Symphony Tacoma Announces 2019-2020 Season Presented by MultiCare

Symphony Tacoma’s 73rd season will present eight dynamic programs—six classics and two holiday concerts—that span 300 years of captivating classical music. Featuring major works by Mozart, Mahler, Rachmaninoff and Gershwin, the season will also be punctuated by three prominent works by Beethoven in recognition of his 250th birthday.

“I selected Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” (February), The Creatures of Prometheus (March), and “Choral Fantasy” (March) because these works collectively demonstrate the breadth of talent that is Beethoven,” says Music Director Sarah Ioannides. “I think our audience will really enjoy the diversity of the pieces.”

Works by contemporary composers—including one world premiere and two U.S. premieres—will complement the classics to amplify the theme of each concert. “We programmed this season to be an exciting representation of today’s classical music genre,” says Ioannides. “There is so much new and diverse material to draw from—compositions by women, works accompanied by multimedia and works that feature artists who play non-traditional orchestral instruments. We have incorporated a touch of each of these into our season.”

Guest artists who are masters of instruments ranging from violin and piano to electric guitar will join the orchestra throughout the season, from the Tacoma Youth Chorus and Tacoma School of the Arts, to masters with world-renowned acclaim.

Also this season, Symphony Tacoma welcomes David Serkin Ludwig  as the inaugural artist in the new Composer in Residence program. The grandson of pianist Rudolf Serkin and nephew of pianist Peter Serkin, Ludwig serves as chair of the composition faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music. He is a recipient of the prestigious Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Fellowship in the Arts and was named as one of the “Top 100 Composers Under Forty” in 2012.

Ludwig will bring three pieces to the season, including Bleeding Pines, a new work commissioned for Symphony Tacoma, which will debut in March. Ludwig’s wife Bella Hristova will perform his Violin Concerto in April, and Fanfare for Sam, a work dedicated to composer Samuel Barber, will open the November concert. “We are excited to introduce our Composer in Residence program this year with David as the inaugural artist,” says Ioannides. “Sometimes when you hear just one piece of music you don’t get a full picture of the composer. David is an incredible talent and I really believe in him as a composer.”

Season tickets are on sale through the Tacoma Arts Live Box Office. Packages range from four to eight concerts at up to 25% off single ticket prices. Single concert tickets will go on sale on August 1. Prices range from $24 to $85. To subscribe, call 253-591-5894 or visit symphonytacoma.org.

The 2019-2020 season is generously sponsored by MultiCare.

 2019 – 2020 CONCERTS:

ROMEO & JULIET
Saturday, October 19 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Tacoma School of the Arts, actors

Prokofiev: Suites from Romeo & Juliet

This original production synthesizes Prokofiev’s heart-wrenching ballet score with the most epic love story of all time. Actors from Tacoma’s School of the Arts will enact excerpts from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet throughout this dramatic performance.

 

GEORGE LI PLAYS ENCHANTING RACHMANINOFF
Saturday, November 23 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
George Li, piano

David Ludwig: Fanfare for Sam
Brahms: Symphony No. 3
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3

Praised by the Washington Post for combining “staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression,” pianist George Li will take on one of the most technically-challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The program begins with Fanfare for Sam, a tribute to composer Samuel Barber written by Composer in Residence David Ludwig, and Brahms’ poetic Symphony No. 3. Maestra Sarah Ioannides first collaborated with Li on stage with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra when he was just 12 years old.

 

HOLIDAY FAVORITES
Sunday, December 8 | 2:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Tacoma Youth Chorus (Judith Herrington, director)

Symphony Tacoma’s annual collage of seasonal delights for the whole family. This year’s program features choral masterpieces and festive arrangements that evoke feelings of holiday celebrations at home, whatever your tradition may be.

 

HANDEL’S MESSIAH
Friday, December 20 | 7:30 pm
St. Charles Borromeo Church
Geoffrey Boers, conductor
Symphony Tacoma Voices

Perhaps the world’s most well-known and beloved choral work, George Frederick Handel’s Messiah has transcended its time and place to become a “work of the people” shared by audiences and musicians around the world. This holiday classic oratorio is performed by the talented orchestra and vocalists of Symphony Tacoma Voices.

 

BEETHOVEN AND THE ELECTRIC UNIVERSE
Saturday, February 22 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Michael Nicolella, electric guitar

Delius: On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
U.S. PREMIERE Simon Petersson: Spheres
U.S. PREMIERE Yaron Gottfried: Electric Guitar Concerto (with multimedia)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”

On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring is a delightful expression of the beauty of nature. Maestra Sarah Ioannides conducted Simon Petersson’s Spheres in Sweden in 2018 and is excited to bring it to Tacoma. Seattle native Michael Nicolella will perform Israeli composer Yaron Gottfried’s Electric Guitar Concerto, a beautiful classical piece featuring a non-traditional orchestral instrument. The heroic Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” is one of Beethoven’s most celebrated works and is widely considered an important landmark in the transition between the Classical period and the Romantic era.

 

LUDWIG AND BEETHOVEN
Saturday, March 21 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Pallavi Mahidhara, piano
Symphony Tacoma Voices (Geoffrey Boers, director)

Beethoven: Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus
Mozart: Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter”
WORLD PREMIERE David Ludwig: Bleeding Pines
Beethoven: Fantasy for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra “Choral Fantasy”

Creatures of Prometheus is Beethoven’s only full-length ballet and shows his lighter side. Mozart’s longest and final symphony “Jupiter” was said to be an inspiration to Beethoven with its five simultaneous melodies. Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” is considered a forerunner to his Ninth Symphony and includes piano and vocal solos as well as chorus. Inspired by “Choral Fantasy,” Composer in Residence David Ludwig draws on its themes in his world-premiere composition, Bleeding Pines which provides a commentary on today’s environmental crisis.

