The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been a vital part of the City of Pittsburgh's heritage for more than 100 years. With its noble history of the finest conductors and musicians and its strong commitment to artistic quality and excellence, audiences around the world have claimed the PSO as their orchestra of choice. The PSO offers 22 weeks of subscription concerts, as well as Pops, matinee, and chamber orchestra series. The Fiddlesticks Family Concert series, featuring the feline "Ambassador to Children," is immensely popular with the young set. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has confirmed its ranking as a world-class orchestra, earning critical acclaim for each tour abroad. The 29 international tours include 15 European tours, seven trips to the Far East and two to South America. The Orchestra became the first American orchestra to perform for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in January 2004 - part of the Pontiff's Silver Jubilee celebration.