MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Seattle Symphony Is Gramophone‘s Orchestra of the Year

As part of its 2018 Classical Music Awards, Gramophone magazine has announced the winner of Orchestra of the Year, an inaugural category whose victor was determined by a public vote. SSO was the only non-European orchestra in the running.

I wrote this for Gramophone about the award:

‘Listen boldly’ enjoins the logo which the Seattle Symphony introduced in 2011 to mark the beginning of Music Director Ludovic Morlot’s tenure. In the years since, that challenge has been directed not just to their audience but to the organisation itself. Listening boldly means acknowledging the need to reimagine its own identity and taking steps to reposition the SSO within an increasingly compartmentalised cultural landscape.

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Filed under: awards, Gramophone, Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony’s New Venue

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Octave 9 can create a 360° shared virtual experience with a surround video screen, in-the-round seating and responsive video and acoustics. (Rendering by LMN Architects)

Seattle Symphony just announced that it will open its new Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center in February 2019.

Octave 9 will be located in what has been called the Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center (corner of Second Avenue & Union Street). The new initiative, according to SSO, is intended to create “a versatile, immersive environment for inventive performances, education opportunities, and community engagement” — which is reminiscent of the “salle modulable” paradigm that has been realized, for example, at the Pierre Boulez-Saal in Berlin.

Why the name? “Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center is named in honor of Seattle philanthropists James and Sherry Raisbeck, who provided a $2 million matching challenge to transform the former Soundbridge. The name, created by LORE Naming, was inspired by the size of a concert grand piano, which spans just over seven octaves. A nine-octave range, then, pushes past the boundaries, redefining what is musically possible.”

SSO’s press release continues: “Combining a modular surround video screen with 13 moveable panels, 10 ultra-short-throw projectors, motion-capture cameras, and a state-of-the-art Meyer Sound Constellation® Acoustic System with 42 speakers and 30 microphones, the technology in Octave 9 can create a 360° shared virtual experience or disappear into the background for a more traditional setting.”

The first artist-in-residence at Octave 9 will be the cellist Seth Parker Woods, the subject of my Strings magazine cover story last summer. “During his residency, he will premiere a number of new works for cello and multimedia commissioned by the Seattle Symphony from a diverse group of composers and visual artists.”

read more about Octave 9

Filed under: music news, Seattle Symphony, Seth Parker Woods

Seattle Symphony Names New President and CEO

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By a unanimous vote of its Board of Directors, Seattle Symphony has named Krishna Thiagarajan, currently Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, as its next President and CEO, succeeding Simon Woods, who recently became CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Thiagarajan will start his tenure this September.

From the SSO press release:

Thiagarajan’s track record in his past three leadership positions encompasses strong financial management including balanced budgets and significant growth in both ticket sales and donations. He has also produced numerous acclaimed recordings and several international tours, as well as commissioned new works and created meaningful education programs for students. His past leadership has included strong community and corporate relationships, and a personal emphasis on creating an inclusive organizational culture.

Thiagarajan: “I believe the Seattle Symphony to be among the most innovative orchestras in the United States, having delivered an impressive track record of growth, artistic excellence and strong community presence. In collaboration with this outstanding group of musicians, staff and board, as well as dedicated supporters, I look forward to serving the community of the greater Seattle area as the orchestra becomes an even more prominent cultural ambassador for the Pacific Northwest.”

Thiagarajan replaces former President & CEO Simon Woods who became the CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in January after seven years of exemplary leadership in Seattle.

Complete press release

Filed under: music news, Seattle Symphony

Dausgaard and Seattle Symphony Take on an Early Sibelius Epic

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photo: Brandon Patoc

My review for Bachtrack of Thomas Dausgaard and the Seattle Symphony in Sibelius’s Kullervo:
On 28 April 1892, when he was only 26, Jean Sibelius unveiled Kullervo to the public. Its triumph established both his career as a composer and his reputation as Finland’s musical bard…

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Filed under: review, Seattle Symphony, Sibelius, Thomas Dausgaard

Sibelius: Kullervo

Today’s listening, preparing for this weekend’s Seattle Symphony program.

