Published on July 21st, 2021

Symphony Tacoma is thrilled to return to live performance in time to celebrate the legacy of our first 75 years! The 2021-2022 Diamond Anniversary Season brings both favorite works from the rich tradition of classical music accentuated by repertoire and artists that poignantly speak to current culture. The six classics and two holiday concerts reflect our dedication to presenting diverse content, with each concert featuring guest artists of-color, contemporary works, pieces composed by women, or otherwise “unconventional” music.

“This season, we are excited to spotlight important composers—such as Patrice Rushen, Joseph de Bologne, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Vivian Fung and David Ludwig—who may not be part of our audience’s standard repertoire,” comments Music Director Sarah Ioannides. “And we will find new inspiration and healing through the powerful and stirring works of Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Beethoven and other great classic artists.”

Season highlights include a celebratory opening night, featuring Harvard and Juilliard-trained pianist Charlie Albright. A Centralia native, Albright will perform Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in his signature playful, athletic style. In April acclaimed clarinetist Anthony McGill, New York Philharmonic’s first-ever Black principal, will perform From the Mountaintop, a concerto paying homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others fighting injustice throughout history.

Innovative music includes Prayer (2020), a piece written during—and lamenting—COVID-19, by Canadian composer Vivian Fung. Also featured is The Bamboula (1911) by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, one of the first Black composers to achieve broad recognition. And returning to the season repertoire is the world premiere of David Ludwig’s The Bleeding Pines, which was scheduled for the 2019-2020 season but canceled due to the pandemic. This statement on environmental conservation tells the story of one woman’s efforts to save North Carolina’s Round Top Longleaf Pine Forest.

“I look forward to celebrating this important milestone with a season that reaches further and invites the future of classical music to engulf our patrons with deep inspiration, reflection and passion,” says Ioannides.

Season tickets are on sale through the Symphony Tacoma Box Office. Packages range from three to eight concerts at up to 25% off single ticket prices. Single concert tickets will go on sale on September 1, 2021. Prices range from $24 to $85. To subscribe, call 253-272-7264 or visit symphonytacoma.org.


2021 – 2022 SEASON:

Friday, October 8 | 6 pm
Museum of Glass

Celebrate Symphony Tacoma’s 75th Anniversary season! The party features live and silent auctions, delectable food and wine and—of course—fabulous music performed by Symphony Tacoma musicians!

Tickets: $200/$175 subscribers.


Saturday, October 23 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Charlie Albright, piano

Patrice Rushen: Color Express
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique”

OPENING NIGHT. Charlie Albright returns to headline our season opener that features works by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. Patrice Rushen’s Color Express is dedicated to those who suffered hardship and loss due to COVID-19. Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 deviates from the traditional Russian angst of his previous works with a freeing, whimsical charm. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 is regarded as one of the defining works of his career and the Romantic era.


Saturday, November 20 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Mary Jensen, flute

Bologne: Symphony No. 2
Mozart: Andante & Rondo for Flute & Orchestra
Fauré: Fantasie for Flute & Chamber Orchestra
Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin

MELODIC REVERIE. Strings and woodwinds are spotlighted in this collection of European classics. A contemporary of Mozart, Bologne is known as the first classical composer of African descent. Principal Flute Mary Jensen takes center stage for Mozart’s Andante & Rondo for Flute & Orchestra and Fauré’s Fantasie for Flute & Chamber Orchestra. Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin is a memorial to the composer’s friends who had passed during World War I.


Sunday, December 5 | 2:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Geoffrey Boers, conductor
Symphony Tacoma Voices
Guest artists TBA

Symphony Tacoma’s annual collage of seasonal delights for the whole family.


Friday, December 17 | 7:30 pm
St. Charles Borromeo Church
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Symphony Tacoma Voices (Geoffrey Boers, director)
Soloists TBA

Handel’s beloved classic—and a reprise of Symphony Tacoma’s first-ever performance in 1946! This holiday classic oratorio is performed by the talented orchestra and vocalists of Symphony Tacoma Voices.


