1) Lose yourself in the beauty of Haydn’s Symphony No. 22 (better known as “The Philosopher“) with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall. Featuring refined soprano Hila Plitman, this matinee also includes works by Danielpour (Darkness in the Ancient Valley) and Richard Strauss (Also sprach Zarathustra). Conducted by Christoph Konig, the simplistic structure and complex nuances of Symphony No. 22 couple with the exquisite PSO, resulting in a sensational afternoon of music that has truly stood the test of time. Come early for the pre-concert talks (one hour before showtime) or just to browse the art and architecture of Heinz Hall. 2:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Cultural District.
2) Join the Sweaty Betty Blues Band for a day of music and helping our neighbors at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. Feed your soul and those less fortunate, as proceeds benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. Chase away the winter blues with the help of the Vince Agwada Band, Jimmy Adler and Charlie Barath, Craig King and Kings Ransom, and the Davis School Blues Crew. The event runs from afternoon through the evening, so don’t forget to try some of the delectable menu items like the cast iron lobster mac n’ cheese or fish tacos. With the music and food, you’ll be in hog heaven here. 1 – 8 p.m. 103 Slade Ln., Warrendale.
3) If you’ve never been to the opera, you can get a taste with the Art Song Recital by the Pittsburgh Opera’s Resident Artists. Resident Artists are featured singers who will be appearing in the upcoming season’s shows. This performance features tenor Daniel Curran and baritone Alex DeSocio, as they entertain your senses with works from Schubert (Die schone Mullerin) and Copland (Old American Songs). The impressive vocalists will both be performing in The Magic Flute and La Boheme this season, so if you like what you hear, you may want to take a chance on a full opera later. (The PO recommends La Boheme and Aida for opera newbies.) Whether you’re an opera novice or expert, this intimate performance is perfect for a winter Sunday. 2 – 3:30 p.m. 2425 Liberty Ave., Strip District.
4) It may seem that those cozy local movie theaters have gone the way of the dodo, but a few still survive. Dormont’s famed Hollywood Theater is one of a handful of single-screen houses left in the area. Frequently playing older movies to give us some nostalgia for the days when movies didn’t start every half hour, the Hollywood is featuring the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz for one day only. Relive the magic of Dorothy’s journey through Munchkinland and the Emerald City to find her way back to Kansas. After viewing the film on the big screen you’ll see the Wicked Witch of the West in a whole new way. Grab some friends and don’t forget the popcorn! 11:30 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont.
5) Have you had your fill of restaurant week? Don’t be silly. Treat yourself to brunch at Bistro 19 in the heart of Mt. Lebanon. Enjoy a classic mimosa or its slightly stronger cousin, the Mango Morningstar (featuring mango vodka, mango puree, and champagne). Try some seasonal favorites like the pumpkin waffles or the omelet featuring shrimp and artichokes (among other goodies). If you’re doing really well on your New Year’s Resolution (and if so, kudos to you!), you can enjoy some jazzed up oatmeal or the smoked salmon salad. Don’t leave before you have one of Bistro 19’s specialty coffee drinks like the Milky Way (with Godiva liqueur, vanilla vodka, and Bailey’s) or the Traditional Irish Coffee. With food and drinks like those, it’s completely possible you won’t be so productive the rest of the day, so relax and enjoy it! Brunch served 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. 711 Washington Rd., Mt. Lebanon.