The Barrels to Beethoven Exhibit, is an interactive, multimedia exhibit, celebrating the past 30 years of steelpan development in Pittsburgh. The exhibit centers around Phil Solomon, a world renown steelpan builder, tuner and player who brought the steelpan to Pittsburgh in 1984 after migrating from Guyana, South America. The exhibit provides audiences with the opportunity to see first-hand, how the instrument is made, tuned and played as well as its development over the past 3 decades in Pittsburgh. The exhibit opened on November 22, 2014.
Barrels to Beethoven Opening Reception, November 22, 2014
The Full Review…
The grace of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians, was definitely upon the room at Cox Contemporary on the evening of November 22nd. On this day, St. Cecilia Day, debuted “Barrels to Beethoven” an exhibit celebrating the 30th anniversary of Phil Solomon and Steelpan in Pittsburgh. The evening included a special performance from Soundwaves Youth Steelband, Caribbean music by dj illeso, food from Ten Penny and Taglio and surprise desserts from Brusters. Guests, which included past students, band directors, fans and family, spoke the same sentiment…”this room, this evening, feels so amazing”…was heard many times throughout the night.
This was a story that needed to be told and celebrated. Phil Solomon and the steelpan found the perfect home in Pittsburgh, the perfect combination of manufacturing meets the arts.
Solomon arrived in Pittsburgh in 1984. He was a famous steelpan builder, tuner and player in Guyana but did not think he could continue his craft here. After a few months Solomon was building pans and performing throughout the city. Over the past few decades Solomon has vastly improved the pan making process and the quality of the instruments, performed throughout the U.S. and started hundreds of steelpan programs across the country. And, done it all from Pittsburgh, with pride!