Filed under: Seattle Symphony, Sibelius

Sheku Kanneh-Mason Coming to Seattle

Sheku Kanneh-Mason moved countless viewers around the world playing “Sicilienne” (attributed to*) Maria Theresia von Paradis (a contemporary of Mozart), Fauré’s “Après un rêve,” and Schubert’s “Ave Maria” at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Because of the engagement, Kanneh-Mason had to forego what would have been his U.S. orchestral debut in LA (with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

And so lucky Seattle gets to be the host for the cellist’s actual U.S. debut in the fall: with the Seattle Symphony under conductor Ruth Reinhardt, when he will be the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations.

He’ll also give a concert in the Debut series at Lucerne Festival on 30 August, with his sister Isaka Kanneh-Mason at the keyboard.

*From the musicologist Michael Beckman (this fascinating update passed along to be by Elena Dubinets): “Can’t help noting that one of the cello pieces played at the royal wedding, the “Sicilienne” supposedly by Mozart’s blind contemporary Maria Theresia von Paradis, is actually a fake by the 20th century violinist and hoaxster, Samuel Dushkin. Pretty piece and perfect for a romantic ceremonial occasion…but also an exotic mashup based partly on a violin sonata by Weber.”

See Schott’s page for this score here:
“According to the latest research findings, ‘Sicilienne’ was not written by Maria Theresia von Paradis, but by Samuel Dushkin.”

Filed under: cello, Lucerne Festival, music news, Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony Performs Stravinsky’s Perséphone

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Stravinsky’s Perséphone at Seattle Symphony in Michael Curry staging; photo by Brandon Patoc

My review of a very memorable evening with Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony, and the visual artistry of Michael Curry:

Since its tepid première at the Paris Opera in 1934, Perséphone has remained among the most neglected of Stravinsky’s major scores, unable to find a comfortable home on the opera, ballet or concert stage.

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Filed under: Ludovic Morlot, review, Seattle Symphony, Stravinsky

Swept Away by Morlot’s La mer

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This week’s Seattle Symphony program culminates in one of music director Ludovic Morlot’s specialities: La mer, the finale to a program initially designed around orchestral color.

It opens with Escales (“Ports of Call”) by Debussy’s younger compatriot Jacques Ibert. This tripart travelogue from the early 1920s unabashedly exploits clichéd Orientalist and Spanish tropes, but the composer’s treatment of the orchestra is fresh, and Morlot found enough appealing nuances here to make it an enjoyable outing — and to pique interest in hearing more of this now-neglected composer’s considerable output.

The program had originally been slated to include a real rarity — Scriabin’s Piano Concerto, an early work that isn’t exactly in most pianist’s ready-to-go rep. Daniil Trifonov withdrew because of illness at the last minute, so it wouldn’t have been reasonable to expect Inon Barnatan to play the Scriabin when he agreed to save the day.

Scriabin’s synesthesia was meant to be a linking thread here — and perhaps something about Debussy’s Russian influences? — but the substitute turned out to be quite satisfying anyway: Mozart’s K. 488 Piano Concerto, which dates from just before the Figaro premiere.

I was impressed by Barnatan’s SSO debut two years ago (in Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto). Once again, there was much to admire in his ultra-refined approach to the Mozart, which I heard on Thursday night — all the more striking, given that the concerto’s seemingly straightforward textures were surrounded by the complex hues and ravaging color fields of the rest of the program.

But I was puzzled by the shift from Classical poise to Romantic exaggeration of gesture in the minor-key slow movement, which contains some of Mozart’s most heart-rending music. Barnatan is such a naturally expressive interpreter that I think he would have been more effective without adding italics. Still, there were moments of that elevated beauty squeezed from the most commonplace phrase that set Mozart apart. The finale had all the joie de vivre of the Figaro that was waiting in the wings.

Morlot combined Respighi’s Pines of Rome with Debussy (Nocturnes) early in his tenure, and this time he took up the Italian’s Fountains. It’s hard to avoid the charge of musical padding here in Respighi’s opulent, neo-Richard Straussian scoring, but Morlot shaped the vignettes into miniature dramas that held interest. The SSO’s playing was at a high level, with especially fine ensemble from the strings.

It all seemed to set the stage perfectly for Debussy’s quasi-symphony La mer — including the times-of-day conceit of Respighi’s homage to Rome, moving from the sun’s fading at the Villa Medici to Debussy’s oceanic dawn.