 

MAHLER’S EPIC TITAN
Saturday, April 18 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Bella Hristova, violin

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

The works that make up this concert share influences from Bohemia. Smetana’s “The Moldau” is one of seven symphonic poems that pay tribute to the famous Eastern European river. David Ludwig wrote his Violin Concerto for his wife, Bulgarian native and violinist Bella Hristov, who is the featured artist. Mahler’s “Titan” integrates Austro-German folk melodies into this epic symphony.

 

CELEBRATING THE ROARING TWENTIES
Saturday, May 9 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Charlie Albright, piano

Ravel: La Valse
Boulanger: D’un Matin de Printemps
Boulanger: Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Gershwin: An American in Paris

On the centennial of the Roaring Twenties, Symphony Tacoma celebrates the French and American musical influences of the decade. Ravel’s La Valse is a tribute to the Viennese waltz. The Boulanger sisters, both talented composers, left us few—yet notable— works. After Lili’s death at an early age, Nadia stopped composing but her influence continued through her teaching of many important composers of the last century. Gershwin’s iconic Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris evoke imagery of the jazz, dance and art that define the era. Tacoma favorite Charlie Albright returns for a third performance with Symphony Tacoma.

 

Additional 2019-2020 performances featuring Symphony Tacoma:

VIDEO GAMES LIVE
Friday, May 15 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Presented by Tacoma Arts Live
An immersive concert of music from popular video games

 

MOZART’S REQUIEM
Saturday, June 6 | 7:30 pm
University Place Presbyterian Church
Geoffrey Boers, conductor
Symphony Tacoma Voices

Racing to the Finish Line!

Symphony Tacoma’s Music Director and Executive Director to Run Tacoma City Marathon

Tacoma, WA— Symphony Tacoma’s Music Director Sarah Ioannides and Executive Director Karina Bharne are lacing up their sneakers to run in the Tacoma City Marathon on Sunday, May 5, 2019. They are participating in the half marathon as part of their personal commitment to a healthy lifestyle as well as promoting the impact of Symphony Tacoma to the South Sound community.

“Running is a key part of my fitness regimen that helps to keep me in shape for the podium and maintain long-term overall strength,” says Ioannides. “Like music, it feeds my soul.”

Bharne similarly runs to refuel. “I run to relieve stress and clear my mind so I can focus on what’s most important in my work and home life. Running energizes me—and I take pride in setting and achieving my personal goals.”

After the two agreed to run the race, they realized what a perfect analogy it is to the work they do with Symphony Tacoma. With a mission of “building community through music,” Symphony Tacoma brings classical music to Tacoma through live performances as well as subsidizing tickets and music lessons for students who would not normally be able to afford them. “We work together every day on and offstage to spread the joy and magic of LIVE music,” says Bharne. “Just as physical activity keeps a body healthy and fit, music enriches a community.”

To engage the South Sound, the two have created a Facebook fundraiser to support Symphony Tacoma. The goal of the campaign is $13,100, a nod to the 13.1 miles they will be running. Every dollar raised will be donated directly to Symphony Tacoma to help keep the organization “financially fit” for the 2019-2020 season. “The funds raised will help us actualize our concerts and expand our education programs in the coming year” says Bharne.

People interested in supporting the runners and Symphony Tacoma can donate through Facebook at or they can donate through the Symphony’s website.

Legendary Jazz Saxophonist James Carter Joins Symphony Tacoma for Saxophone Fusion

Tacoma, WA— Symphony Tacoma welcomes jazz saxophone virtuoso James Carter to the Pantages Theater on Saturday, April 20 as the guest soloist for Saxophone Fusion. The program presents compositions derived from diverse cultures that feature the luscious sounds of the saxophone with the rich harmonies of the orchestra.

Opening the program is Fanny Mendelssohn’s Overture in C Major (1834). Although she wrote nearly 500 pieces of music, this work is her only-known full orchestral work. The sister of renowned composer Felix Mendelssohn, Fanny’s ambitions were limited by the societal views of the time that deemed musical careers for women of wealth and status as inappropriate. Instead, she performed her original works to small gatherings in her salon, Sonntagskonzerte, which was well-known and highly-regarded for the originality and quality of the performances. A few of her compositions appeared in Felix’s Op. 8 and Op. 9 collection of songs for voice and piano, but they were listed under his name.

Musicologists are still uncovering and attributing Fanny’s music today. Because minimal effort was invested in preserving or studying her work, little is known about Overture in C Major. Its peaceful opening paves the way for very virtuosic runs in the strings. The piece never becomes brash, and for every majestic, showy passage, there is a light and restrained balance to counter it.

Francis Poulenc’s satirical Sinfonietta (1947) represents works by Les Six, a group of young composers who sought to free French music from foreign domination and called for new music that would be fully French and anti-Romantic in its clarity, accessibility and emotional restraint in post-World War II Europe. Poulenc fulfilled these tenets in his composing, with many of his pieces drawing from Parisian cabarets and revues, making them accessible to the general public.

