Whoever knew? He is perhaps most famous for being an actor, yet Alec Baldwin is passionate about many subjects. One of his biggest passions? Classical music. Baldwin will prove he can handel it when he shares his love for such icons as Mahler, Berlioz, Beethoven and Shostakovich in a special one-night-only concert, “Alec’s Playlist,” with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Manfred Honeck, on Saturday, April 16 at 8 p.m. at Heinz Hall.
“The goal of this evening is the same as any of my other film and television projects: to entertain, as I believe classical music is entertaining and should be presented as entertainment,” says Baldwin. “I think Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra fans—and newcomers to the concert hall—will enjoy the menu that Maestro Honeck and I have put together.”
A little more than a year ago, while filming “Concussion” in Pittsburgh, Baldwin attended a Pittsburgh Symphony concert at Heinz Hall. The performance so moved him that it led to a blossoming friendship with Maestro Honeck, and to the idea of presenting a concert together in Pittsburgh to benefit the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the community. The Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation also made a generous gift to the orchestra that provides tickets to this concert for 300 students in The Pittsburgh Promise program and their families.
Baldwin, 58, can afford such generosity. Baldwin reportedly made $300,000 per episode of “30 Rock” for the seven seasons during which he was involved with the show. He also received a producer’s credit for much of the show’s run, most likely increasing his bank roll. According to reports, the actor has a net worth of $65 million . . . a portion of which has gone toward philanthropy. In 2006, the same year that 30 Rock’s first season began, Baldwin established the Alec Baldwin Foundation. These days, the foundation has been giving in the neighborhood of $2 to $4 million annually.
“Opening wide the cultural windows of our students enables them to dream bigger dreams and see more promising futures. I am deeply grateful to Mr. Baldwin for making it possible for hundreds of our kids to experience our famed Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and to catch a glimpse of what can be when dreams are accompanied by their hard work,” says Saleem Ghubril, executive director of The Pittsburgh Promise.
Baldwin worked with Maestro Honeck to craft the evening’s program, which includes music of Strauss, Mahler, Beethoven, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Organist Cameron Carpenter, who is appearing in BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts on April 15 and 17, will make a guest appearance performing his own arrangement of Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm” on the International Touring Organ, a digital organ of his own design. Along with the musical performances, Baldwin will host the evening, offering stories and behind-the-scenes insight into how he fell in love with live classical music.
“It’s a thrill to meet someone like Alec who shares my passion for classic music and the power it has to transform and transcend,” says Honeck. “To be able to craft a concert like this one with him—and to share that experience of music with our community—is a joy.”
Tickets to “Alec’s Playlist” are on sale now and range in price from $25 to $105. A pre-concert reception with Baldwin will include cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres and a photo opportunity with Baldwin. The reception is $500 and includes a concert ticket. (The reception can be added to an already purchased ticket for $400.) Tickets to the reception are limited.
Tickets for the concert and the reception can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or by visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/alec. The concert will be broadcast live on WQED-FM 89.3 and WQEJ-FM 89.7, the official voice of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.