But it soon became clear that Morlot wasn’t interested in “painting” with tone colors or the kind of pictorialism of Ibert — in other words, that he wasn’t treating La mer as another piece of program music that proves how clever Debussy was at conjuring mental images of aspects of the sea through his orchestration. In fact, and especially in contrast to the Ibert, it became obvious how much Debussy manages to do without resorting to standard musical tropes to suggest water.

Instead, the “colors” here seemed closer to the way we find them used in a Mahler symphony: expressions of an internal cosmos, building into a wordless drama of struggle and affirmation.

In his latest take on the piece, Morlot often went in surprising directions. Most remarkable of all was the intensity of the drama in the third panel, which exuded an almost terrifying ferocity I’d not heard in live performances of La mer.

The synergy with the SSO was exciting. Mary Lynch’s rendition of the ambiguous oboe phrase crowned an evening of stellar playing by the woodwinds. Morlot has internalized Debussy’s score to such a degree that he occasionally created the illusion of writing it on the spot. A moving tribute to Debussy’s continuing relevance.
–Review (c)2018 Thomas May. All rights reserved.

Filed under: Debussy, Ludovic Morlot, review, Seattle Symphony

Becoming the Light

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Composer John Luther Adams with conductor Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Seattle Symphony presents the world premiere “Become Desert” March 29 and 31. (Brandon Patoc )

And what a night: Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot have given the world premiere of Become Desert by the incomparable John Luther Adams.

My review for The Seattle Times here, where I was only able to offer a few hints of how extraordinarily original, enthralling, and transformative this music is.

Filed under: Beethoven, John Luther Adams, review, Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony’s New Season Announcement

The 2018-2019 season, just announced, will be the valedictory season for Ludovic Morlot as Seattle Symphony’s music director. And it bears the stamp of Morlot’s imaginative programming, which has been a signature of his tenure.

There’s a lot to be excited about here, especially on the new-music front: 25 contemporary composers on the program. There will be commissions from Chen Yi, Caroline Shaw (a piano concerto to feature Jonathan Biss), John Harbison, Kinan Azmeh (a clarinet concerto, with the composer as soloist), Joël-François Durand, “a new piece woven into Heiner Goebbels’ Surrogate Cities,” and Derek Bermel, who as composer in residence will supply two new works.

PLUS new pieces by George Walker (my profile of this amazing, far-too-neglected American treasure is here), Hannah Kendall (The Spark Catchers), and Pascal Dusapin (At Swim-Two-Birds). This is apart from the many goodies on the late-night [untitled] concert series.

For his eighth and final season, Maestro Morlot will bring a special focus to Claude Debussy to mark the centenary of his death: six works by Debussy throughout the season (Gigues from ImagesPetite suiteJeuxPrintemps, Suite from Pelléas et Mélisande, and Nocturnes). New French voices as well:  Marc-André Dalbavie’s Sonnets and La source d’un regard, and the above-mentioned Pascal Dusapin and the Joël-François Durand commission.

Here’s the full Seattle Symphony press release:

Seattle, WA – Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot and Board Chair Leslie Jackson Chihulyannounce the Grammy-winning orchestra’s 2018–2019 season, which culminates Ludovic Morlot’s multi-year exploration of French music past and present, as well as furthering the orchestra’s commitment to commissioning new works and in-depth community-related projects. Several programs with geographic, historical and social context will be presented, including Heiner Goebbels’ Surrogate Cities, the Silkroad Ensemble which embraces difference and cultural collaboration, Jordi Savall’s The Routes of Slavery, and the world premiere performances of George Walker’s Sinfonia No. 5, “Visions,” which was composed in response to the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

“For my final season as Music Director, we’ve woven together the many programmatic threads we started seven years ago into a true culmination of ideas,” commented Morlot. “I’m thrilled to explore the music of Debussy in great depth, alongside repertoire that influenced his work, and together with those new French voices of Dusapin, Dalbavie and Durand. This season we will introduce so many new and diverse guest artists to Seattle, and I’m thrilled to embrace the voices of more women composers. When I think of my last season with this wonderful orchestra, it really feels like we’ve had a chance to work on all that we wanted and this beautiful season brings a sense of fulfillment to those dreams.”