Poulenc’s music is unique in that it often includes satirical mimicry and fluent melody. His Sinfonietta is no exception. Its first movement opens with a gruff musical idea that is not necessarily symphonic in construction but begins a succession of lyrical themes. The second movement, a scherzo, is the most light-hearted, echoing a style and mood reminiscent of Tchaikovsky and Mozart, whose happy music is a staple of classical literature. The final movement takes a turn, beginning with the gruff tone that Poulenc adopts when appropriating neoclassicism, but soon turns to light again in the true style of Poulenc.

The remainder of the program features James Carter on saxophone accompanying the orchestra on classical works with jazz influences. Darius Milhaud’s La création du monde (1922-23) was inspired by authentic jazz he heard on the streets of Harlem during a concert tour in the early 1920s. The piece was originally written for a ballet that portrayed the creation of the world based on African folk mythology. It uses saxophone to replace violas, and the soloistic treatment of the instruments evokes the sound of jazz bands. The incorporation of blues notes and melodies, syncopations, riffs and ensemble textures are stylized with neoclassical and other modernist traits. Milhaud’s openness to foreign influences truly speaks to his unique style of composing. A multimedia film with art visuals—from African tribal sculptures to works by Picasso and Gauguin—accompany the piece.

Closing the concert is Puerto Rico native Roberto Sierra’s Caribbean Rhapsody (2010). The result of a decade-long collaboration between Carter and Sierra, Caribbean Rhapsody marries classical and Latin jazz influences and showcases Carter’s virtuosity. It draws on Sierra’s memories of growing up in Puerto Rico and the music he heard on jukeboxes—from the sensuous opening boléro, to the Latin riffs reminiscent of son montuno with alternating reflective and spirited music. Sierra wrote the piece as a musical reunion for Carter and his cousin, violinist Regina Carter. Sierra was “curious to see the combination of James and Regina improvising together and also on two different instruments—the sax, basically from the jazz tradition, and the violin, the quintessential orchestral instrument.” The resulting juxtaposition of saxophone and violin, viola, cello and bass is a refreshingly new hybrid of musical elements.

“When I first heard James Carter perform, a whole new set of possibilities opened up in my creative mind,” says Sierra. “I realized that his extraordinary gifts as musician and improviser would be fertile ground for the collaboration that culminated in the writing of Caribbean Rhapsody. I think that what I write is expression that comes from my soul, and a reflection of my own life experiences…This rhapsody not only recalls memories of tropical colors and sounds, but also exposes the pulse of life—the life that I knew growing up in Puerto Rico.”

Tickets range from $24 to $85 and are on sale through the Tacoma Arts Live box office. To order tickets, call 253-591-5894 or visit symphonytacoma.org. Saxophone Fusion is sponsored by KeyBank, Marine Floats, South Sound Physical & Hand Therapy, Kareem Kandi World Orchestra, Northwest Public Broadcasting and KNKX.

ABOUT THE GUEST ARTIST:

After Wynton Marsalis, no one caused more of an uproar than James Carter did when he appeared on the New York jazz scene from his native Detroit. Carter’s debut recording, JC on the Set, issued in Japan when he was only 23 and in the States a year later in 1993, was universally acclaimed as the finest debut by a saxophonist in decades. Carter plays both tenor and soprano sax in this four-movement work.

An artist long intrigued by contrasts and hybrids, James Carter resists comfortable categorization. “You have to be totally comfortable wherever,” he says. “I feel that music equals life; that’s the way my teacher always taught me. You just can’t go through life and experience it fully with a set of blinders on. I think there’s tremendous beauty in cross-pollinations of music and influences.”

In many ways, weaving together divergent impulses is at the heart of Carter’s music. Like the late tenor sax titan Ben Webster, he’s given to furious, high-velocity solos, but is just as likely to wax sentimental, using his big, bruising tone to tenderly caress a comely melody.

Born in Detroit, Carter learned to play saxophone at age 11 and was considered a prodigy. In 1986 at the age of 17, he began touring with Wynton Marsalias. He has been prominent as a performer and recording artist on the jazz scene since the late 1980s, playing saxophones, flute, and clarinets.

Symphony Tacoma’s ‘Rainier Sunrise’ Celebrates Inspirational Music through Time

Tacoma, WA— Symphony Tacoma’s March concert comprises elegant and melodic works ranging from the 18th century up to present day. Four works—one each from the contemporary, neoclassical, romantic and classical genres—make up the evening’s repertoire, which will take place on Saturday, March 23, at 7:30 pm in the Pantages Theater.

“This body of work highlights a diversity of musical styles, each inspired by something beautiful in the eyes of the composer,” says Sarah Ioannides, Symphony Tacoma Music Director. “Here in the Pacific Northwest, we can recognize Karel Butz’s reverence of Mt. Rainier’s grandeur, and the romantic in each of us can easily relate to Wagner’s declaration of love to his wife and newborn child. Perhaps not as intuitive are Stravinsky’s wish to reinvent compositions of bygone days or Mozart’s illumination of the play of tones and color between the violin and viola, but each composition is an individual gem that has captivated audiences.”

The program begins with Karel Butz’s Rainier Sunrise (2016), his homage to Mt. Rainier with expressive melodic lines accompanied by lush and open chords. “Growing up as a native Seattleite, I often took for granted Mount Rainier’s majesty,” says Butz. “When I moved elsewhere, where city skylines were the dominant feature, I realized how much I missed the natural beauty and serenity of the mountains… One particular summer hike on Rainier’s Sunrise Trail inspired a melody that wandered through my head and served as the inspiration for this composition.”

Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite (1920) is one of the first compositions of neoclassicism, a trend during the 1910s to the 1950s in which composers revived, imitated or evoked the styles of pre-Romantic music. The work was originally commissioned by Russian impresario Sergei Diahilev in an effort to rewrite a handful of scores by Baroque composer Giovanni Pergolesi with the intention of orchestrating them for a ballet. Diahilev wanted a “stylish orchestration,” but what Stravinsky brought him was a dramatically different and new arrangement, much to the chagrin of Diahilev. “People who had never heard of or cared about the originals cried ‘sacrilege’…’leave the classics alone’,” recalled Stravinksy. “To them all my answer was and is the same: you ‘respect,’ but I love.” When Pulcinella premiered in Paris in 1920, it was a triumph and launched Stravinsky’s famed neoclassical period.

Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll (1870) was originally written as a “symphonic birthday greeting” to his second wife, Cosima, to commemorate the birth of their son, Siegfried. It was first performed on Christmas morning by a small ensemble on the stairs of the Wagner’s villa. Cosima recalled the event in her journal: “As I awoke, my ear caught a sound, which swelled fuller and fuller; no longer could I imagine myself to be dreaming: music was sounding, and such music! When it died away, Richard came into my room with the children and offered me the score of the symphonic birthday poem.”

Intimate and personal, Wagner intended Siegfried Idyll for the family’s ears only, but financial pressures eventually compelled him to sell the rights to the score. He expanded the orchestration to accommodate 35 players in order to make the piece more marketable and published it in 1877.

Closing the concert is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante (1779). This double concerto is viewed as a revolutionary work for Mozart, who assigned equal billing to the solo viola and the violin. Mozart worked as a court violinist for Salzburg’s Prince-Archbishop Colloredo, a role he greatly resented. He discovered in himself a deep response to the sound of the viola and the spirit it evoked—and it became his favorite instrument. It is assumed that he wrote the demanding solo viola part for himself, and he took pains to ensure that it would make a brilliant effect.

Performing the solos are Symphony Tacoma’s own Concertmaster Svend Rønning and Principal Viola Thane Lewis. “Both of these musicians are elegant, highly talented and sophisticated,” comments Ioannides. “How splendid that two of our finest musicians—who know the symphony deeply from the inside out—are providing musical inspiration and leadership as soloists in the execution of the most revered of Mozart’s concerti for more than one player!”

Tickets range from $24 to $85 and are on sale through the Tacoma Arts Live box office. To order tickets, call 253-591-5894 or visit symphonytacoma.org. Rainier Sunrise is sponsored by Pacific Lutheran University, South Sound Magazine and Hotel Murano.

ABOUT THE GUEST ARTISTS:

Svend Rønning is a Pacific Northwest native and joined Symphony Tacoma as its concertmaster in 2000. In addition to his duties with Symphony Tacoma, he is chair of the String Division at Pacific Lutheran University where he is professor of music, and violinist in the Regency String Quartet. One of the most active performers in the Puget Sound region, Rønning is also artistic director of the Second City Chamber Series, Tacoma’s award-winning producer of chamber music concerts and chamber music educational programs. He holds an undergraduate degree in violin performance from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University.

Thane Lewis studied with Steven Staryk at the University of Washington, where he received his master’s degree. He served as adjunct string faculty at Northwest University. As a chamber musician, Lewis performed in the Second City, Cascadia Sounds of Summer, Jacobsen, Mostly Nordic, Seattle Symphony Chamber Music Series, Seattle Symphony Young Composers, and the Governor’s Mansion Chamber Series. In 2000, his biography of violinist Steven Staryk, Fiddling With Life, was published by Mosaic Press of Toronto.

 

Symphony Tacoma Celebrates Native Traditions in Scheherazade: Beyond the Silk Road

From the glaciers of Mount Rainier to Arabian Nights, Scheherazade: Beyond the Silk Road is a journey of exotic music that will transport the audience from Tacoma to India and the Far East. The concert will take place on Saturday, February 23, at 7:30 pm in the Pantages Theater.

“The overarching theme of this repertoire is the native voice of humanity telling tales about the land and its people on their journeys,” says Sarah Ioannides, Symphony Tacoma Music Director. “Through the rhythmic excitement of the drum beat and lush, lavish melodies that feel like a magic carpet ride, we will experience diverse cultures and their native heritage.”

The program begins with Puyallup native Daniel Ott‘s Fire-Mountain, originally commissioned and performed by Symphony Tacoma and Symphony Tacoma Voices in 2017. The composition, which paints a musical portrait of Mount Rainier’s melting glaciers, takes its name from a quote by naturalist John Muir: “Of all the fire-mountains which, like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest in form.”

“I took as my point of departure not only the inspiring nature of our mountain’s setting, but also its very shape,” said Ott. “If one were to trace the outline of the mountain with the tip of a finger, he or she would describe two prominent peaks: Little Tahoma to the east, and Columbia Crest, Mt. Rainier’s summit, to the west. This is this image that encapsulates Fire-Mountain’s musical form.”

Following Fire-Mountain, Grammy-winning tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das will join the orchestra to perform Dinuk Wijeratne’s Tabla Concerto (2011), a work that inserts the “king” of Indian percussion instruments into a contemporary Western context. Das, who has performed with orchestras around the world, calls the work “the best Western classical piece written for my instrument.”

“While steeped in tradition, the tabla lends itself heartily to innovation and has shown its cultural versatility as an increasingly sought-after instrument in contemporary Western contexts,” says Wijeratne. The fusion of cultures “makes for a rather bizarre stew that reflects globalization, for better or worse!”

