cultural diversions are located Downtown. The Mattress Factory is north of the center, in Allegheny. It features room-sized installations, created by artists from around the world. In West End, south of the Ohio River, you'll find the James Gallery. This hosts a changing calendar of top contemporary art and photography shows.

 

Mattress Factory

 

Founded in 1977, the Mattress Factory features experimental full-room exhibits, assembled on-site by international artists-in-residence.

 

500 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Tel: +1 412 231 3169

 

Mattress Factory website