Chihuly shared, “Our journey with Ludovic Morlot is coming to fruition next season in so many ways, from the symphonies we all know and love to the latest commissions and premieres, to powerful music that makes a statement about our world today, whether that’s Heiner Goebbels’ commentary on the effects of urbanism on humanity, or George Walker’s artistic response to one of the most painful events in recent history. Here in our community we remain committed to our Simple Gifts initiative which supports those who are experiencing homelessness, and we’re thrilled to welcome Derek Bermel as Composer in Residence, who will have an active role both on stage and in the community.”

Ludovic Morlot will build on his previous explorations of French repertoire with a special focus on the music of Claude Debussy for the centenary year of the composer’s passing. Morlot will conduct six works by Debussy over the course of five subscription weeks throughout the season including Gigues from ImagesPetite suite,JeuxPrintemps, Suite from Pelléas et Mélisande and Nocturnes. These works will be presented alongside repertoire that influenced the composer, including works by Mahler, Strauss, Wagner and Janáček, and Debussy contemporary, Ravel, together with new French voices. Morlot will conduct Marc-André Dalbavie’s Sonnets andLa source d’un regard, the U.S. premiere of Pascal Dusapin’s At Swim-Two-Birds, and the world premiere of Joël-François Durand’s Préludes. French-born Durand is Professor of Music at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Following critical acclaim for the 3-disc set of Henri Dutilleux’s orchestral works, upcoming recording plans will continue to capitalize on Morlot’s distinctive interpretations of French repertoire. Recordings featuring Ludovic Morlot and the orchestra performing the works of Berlioz and Dalbavie are planned for the 2018–2019 season. The orchestra will also continue to record its first-ever Nielsen cycle, which began last fall with the release of Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 conducted by Thomas Dausgaard.

Music Director Designate Thomas Dausgaard, who will become Music Director in the 2019–2020 season and will also be in his fifth season with the orchestra as Principal Guest Conductor, will conduct three programs, each with a notable premiere. In October Dausgaard will conduct the U.S. premiere of the original first movement of Schumann’s “Zwickauer” Symphony created by Dausgaard from the composer’s manuscript, as well as Schumann’s Symphony No. 2. Two programs in April include the North American premiere of Langgaard’s Prelude to Antichrist, which shares a program with Nielsen’s Symphony No. 2, “The Four Temperaments,” followed in another program by Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” which will be performed alongside the premiere performances of George Walker’s Sinfonia No. 5, “Visions,” written in response to the devastating murder of nine African Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, at the hands of a white supremacist. Although Sinfonia No. 5 has been recorded, these are the first public performances.

NEW AND CONTEMPORARY MUSIC


The Seattle Symphony continues its dedication to commissioning new works, and for the coming season will perform the following commissioned world premieres: a new work by Chen YiCaroline Shaw’s Piano Concerto, which will be premiered with guest pianist Jonathan Biss; John Harbison’s What Do We Make of Bach? for Orchestra and Obbligato Organ, which will be premiered with guest organist Wayne Marshall; Kinan Azmeh’s Clarinet Concerto, to be performed by the composer as soloist; two new works by 2018–2019 Composer in Residence Derek BermelJoël-François Durand’s Préludes; and a new piece woven into Heiner GoebbelsSurrogate Cities.

Additional premieres include the first-ever public performances of George Walker’s Sinfonia No. 5, “Visions,” as described above. The orchestra will give the U.S. premieres of Hannah Kendall’s The Spark Catchers as well as Pascal Dusapin’s At Swim-Two-Birds and which will feature violinist Viktoria Mullova and cellist Matthew Barley. Receiving its North American premiere is Langgaard’s Prelude to Antichrist. Additionally, a new work will be unveiled at the Celebrate Asia concert, following the annual Celebrate Asia Composition Competition.

Originally premiered in 1994, Heiner Goebbels’ multi-sensory production Surrogate Cities is a full-length concert program reflecting on the impact of urbanism on society. With orchestral voices, sampled electronics, musical flashbacks and literary quotes, Goebbels creates a multifaceted concert experience. Jazz vocalistJocelyn B. Smith and narrator David Moss will join Ludovic Morlot and the orchestra for these performances, which will include the world premiere of a new piece the composer has created for the occasion.