Closing out the performance is Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s romantic and beloved Scheherazade (1888), a symphonic suite that tells the captivating story of the Arabian Nights and illustrates Rimsky-Korsakov’s genius for orchestration and musical characterization. A grim bass motif in the low brass portrays the domineering Sultan who, convinced that all women are faithless, vows to put to death each of his wives after their first nuptial night. Conversely, a solo violin accompanied by harp represents the heroine Scheherazade as she tells her nightly stories to distract the Sultan from killing her. Rimsky-Korsakov paints vivid pictures of Scheherazade’s tales in the mind of the listener–the adventures of a young prince, the love story of a prince and princess, and the sounds of rolling waves at sea.

Tickets range from $24 to $85. To order tickets, call 253-591-5894 or buy online.

Scheherazade: Beyond the Silk Road is sponsored by Point Ruston, MultiCare, GeoEngineers, M Agency and the Tacoma Philharmonic Endowment.

Symphony Tacoma Returns to Newly-Remodeled Pantages Theater with Symphonie Fantastique

Tacoma, WA—The much-anticipated reopening of the newly-renovated and acoustically-enhanced Pantages Theater is set for the weekend of November 16, and Symphony Tacoma is honored to be part of it. On Saturday, November 17 Maestra Sarah Ioannides and the Symphony Tacoma orchestra will present Symphonie Fantastique, the second performance of the eight-concert season. The concert will begin at 7:30 pm.

Featuring an exciting and eclectic repertoire, the program has the makings for an exhilarating evening. Emmanuel Chabrier’s España portrays the composer’s impressions of a memorable visit to Spain, capturing in music the vibrant flavors and culture he experienced. Sergei Prokofiev’s “futuristic” Piano Concerto No. 2—originally composed in 1913 and reconstructed in 1923—features rising-star pianist Henry Kramer whose playing has been described as “precise as a faceted diamond.” Rounding out the program is Symphonie Fantastique which tells the heartbreaking and loosely-autobiographical story of Hector Berlioz’s self-destructive passion for a beautiful woman.

Tickets range from $24 to $85 and are on sale through the Broadway Center for Performing Arts box office. To order tickets, call 253-591-5894 or visit symphonytacoma.org.

Symphonie Fantastique is sponsored by University of Puget Sound, Gordon Thomas Honeywell, Churchill Management Group, and Life Center.
NEW THIS SEASON: To provide a safe and comfortable experience, the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts has instituted a new bag policy for all theater patrons. All bags are subject to search. Along with the required bag search, patrons may be requested to open their jackets or be checked with a metal detector prior to entering the venue. Broadway Center will not be held responsible for any prohibited items.

RELATED PROGRAMMING:

GALA FANTASTIQUE
An evening of fabulous music, cuisine and philanthropy supporting Symphony Tacoma

Friday, November 16, 2018 | 6 pm
Museum of Glass
Experience an evening of passion and drama inspired by Symphonie Fantastique, Hector Berlioz’s vivid tale of unrequited love pushed to dangerous obsession.
Tickets: $200. Call 253-591-5894.
More information: https://symphonytacoma.org/events

MASTER CLASS IN PIANO AND CHAMBER MUSIC WITH HENRY KRAMER
A joint piano and/or chamber music master class with University of Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran University and Tacoma Youth Symphony

Thursday, November 15, 2018 | 7 – 9 pm
University of Puget Sound, Kilworth Memorial Chapel
Free and open to the public
More information: https://www.pugetsound.edu/news-and-events/events-calendar/details/master-class-in-piano-and-chamber-music/2018-11-15/

ABOUT THE MUSIC:
Program notes are available in the season playbill.


ABOUT SYMPHONY TACOMA:
Building community through music. Inspiring audiences with live musical experiences that transcend tradition, Symphony Tacoma has been a vital part of Tacoma’s cultural landscape for more than 70 years. In 2014, Symphony Tacoma welcomed music director Sarah Ioannides, whom the Los Angeles Times called “one of six female conductors breaking the glass podium.” Today’s Symphony Tacoma is a metropolitan professional symphony orchestra with more than 80 orchestral musicians and a volunteer chorus of 70. Keeping live musical performance alive in the heart of the region, Symphony Tacoma concertizes for an annual audience of nearly 20,000 citizens throughout Pierce County and the Greater Puget Sound area.

Symphony Tacoma Season Opener Pairs Classical Favorites with ‘Ravish and Mayhem’

Tacoma, WA—Symphony Tacoma’s 2018-2019 season presents timeless masterpieces by classical artists complemented with innovative works by six living composers, including two women. The season opener, Barber and Tchaikovsky, features favorites by Samuel Barber and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky along with a 2012 composition by Stephanie Berg. The concert will be held in Tacoma’s Rialto Theater on Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert also marks the beginning of Music Director Sarah Ioannides’ fifth season at the Symphony Tacoma podium. Two-time Grammy-nominated violinist Jennifer Frautschi will lend her mastery of Barber’s Violin Concerto with her 1722 Stradivarius violin. Frautschi, who began playing the violin at age 3, has garnered worldwide acclaim as an adventurous musician with a remarkably wide-ranging repertoire.

Season ticket packages and single concert tickets ($24 to $85) are on sale through the Broadway Center for Performing Arts box office. To subscribe, call 253-591-5894 or visit symphonytacoma.org.

