🗣 Locals to Know: Meet Andrew Fouts, the Chatham Baroque violinist restoring a Manchester home

Andrew Fouts headshot

Today’s Locals to Know is sponsored by Chatham Baroque. New York City-based ensemble East of the River comes to Pittsburgh for two concerts on April 30. Listeners will hear Hebrew, Arabic, and Ladino (Medieval Judaeo-Spanish) in this program consisting of songs and dances from liturgical and folk traditions. For more information, visit www.chathambaroque.org.

Hi Andrew! Tell us about your work—your job and/or any volunteer work. 

I’m a violinist, and I’m one of three co-artistic directors of Chatham Baroque, which is both a Baroque music ensemble and an early music presenter. “Early music” sounds niche, but it’s actually broad, spanning over a millennium of many different musical traditions—think “Beowulf to Beethoven.” So, you may hear Renaissance music performed at one concert, J.S. Bach at another, Medieval poetry sung in Old English or Old Icelandic at yet another, and so on. In fact, the show on April 30 is a group called East of the River playing music from Andalusia, the Ottoman Empire, North Africa, and the Sephardic Diaspora. There’s something for everyone!

Pick a favorite local outdoor experience. What is it? What’re we doing? Who’s going with ya?

A favorite walk of mine is just out my front door in Manchester, across the tracks to Allegheny Rows, up the Sunday Street steps, through Union Dale cemetery to catch the sunset or sunrise reflecting off the city, then by Breadworks or the Northside farmers’ market on the way back.

What’s your favorite local Instagram or TikTok account and why?

Beside following musicians and artists I admire, I otherwise find myself drawn to accounts surrounding infrastructure, urban planning, preservation, and local history. I love exploring all the nooks and crannies of Pittsburgh, preferably by bike, so I really appreciate the work of @bikepgh. I’m also slowly restoring an old house, so I find inspiration from the likes of @pghbox and @housesofpittsburgh.

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

That’s really a hard question. I love a good bowl of soup, so might have to say the pho at Two Sisters. I’m really looking forward to visiting the new ShadoBeni on Brighton Road. I have a feeling it may become a go-to spot.

Three musicians play acoustic instruments in a large church.
Andrew and Chatham Baroque musicians doing what they do best.

What’s a project you’re working on (big or small) and how can our readers help you with it?

Chatham Baroque is getting ready to announce our upcoming 2022–2023 season, which is going to be amazing. There will be so many phenomenal artists coming to Pittsburgh and we really can’t wait to share the news! Keep an eye on our website for the announcement & tickets. On top of our own concert season, I’m completely giddy about our upcoming project with Quantum Theatre, a fully staged modern premiere of the 1730 opera “Idaspe,” at the Byham Theater. It’s full of great music and will bring together a ridiculously talented cast, a brilliant director and creative team, and a superlative sixteen-player orchestra in the pit. It’ll be the culmination of years of work and planning, coming off in one short run—the zenith of why I love my job!

What are you looking forward to this year?

Truly, I’m looking forward to continuing to gather together in whatever context as a normal feature of life and community. For Chatham Baroque, part of that means settling into our new home at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS). It’s a dream come true to return to in-person work on a beautiful campus in a vibrant neighborhood with tons of new folks to meet. We have an office on campus now, and the seminary’s Hicks Memorial Chapel is such a great place to rehearse and perform. Come to the East of the River concert on April 30 if you want to hear what it all sounds like.

Interested in being featured and want to share your own cool project in the ‘Burgh? Send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TI Locals to Know 2022” and you just might  see yourself in a future newsletter.