Saturday, February 26 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Bella Hristova, violin

Smetana: Vltava “The Moldau”
David Ludwig: Violin Concerto
Mahler: Symphony No. 1 “Titan”

CLASSICAL INFLUENCES FROM BOHEMIA. Join us on a journey starting with the Moldau River and ending with classic folk melodies by Mahler. Smetana’s Vltava is a love letter to his homeland, depicting the flow of the river from the mountains of Bohemia, through the Czech countryside to the city of Prague. Bulgarian native Bella Hristova performs her husband David Ludwig’s Violin Concerto that he wrote for her at the time of their marriage. Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 is inspired by Jean Paul Richter’s novel, Titan, and reflects themes of his life and upbringing, including irony, skepticism and an obsession with death.


Saturday, March 26 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Pallavi Mahidhara, piano
Symphony Tacoma Voices (Geoffrey Boers, director)

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
WORLD PREMIERE! David Ludwig: Bleeding Pines
Beethoven: Fantasy for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra “Choral Fantasy”

LUDWIG AND BEETHOVEN. This celebration of piano and chorus features two Beethoven favorites and the world premiere of David Ludwig’s The Bleeding Pines. Despite being given the esteemed review as “the most admirable, singular, artistic and complex Beethoven concerto ever” after its premiere, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 was not performed again until it was revived by Felix Mendelssohn in 1836. The Bleeding Pines is an oratorio for singers, chorus, and orchestra based on a play by Ray Owen that tells the story of conservationist Helen Boyd Dull, who in 1904 saved an ancient stand of longleaf pines. Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” is based on his 1797 song Gegenliebe and concludes with a thrilling chorus melody which is a clear foreshadowing to the famed Ode to Joy melody written 16 years later.


Saturday, April 30 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Anthony McGill, clarinet

Vivian Fung: Prayer
Richard Danielpour: From the Mountaintop
Schumann: Symphony No. 3 “Rhenish”

FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP TO THE RIVER. The works comprising this concert pay tribute to our collective sentiment through onerous times. Vivian Fung’s Prayer is a deeply personal commentary on the extraordinary conditions she faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inspired by the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., From the Mountaintop was written for Anthony McGill, principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, and is filled with vivid sadness, happiness, prayerfulness, joy and the struggles and pain felt during the Civil Rights Movement. Schumann celebrates the Rhineland in his Symphony No. 3.


Saturday, May 14 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Natasha Paremski, piano

Coleridge-Taylor: The Bamboula
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2

STUNNING DIVERSITY. This concert showcases a delightful array of contrasting styles: from the “rhapsodic dance” and integration of African music into the classical tradition of The Bamboula, to the romanticism of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 and the breathtaking complexity of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring pianist Natasha Paremski.


Additional 2021-2022 performances featuring Symphony Tacoma:


Saturday, March 5 | 7:30 pm
Christ Episcopal Church
Symphony Tacoma Voices (Geoffrey Boers, director)
Guest artists TBA

An evening of choral song, video and poetry to celebrate reconnecting with our world around us.


Saturday, June 4 | 7:30 pm
University Place Presbyterian Church
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Symphony Tacoma Voices (Geoffrey Boers, director)

WORLD PREMIERE! Eternal Light 2.0 (Community Youth Commission)
Mozart: Requiem

Symphony Tacoma is delighted to reprise Eternal Light, a community youth commission, which invites young students to submit music, lyrics, drawings and poetry inspired by Lux Aeterna, a movement in Mozart’s Requiem. These snippets will be compiled into an original work produced by Sarah Ioannides. Unfinished at the time of his death, Mozart’s Requiem was commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg in memory of his wife. Sensing his own demise, Mozart was said to have instructed his student, Franz Süssmayr, to complete the emotionally stirring choral masterpiece.


January – April, 2022

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. Individual concert dates TBA.