Barber and Tchaikovsky is sponsored by Pacific Northwest Eye Associates, Tacoma Philharmonic Endowment and Tacoma Arts Month.
NEW THIS SEASON: To provide a safe and comfortable experience, the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts has instituted a new bag policy for all theater patrons. All bags are subject to search. Along with the required bag search, patrons may be requested to open their jackets or be checked with a metal detector prior to entering the venue. Broadway Center will not be held responsible for any prohibited items.

ABOUT THE MUSIC:

Stephanie Berg
Ravish and Mayhem (2012)
Heralded as a “promising new compositional voice” (St. Louis Post Dispatch), Kansas City native Stephanie Berg has had her music met with “enthusiastic ovations,” and has been described as “fun, creative” (St. Louis Post Dispatch) and possessing “a tremendous energy” (conductor David Robertson). Winner of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project and the prestigious Sinquefield Composition Prize, Berg enjoys a rich performance career as a clarinet and saxophone player. She is a regular member of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and has performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Philharmonic and the Missouri Symphony, to name a few.

Ravish and Mayhem was inspired by the vivacity and virtuosity of a Arabian street festival. Berg says, “I sought to encapsulate that energy into the piece through the triumphant fanfares and lively folk-style melodies that are presented throughout. I imagine a person traveling from scene to scene, witnessing wild dancers, street performers, and amorous couples until the elephants arrive to announce the grand finale.”

Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
Violin Concerto (1939)
Known for his expressiveness and tonal romanticism, American composer Samuel Barber is one of the most celebrated composers in the 20th century. Music critic Donal Henahan once stated that “probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent, and such long-lasting acclaim.” Barber’s beautiful Violin Concerto was commissioned in 1939 and premiered at the Academy of Music in February, 1941.

Barber wrote his own program notes for the premiere of the piece: “The first movement—allegro molto moderato—begins with a lyrical first subject announced at once by the solo violin, without any orchestral introduction. This movement as a whole has perhaps more the character of a sonata than concerto form. The second movement—andante sostenuto—is introduced by an extended oboe solo. The violin enters with a contrasting and rhapsodic theme, after which it repeats the oboe melody of the beginning. The last movement, a perpetuum mobile, exploits the more brilliant and virtuosic character of the violin.”

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Symphony No. 5 (1888)
Following his passion for music, Russian-born Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1865. The western-oriented education he received set him apart from composers of the nationalist movement that was sweeping Russian music at the time, defining his very personal style that reconciled his education with Russian musical traditions.

The Symphony No. 5 was composed in 1888 and was first performed with Tchaikovsky himself at the conductor’s podium in St. Petersburg. It is a cyclical symphony, with a recurring main theme that is persistently heard in all four movements. Although there is no clear programmatic content, Tchaikovsky did sketch a scenario for its first movement in his notebook, containing “…a complete resignation before fate, which is the same as the inscrutable predestination of fate.” It has since been dubbed the “fate theme,” as it has a funereal character in the first movement and gradually transforms into a triumphant march. This trajectory is especially evident even in its tonal composition, as it begins in E-minor and transcends into E-major by the last movement.

ABOUT SYMPHONY TACOMA:
Building community through music. Inspiring audiences with live musical experiences that transcend tradition, Symphony Tacoma has been a vital part of Tacoma’s cultural landscape for more than 70 years. In 2014, Symphony Tacoma welcomed music director Sarah Ioannides, whom the Los Angeles Times called “one of six female conductors breaking the glass podium.” Today’s Symphony Tacoma is a metropolitan professional symphony orchestra with more than 80 orchestral musicians and a volunteer chorus of 70. Keeping live musical performance alive in the heart of the region, Symphony Tacoma concertizes for an annual audience of nearly 20,000 citizens throughout Pierce County and the Greater Puget Sound area.
www.symphonytacoma.org

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Symphony Tacoma Announces 2018-2019 Season

Tacoma, WA—From timeless masterpieces by Tchaikovsky, Berlioz and Beethoven, to innovative works by contemporary composers, Symphony Tacoma presents a rich program line-up for its 2018-2019 season. The season includes eight concerts that run from October to May.

For the first time, the Symphony offers six classics concerts, complemented by annual holiday favorites, Sounds of the Season and Handel’s Messiah. Maestra Sarah Ioannides has carefully curated each concert to balance treasured masterpieces alongside contemporary works that are unconventional in both instrumentation and repertoire. “My planning process is a bit like a Rubik’s Cube,” says Ioannides. “I keep working the program until it feels right artistically and musically. It’s hard to put a label on that, but I’m looking for a certain kind of energy and inspiration.”

The 2018-2019 concert series highlights innovation with works by six living composers and three by women. Prominent guest artists from around the world—masters of instruments ranging from violin and piano to saxophone and tabla—will join the Symphony Tacoma orchestra on stage in the newly-renovated Pantages Theater for all but Barber & Tchaikovsky and Messiah.

Season tickets for multiple concerts are on sale through the Broadway Center for Performing Arts box office. Subscribers can choose from packages that include four to eight concerts at up to 25% off single ticket prices. Beginning August 20, tickets to individual concerts are also available for purchase. Prices range from $24 to $85. To subscribe, call 253-591-5894 or visit symphonytacoma.org.

2018 – 2019 CONCERTS:

Barber & Tchaikovsky
Saturday, October 20 | 7:30 pm
Rialto Theater
Sarah Ioannides, Conductor
Jennifer Frautschi, violin

Stephanie Berg: Ravish and Mayhem
Barber: Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5

Timeless classics by Barber and Tchaikovsky are paired with a new voice in the compositional world. Stephanie Berg’s Ravish and Mayhem is sizzling and fresh, “a little exotic with a lot of pizzazz.” Grammy-nominated violinist Jennifer Frautschi lends her mastery of Barber’s Violin Concerto’s lyrical passages with her 1722 Stradivarius violin. Tchaikovsky’s epic Symphony No. 5 concludes Symphony Tacoma’s season opener.

