On the final page of the May 2009 issue of Gramophone magazine, actor David Hyde Pierce (most well known as Niles on Frasier) writes about his early piano lessons and the classical music that has touched him throughout his life. I was pleased to see him mention that some of the recordings that inspired his love for Beethoven were done by the Pittsburgh Symphony under the baton of William Steinberg.
If David Hyde Pierce ever came to visit our library, I’d sit him down at one of our listening stations with our 8 LP set of Steinberg conducting the 9 Beethoven symphonies with the PSO. We would talk about the greatness of Beethoven. We would discuss how Pittsburgh has a world-class orchestra, well-documented on recordings and still going strong, including lots of performances of Beethoven’s works under the new leadership of Manfred Honeck. Then I would get very serious. I would look Mr. Pierce directly in the eye and tell him how great he was in the ridiculous comedy Wet Hot American Summer, how he looks good in a mustache in the film, how well he taught science to “the indoor kids” at summer camp, and how it is one of my all time favorite, funny movies.