Essential Pittsburgh
2:09 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Hopes to Tour Iran in Time for Anniversary

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Credit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_Symphony_Orchestra

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is partnering with the nonprofit American Middle East Institute to look into a possible tour of Iran.

Robert Moir is the PSO's senior vice president for artistic development and audience engagement, and Simin Curtis​ is from the American Middle East Institute.

Moir says the potential tour would  mark a significant cultural exchange for two countries that severed diplomatic ties over three decades ago, and it would mark the 50th anniversary of the symphony orchestra's 1964 visit to the country.

"Cultural diplomacy using a symphony orchestra started really in 1964 with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Many people think that it started in 73 after Nixon opened up the relationship with China and the Philadelphia made a very celebrated trip to perform in China in 1973. But actually in 1964 the State Department sent the Pittsburgh Symphony on an unbelievably long 11 week tour of Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Western Europe."