Symphony Tacoma’s 76th season will present eight dynamic programs—six classics and two holiday concerts—that will feature some of the most celebrated symphonic works by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvořák, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin and other acclaimed composers. Virtuosos of piano, violin, cello, percussion and bandoneon will join our talented musicians to bring the music to life.
Works by living composers—including two world premieres and one U.S. premiere—will complement the classics on each concert. “We curated this season to be an exciting mix of classic favorites augmented by some truly remarkable lesser-known works to add to the theme of each concert,” says Music Director Sarah Ioannides. “It is a privilege to share some of the rich and diverse compositions by women and composers-of-color, both living and from the past, that perpetuate the tradition of classical music and keep it relevant today.”
Featured artists from around the world will take the Pantages stage, including Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot, Indonesian pianist Janice Carissa, and Peruvian pianist, composer and bandoneonist Claudio Constantini who will perform his tribute to Astor Piazzolla, Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra. At the pinnacle of the season, the orchestra will present movements from The Tacoma Method, an opera penned by local composer Gregory Youtz with a plot centered around the expulsion of Tacoma’s Chinese community in the late 1800s.
Our annual holiday concerts are also slated for the season. On December 4, the Tacoma Youth Chorus will join Symphony Tacoma Voices for a collage of seasonal music in Holiday Favorites. Geoffrey Boers will conduct the ‘Voices’ for their always-anticipated presentation of Handel’s Messiah on December 16.
In March, we are excited to welcome guest conductor Antoine T. Clark to the podium for the fourth Classics series concert. Mr. Clark is the founding artistic and music director of Ohio’s Worthington Chamber Orchestra. A passionate advocate of arts education, he is also an award-winning conductor known for his “compelling interpretations, inventive performances and energetic stage presence.”
2022 – 2023 CONCERTS:
Karen Tanaka: Rose Absolute
Korngold: Violin Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances
LUSH ROMANCE: Inspired by the scent of a French perfume, Japanese composer Karen Tanaka describes Rose Absolute as a “floral bouquet for a lover, as my personal, romantic present.” Dubbed a “once in a lifetime talent,” Blake Pouliot will perform Korngold’s dazzlingly and melodic Violin Concerto, the piece that marked the composer’s departure from writing film scores during World War II. Rachmaninoff’s final masterwork, Symphonic Dances, captures the composer’s nostalgia for the Russia he left behind, along with references to his earlier works and sacred chants.
Farrenc: Overture No.1
Jessie Montgomery: Caught by the Wind
Berlioz: Love Scene from Romeo and Juliet
Dvořák: Cello Concerto
PROFOUND INTENSITY: Regarded as one of the finest composers of the 19th century, Louise Farrenc captures Beethoven’s fire in her Overture No. 1. Jessie Montgomery’s Caught by the Wind evokes the spinning of bicycle wheels, the movement of wind and the cycles of life. Berlioz declares his consuming passion for actress Harriet Smithson in Love Scene from Romeo and Juliet. World-renowned cellist Zuill Bailey will perform Dvořák’s powerful Cello Concerto, sometimes called the “king of cello concertos.”
Symphony Tacoma’s annual collage of seasonal delights for the whole family features a cornucopia of songs from cherished traditions. Joining Maestra Ioannides and the orchestra will be the melodious Symphony Tacoma Voices and Tacoma Youth Chorus.
Perhaps the world’s most well-known and beloved choral work, Handel’s Messiah is a holiday tradition for Symphony Tacoma. The classic oratorio will be conducted by Dr. Geoffrey Boers and performed by the talented orchestra and Symphony Tacoma Voices.
Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
Gregory Youtz: Suite from The Tacoma Method – WORLD PREMIERE
Brahms: Symphony No. 4
OUSTED: Britten’s Four Sea Interludes tells the story of Peter Grimes, a psychologically troubled outcast from an English fishing village. Local composer Dr. Gregory Youtz sheds light on perhaps the most tragic chapter of Tacoma’s history in The Tacoma Method, an opera about the injurious expulsion of the city’s Chinese community. Brahms draws inspiration from Bach, Beethoven and Schumann in his deeply passionate Symphony No. 4, one of the most loved symphonies of the Romantic period.
FRESH PERSPECTIVES: Viet Cuong’s Bullish is testimony to Bach’s continuing influence on today’s musical scene. Franck offers a rethinking of variation form in his Symphonic Variations. Elfrida Andrée was the first woman to compose and conduct chamber and orchestral music in Sweden. Also influenced by Bach, Avner Dorman applied a modern view to the classic composer in his Concerto in A which he wrote at the age of 19. Prokofiev’s first numbered symphony, which he dubbed “Classical,” is a modern reinterpretation of the classical style of Haydn and Mozart. Indonesian pianist and 2022 Gilmore Young Artist, Janice Carissa has been praised for radiating “the multicolored highlights of a mature pianist.”
Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances
Nick DiBerardino: Double Percussion Concerto – WORLD PREMIERE
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
RESONANT RHYTHM: Bartók invokes the rawness of Eastern European tunes originally played on fiddle or fife in his Romanian Folk Dances. Composer Nick diBeraradino conceives fantastical tales through his wide-ranging, story-driven musical language. His newest commission will be debuted in Tacoma by Arx Duo, the dynamic percussion team of Garrett Arney and Mari Yoshinaga. Beethoven’s renown Symphony No. 7 synthesizes dance-like energy, serene solemnity and rousing wildness.
Claudio Constantini: Concerto for Bandoneon & Orchestra – U.S. PREMIERE
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Price: Ethiopia’s Shadow in America
Gershwin: American in Paris
GLOBAL MELANGE: Multi-instrumentalist and composer Claudio Constantini will share his unique style that fuses classical, contemporary and Latin music genres in his performance of two pieces—his own tango-inspired Concerto for Bandoneon and Gershwin’s gem of symphonic jazz, Rhapsody in Blue. Written in 1932, Florence Price’s Ethiopia’s Shadow in America expresses the poignant experience of enslaved Africans in the United States. Gershwin’s rollicking An American in Paris portrays “the impressions of an American visitor in Paris as he strolls about the city, listens to the various street noises and absorbs the French atmosphere.”
MINI MAESTROS SERIES
Once per month, Jan-May (concert dates TBA)
Held at the University of Puget Sound’s Schneebeck Concert Hall, Mini Maestros is an informal concert series for children ages 2 to 8 that offers interactive, close encounters with Symphony Tacoma musicians and their instruments. With curriculum prepared by Early Childhood Learning experts, each of the four 45-minute “informances” features a different instrument family and gets kids physically and mentally engaged with the music.