The late-night [untitled] concert series returns with three programs, featuring boundary-pushing contemporary music performed by chamber ensembles in the Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby. At these performances, many of which sell out, audiences gather on all levels of the Grand Lobby, on chairs, stairs, bar stools, restaurant booths, bean bags and carpet squares, and the bar remains open throughout. The first, conducted by Thomas Dausgaard, features Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen’s hour-long Schnee, inspired by the music of Bach and Steve Reich. Conducted by Ludovic Morlot, the second program features Berio’s Circles and a Boulezmasterpiece, Sur incises, which is scored for three pianos, three harps and three percussionists. Lastly, Symphony Tacoma’s Music Director Sarah Ioannides will lead soprano Maria Männistö and Seattle Symphony musicians in a 1920s German cabaret-style “Im wunderschöenen Monat Mai,” the reimagined love songs of Schubert and Schumann by Dutch composer Reinbert de Leeuw.

FEATURED ARTISTS


The In Recital series (formerly called Distinguished Artists) will expand from three concerts to four concerts in the 2018–2019 season. The four-concert series will include solo recitals by pianists Inon Barnatan and Sir András Schiff, a duo recital with violinist Leonidas Kavakos and pianist Enrico Pace and a recital featuring tenor Lawrence Brownlee and bass-baritone Eric Owens.

Among those making their Seattle Symphony debuts this season are guest conductors Gustavo Gimeno,Jonathon HeywardSarah IoannidesKirill KarabitsVasily PetrenkoShiyeon Sung and Dima Slobodeniouk; violinists Nicola Benedetti and Viktoria Mullova; pianist Steven Osborne; cellists Matthew Barley and Sheku Kanneh-Mason; organist Katelyn Emerson; harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani; mandolin player Avi Avital; sopranos Yasko Sato and Yulia Van Doren; mezzo-soprano Roxana Constantinescu; altoAvery Amereau; tenors Colin BalzerĽudovít Ludha and Sean Panikkar; baritones Michael KellyDavóne Tines and Andreas Wolf.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCES*


The Silkroad Ensemble returns to Seattle in February to join Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony for a one-night-only performance. The Seattle Symphony will perform two works it has commissioned, a new work byChen Yi, a former Music Alive Composer in Residence with the orchestra, and a new clarinet concerto by Kinan Azmeh, a Syrian clarinetist and composer featured in the documentary The Music of Strangers who created a sensation with his emotional performance at the Seattle Symphony’s Music Beyond Borders: Voices of the Seven, which was a free, livestreamed concert given in response to the travel ban that was issued in January 2017. Azmeh’s Clarinet Concerto was commissioned by Classical Movements for the Seattle Symphony as part of the Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program. In addition to these world premieres performed by the orchestra, the Silkroad Ensemble will perform Azmeh’s The Wedding, Vijay Iyer’s City of Sand and Edward Perez’s Latina 6/8 Suite featuring bagpipe player Christina Pato.

The Seattle Symphony will again collaborate with the Asian community to present the 11th annual Celebrate Asia concert in January with this year’s program conducted by Shiyeon Sung. The program, which prominently features Korean composers and artists, includes Unsuk Chin’s snagS&Snarls featuring guest soprano Kathleen Kim, Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini featuring guest pianist Seong-Jin Cho, and two traditional works, “Missing Mt. Keumkang” and “Arirang.” The program will open with John Adams’ The Chairman Dances from Nixon in China and will also include Pubbanimitta for suona and orchestra. Pubbanimittawas written in 2011 by rising Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen who received the 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. The winning piece from the Celebrate Asia Composition Competition, dedicated to finding and nurturing young composers who are inspired by the music of Asia, will also receive its world premiere at this concert. Pre- and post-concert festivities showcase performers from Seattle’s many vibrant communities, from Lion Dance to Taiko and from traditional performances to Bollywood.

