The PSO planned to travel to southern Europe in October, with stops in Italy, Slovenia, and Austria. Hans Graf, the music director of the Houston Symphony, was to conduct. This is the second year in a row the orchestra has halted plans for a European tour.
No specific reason for the decision was given. "We decided to quit working on it," said Larry Tamburri, the orchestra's president. "We thought the distance between where we were in the process was too great."
Howard Clarkson, managing director of Hans Ulrich Schmid, the concert promoter who was developing the PSO's tour, suggested that the problem was financial, saying that when "the big institutions, like New York [Philharmonic], say we are going to do this and figure they can get the funding down the road. With the middle organization like Pittsburgh, it can be more difficult."
Tamburri, however, said that the tour was not cancelled for lack of potential sponsors, as it was last year. "There are many companies that see a good fit," he said, "but it must be the right fit at the right time."
Last summer, the PSO canceled a summer tour to Lucerne and Salzburg. Since this year's contracts were never signed, the decision not to tour is not, strictly speaking, a cancellation.
The orchestra is now considering a 2006 European tour with new artistic advisor Andrew Davis, and has another tour scheduled with Graf, to venues in the Midwest in November and December. In March, Charles Dutoit will lead the orchestra in Florida.