Symphonie Fantastique
Saturday, November 17 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, Conductor
Henry Kramer, piano

Chabrier: España
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Symphony Tacoma’s exciting and varied premiere in the refurbished and acoustically-enhanced Pantages Theater. Chabrier’s España captures the composer’s reflections of a visit to Spain. Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 features rising-star pianist Henry Kramer whose playing has been described as “precise as a faceted diamond.” Rounding out the program is Berlioz’s dramatic Symphonie Fantastique which tells the story of the artist’s self-destructive passion for a beautiful woman.

Sounds of the Season
Sunday, December 2 | 2:30 pm
Pantages Theater

Geoffrey Boers, Conductor
Marlette Buchanan, soprano
Tacoma Symphony Voices and Tacoma Youth Chorus

Symphony Tacoma’s annual collage of seasonal delights for the whole family. The program features Gospel and spiritual favorites, featuring local soprano Marlette Buchanan. Selections include classics from cherished Christmas television programs and movies, moving choral masterpieces, and the ever-popular carol sing-along.

Handel’s Messiah
Friday, December 14 | 7:30 pm
St. Charles Borromeo

Sarah Ioannides, Conductor
Symphony Tacoma Voices

Perhaps the world’s most well-known and beloved choral work, George Frederick Handel’s Messiah has transcended its time and place to become a “work of the people” shared by audiences and musicians around the world. This holiday classic oratorio is performed by the talented orchestra and vocalists of Symphony Tacoma Voices.

Beyond the Silk Road
Saturday, February 23 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, Conductor
Sandeep Das, tabla

Daniel Ott: Fire-Mountain (reprise)
Wijeratne: Tabla Concerto
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherezade

An homage to native traditions. A reprise of Fire-Mountain, originally commissioned and performed by Symphony Tacoma in 2017, paints a musical portrait of Mount Rainier’s melting glaciers by Puyallup native Daniel Ott. Grammy-winning tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das will perform Wijeratne’s Tabla Concerto, which he calls “the best Western classical piece written for my instrument.” Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade tells the captivating story of Arabian Nights through beautiful orchestration and thematic elements.

Rainier Sunrise
Saturday, March 23 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, Conductor
Svend Rønning, violin & Thane Lewis, viola

Karel Butz: Rainier Sunrise
Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite
Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola

These elegant and melodic works are usually attributed to chamber music. Rainier Sunrise by Seattle native Karel Butz “captures the peaceful emotions associated with the grandeur and beauty of Mount Rainier’s Sunrise Trail.” Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite was originally written as a ballet reconstructed from Baroque compositions by Giambattista Pergolesi. Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll was a birthday gift to his wife and dedicated to their newborn son. One of the most celebrated duets ever written, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola will feature Symphony Tacoma’s Concertmaster Svend Rønning and Principal Violist Thane Lewis.

Saxophone Fusion
Saturday, April 20 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, Conductor
James Carter, saxophone

Fanny Mendelssohn: Overture in C
Poulenc: Sinfonietta
Roberto Sierra: Caribbean Rhapsody
Milhaud: La Création du Monde (with multimedia)

Diverse cultures and rare influences present a wide representation of our society. Fanny Mendelssohn’s Overture in C was her only-known full orchestral work, written at a time when musical careers were considered inappropriate for women. Poulenc’s satirical Sinfonietta represents works by Les Six, a group of young composers who sought to free French music from foreign domination in post-World War I Europe. Puerto Rico native Roberto Sierra’s Caribbean Rhapsody, written for saxophone virtuoso James Carter, combines classical and Latin jazz influences. Milhaud’s La Création du Monde tells the creation story according to African folk mythology with influences of Harlem Renaissance jazz and a multimedia film with art visuals, from African tribal sculptures to works by Picasso and Gauguin.

Ode to Joy
Saturday, May 11 | 7:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Sarah Ioannides, Conductor
Symphony Tacoma Voices

World Premiere TBD
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 “Choral”

The season grand finale. Beethoven’s remarkable Symphony No. 9 was the longest and most complex symphony of its time and has been referred to as “the symphony to end all symphonies.” It was first composed to include chorus and vocal soloists with the inclusion of Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy in the final movement, making it one of the most recognized melodies of all time. This classic favorite will be paired with a new commission by an American female composer.

About Symphony Tacoma:
Building community through music. Inspiring audiences with live musical experiences that transcend tradition, Symphony Tacoma has been a vital part of Tacoma’s cultural landscape for more than 70 years. In 2014, Symphony Tacoma welcomed music director Sarah Ioannides, whom the Los Angeles Times called “one of six female conductors breaking the glass podium.” Today’s Symphony Tacoma is a metropolitan professional symphony orchestra with more than 80 orchestral musicians and a volunteer chorus of 70. Keeping live musical performance alive in the heart of the region, Symphony Tacoma concertizes for an annual audience of nearly 20,000 citizens throughout Pierce County and the Greater Puget Sound area.

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Symphony Tacoma Announces New Executive Director Karina Bharne

TACOMA, WA — Symphony Tacoma is pleased to announce the appointment of Karina Bharne as its new executive director. Bharne replaces Andy Buelow, who left Symphony Tacoma in December after a decade in the role, and Kit Evans who has served as interim executive director since January. Bharne’s tenure will begin in September in time for the Symphony’s season opening concert on October 20.