Composer, clarinetist and conductor Derek Bermel will serve as the Seattle Symphony’s Composer in Residence in the 2018–2019 season. While in Seattle, Bermel will help lead the orchestra’s spring Simple Gifts Community Composition project co-created with residents of Compass Housing Alliance, a leading provider of housing services for veterans experiencing homelessness. The resulting composition will be performed jointly by veterans and members of the Seattle Symphony. Simple Gifts projects represent an opportunity for community members experiencing homelessness — who often feel invisible — to be seen and heard, with their voices amplified by the art they are creating together with the Seattle Symphony (more info below). Bermel will also serve as the workshop director for the annual Merriman Family Young Composers Workshop, where he will guide 10 pre-college-age students through a 12-week workshop to create new chamber pieces that will be performed by Seattle Symphony musicians at a culminating performance. One of Bermel’s works will be introduced to 10,000 school children through the Seattle Symphony’s Link Up program which he will conduct in March.

In November, the Seattle Symphony and Early Music Seattle will co-present Jordi Savall: The Routes of Slavery. In this monumental project spanning centuries and featuring musicians from Africa, Europe and the Americas, early music expert Jordi Savall leads a singular experience of music, dance and spoken word tracing the story of the African diaspora in the Old and New Worlds. The Routes of Slavery draws together markedly distinct musical stories from West and North Africa, Baroque Europe and the Americas to create a musical illustration of one of humanity’s darkest chapters, weaving together traditional African griot music with Baroque song, spirituals and rich Afro-Latin traditions from the Caribbean, Mexico, Peru, Brazil and beyond.

Additional special concert events include the Opening Night Concert & Gala conducted by Ludovic Morlotfeaturing renowned French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet on Saturday, September 15; a performance by the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, including Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 performed by Christian TetzlaffItzhak Perlman performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto; the two-night Brahms Concerto Festival conducted by Pablo Rus Broseta and featuring rising star artists; a live-to-picture screening of the film Amadeus; and a full line-up of Holiday events.

*Special concert events are not included in the subscription series and are currently only available to subscribers.

EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES


The Seattle Symphony will present a robust season of programming for families. Families will enjoy pre-concert activities with crafts and an instrument zoo. The youngest listeners (ages 0–5) will be treated to a five-concertTiny Tots series. Each concert features a different section of Seattle Symphony musicians. The Classical KING FM Family Concert series (designed for ages 6–12) features the full orchestra. Seattle Symphony Associate Conductor Pablo Rus Broseta will conduct three of the four concerts, with guest conductor Farkhad Khudyevleading the third concert with guest artists Magic Circle Mime Co.

In addition to presenting a full schedule of performances, the Seattle Symphony is deeply committed to creating meaningful community partnerships and education programs. The orchestra’s extensive education and community initiatives reach more than 65,000 people each year through a variety of programs tailored to meet the needs of various audiences including families, young artists and schools. Link Up, a national program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, is a highly participatory multi-year music curriculum for 3rd to 5th graders. In the 2018–2019 season, it will serve more than 10,000 students in grades 3 to 5 from over 100 schools in 30 districts. Over the course of each year’s program, students learn to sing and play orchestral repertoire while focusing on specific concepts, including rhythm, melody, tempo, orchestration and composition. In addition, the Symphony continues its commitment to mentoring young musicians in the community and presents numerous Side-by-Side Concerts with local high school, college and community orchestras.

The Symphony’s Community Connections program aims to provide nonprofit organizations across the Puget Sound region with equitable access to high-quality cultural experiences. We build bridges with diverse communities throughout the region through access to free tickets to concerts, music-making and special projects. This program serves more than 70 local nonprofits that work with youth, active military and veterans, seniors, cultural organizations, health services and social service organizations. Examples of our work include theLullaby Project for parents experiencing homelessness, and prison visits by Symphony musicians. In June 2016 Seattle Symphony launched the Simple Gifts initiative which partners with social service providers to empower individuals experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity to connect with their creativity; develop deeper roots in the community through service, advocacy and collaboration; spark joy and inspire hope in individuals and communities that face disproportionate amounts of hardship; and raise awareness of the homelessness crisis that is occurring in King County. Of the Seattle Symphony’s 70 community partners, 22 specifically work with homelessness.

The Masterworks Season encompasses the Symphony’s core programming of symphonic repertoire. Additionalsubscription series include Seattle PopsIn RecitalBaroque & WineUntuxed[untitled]Fluke/Gabelein Organ RecitalChamberClassical KING FM Family Concerts and Tiny TotsNon-subscription performances may be added to subscription orders now and will go on sale to the general public on August 4, 2018.

Filed under: Ludovic Morlot, Seattle Symphony

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