Pittsburgh Symphony announces new security procedures for Heinz Hall
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, owner of Heinz Hall, announced today that there will be a new security process starting early next year: beginning on January 17, 2020, audience members at Heinz Hall concerts and public events will enter through state-of-the-art screening equipment, designed both to enhance security and convenience. Designed by Evolv Technology, the weapons-detection system uses “smart” technology to enhance security and is in use at hundreds of places worldwide such as New York’s Lincoln Center, Oakland (CA) Airport and LL Bean.
“Here at Heinz Hall, the home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and host to dozens of other performances each year, we are committed to providing the highest quality experience possible. We take safety very seriously and are implementing additional measures to continue to assure that we provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all,” said Melia Tourangeau, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “We selected this “free-flow” system to both enhance security and convenience, which are ongoing priorities of Heinz Hall.”
According to the Pittsburgh Symphony, Heinz Hall selected Evolv Express™, a “free-flow” system which allows patrons to simply walk through unimpeded. Patrons will proceed through the screening machine, keeping all items on their person. There is no need to remove coats or bags; cell phones and keys can remain in a person’s pockets. Patrons using wheelchairs and mobility devices will be directed to enter via a door adjacent to the screening equipment where alternative screening will occur. Other current security policies, such as reserving the right to search any bags entering the facility, will remain in effect.
“As we introduce this new system, we encourage arriving early for a relaxing and enjoyable experience. We greatly appreciate cooperation with this new measure to ensure the comfort and safety of all our audiences, artists and employees,” Tourangeau said.
There is additional information about the new procedure on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s website, pittsburghsymphony.org, on the “Frequently Asked Questions” and Heinz Hall policies pages.
About the new screening system at Heinz Hall
What exactly is the Heinz Hall “free-flow” screening system?
The system that Heinz Hall has chosen is Evolv Express™, a state-of-the-art “free-flow” system: you will proceed through the screening machine, keeping all items on your person. There is no need to remove coats or bags; cell phones and keys can remain in your pockets. Heinz Hall selected a “free-flow” system which allows patrons to simply walk through unimpeded. Patrons using wheelchairs and mobility devices will be directed to enter via a door adjacent to the screening equipment where alternative screening will occur. Patrons with children in strollers may enter through the screening equipment. As is the case now, artists and promoters may require additional security procedures for their performances. In use at hundreds of sites worldwide including Lincoln Center, Oakland (CA) Airport and LL Bean, the Heinz Hall screening system uses “smart” technology to enhance visitor security and convenience.
When will this new screening procedure begin?
The new screening process will begin on January 17, 2020.
What if I don’t want to go through the scanner?
An alternative entry door will be available that will have wanding and bag check, on request.
When can I arrive for my concert?
Our doors open one hour and 15 minutes prior to classical concerts and one hour prior for all other performances. For a relaxing and enjoyable experience, we encourage you to arrive early, particularly if you need to stop at the box office.
Why are you starting this system now?
The desire of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Heinz Hall to create an enjoyable and safe experience for all never stops, and this was the right time to introduce this new measure.
Is the scanner safe for medical devices and pregnant women?
The system is safe to go through with medical devices and for pregnant women. However, on request, you may use the alternative entry door that will have wanding and bag check.
Will screening be the same at every concert or event?
As is the case now, artists and promoters may require additional security procedures for their performances.
What makes the system “smart” and what will you do with the video images?
The screening equipment uses technology to screen for threats. The images captured by the system for alarm purposes are only captured briefly; they are not retained by Heinz Hall.
About the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
The 2018 GRAMMY Award-winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1997-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944 and John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. Its “Pittsburgh Live!” series with Reference Recordings has resulted in back-to-back Grammy Nominations in 2015 and 2016. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground-breaking PBS series “Previn and the Pittsburgh.” The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900 — including international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America—the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras.
About Heinz Hall
Heinz Hall remains home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which performs more than 40 weeks of concerts in the Hall each season. The Pittsburgh Youth Symphony also performs in the Hall.
The expanded Pittsburgh Broadway Series, which is presented by the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Broadway Across America, continues to bring the best and most exciting national touring attractions to Heinz Hall and the Benedum Center. Heinz Hall is home to The Pittsburgh Speakers as well. This series of seven different lectures, from October through April, brings in distinguished speakers to share with the audience their unique experiences and perspectives on a wide variety of topics – from world affairs and politics, to history and the environment, to books and authors, to business and economics, and the arts. Over the years, the Heinz Hall stage has been graced by Bill Clinton, David McCullough, Amy Tan, Rudy Giuliani, Dave Barry, Diana Nyad and many others.
In keeping with its grand tradition, Heinz Hall maintains its position as a world-class, acoustically stunning concert hall to be enjoyed for generations to come