“We were fortunate to have had an exceptionally strong pool of candidates, and even more fortunate to have been able to engage Karina Bharne to be Symphony Tacoma’s next executive director,” said Mike De Luca, president of the board of directors. “Karina’s strong experience and background, as well as the vibrant, thoughtful and innovative approach she brings to her work, have led to the successes she has had to this point in her career. She is perfectly positioned to lead Symphony Tacoma, in partnership with Maestra Sarah Ioannides, to achieving our aspirational vision of building community through music and becoming indispensable to our community.”

Bharne is experienced in all facets of orchestra administration. In her most recent role, she served as the interim executive director with the San Antonio Symphony where she successfully stabilized operations during a time of significant organizational change. Her roles at San Antonio Symphony also included vice president/general manager and director of orchestra personnel. Prior to San Antonio, Bharne worked as the managing director of operations for the Goh Ballet in Vancouver, BC, and in a variety of roles with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. A trained musician, she earned her BFA in trombone performance and MAM in arts management from Carnegie Mellon University.

“I am honored to join Symphony Tacoma and partner with the musicians, chorus, board and staff to further the organization’s mission,” said Bharne. “I am excited to become more acquainted with the beautiful city of Tacoma and to continue building and strengthening the impact that the organization has on the community through meaningful collaborations, as well as furthering the strong artistic vision created by Maestra Ioannides.”

In her free time, Bharne has been an active volunteer with Spay Neuter Inject Protect San Antonio (SNIPSA), an organization dedicated to helping create a sustainable animal population. She also enjoys running and cooking with her husband, Ilan Morgenstern, who is the bass trombonist for the Vancouver Symphony.

The executive director search process was facilitated by Arts Consulting Group, a national provider of executive search and other services for the arts and culture industry. “ACG congratulates the many stakeholders involved in the search process who will benefit from Karina’s expertise and passion for classical music,” commented Peter Mraz, ACG Associate Vice President.

About Symphony Tacoma:
Building community through music. Inspiring audiences with live musical experiences that transcend tradition, Symphony Tacoma has been a vital part of Tacoma’s cultural landscape for 70 years. In 2014, Symphony Tacoma welcomed music director Sarah Ioannides, whom the Los Angeles Times called “one of six female conductors breaking the glass podium.” Today’s Symphony Tacoma is a metropolitan professional symphony orchestra with more than 80 orchestral musicians and a volunteer chorus of 70. Keeping live musical performance alive in the heart of the region, Symphony Tacoma concertizes for an annual audience of nearly 20,000 citizens throughout Pierce County and the Greater Puget Sound area.
www.symphonytacoma.org

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Metropolitan Opera star joins Symphony Tacoma for Season Finale Wagner & Poulenc

TACOMA, WA – Metropolitan Opera soprano Kelly Cae Hogan joins Symphony Tacoma and Symphony Tacoma Voices for a program of selections by composers Richard Wagner and Francis Poulenc. The concert marks the end of the Symphony’s 2017-18 season and will take place in the Pantages Theater at 7:30 pm on Saturday, May 12, 2018.

The repertoire features masterpieces composed for orchestra and voice. Poulenc’s (1899-1963) exuberant and uplifting Gloria features solos by Hogan along with the Symphony Tacoma Voices chorus led by Dr. Geoffrey Boers. Commissioned in 1959 by the Koussevitsky Foundation of America, the lyrics are taken from a religious service and set to a vibrant musical score.

Contrasting the lightness of Poulenc is a selection of orchestra overtures and favorite moments from Wagner compositions. Wagner (1813-1883) is known for his operas or “music dramas” in which the music itself serves as a dramatic thread led by the orchestra and refined with voices. Die Meistersingers von Nurnberg (The Mastersingers of Nurnberg), Wagner’s only attempt at comedy, is rich in melody and addresses the joyful art of songwriting. Der fliegende Holläder (The Flying Dutchman) features musical mimicry to portray nature, and the tonal harmonies in the love story of Tristan and Isolde convey a strong sense of desire. Hogan’s vibrant soprano will bring life to the character of Isolde.

The concert concludes with the soaring Die Walküre (Ride of the Valkyries), perhaps Wagner’s most well-known work. The dramatic score imparts the story of four Valkyrie sisters performing their noble duty of transporting their fallen heroes to Valhalla.

Tickets for the concert start at $19.50 and are available for purchase at www.symphonytacoma.org or by calling the Broadway Center box office at 253.591.5894.

Wagner & Poulenc is sponsored by Warfield Creative and Showcase Magazine.

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About Kelly Cae Hogan:
American soprano Kelly Cae Hogan has attracted international attention for her dramatic portrayals in Wagner, Strauss, Verdi and Puccini. She sang Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen for Opera North at the Royal Festival Hall in London, as well as on tour in several other UK cities. At the Metropolitan Opera in New York, she sang in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk as well as Gerhilde in Die Walküre. A native of Iowa, Hogan was a winner of the American Opera Awards and a New York winner of the MacAllister Awards. She and her husband have homes in Manhattan and Lexington, SC. http://kellycaehogan.com/

About Symphony Tacoma Voices:
The 70-member Symphony Tacoma Voices has a long and proud history as part of the Symphony Tacoma organization. The choir consists of professional singers, music educators, as well as amateur singers ages 18 to 86 from across all walks of life in the south Puget Sound region. Under the leadership of Geoffrey Boers, the choir has toured to China, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, and Bosnia.