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’s Mini Maestros Children’s Concert Series Returns for a Seventh Year

Tacoma, Wash. – Symphony Tacoma is pleased to announce the schedule for its 2019 Mini Maestros program designed for kids ages 2-8 and their families. The four-concert series offers an interactive, close encounter with Symphony Tacoma musicians and their instruments. With curriculum prepared by Early Childhood Learning experts, the 45-minute “informances” get kids physically and mentally engaged with the music.­

The first three concerts highlight a different family of instruments—strings, brass and percussion. Symphony Tacoma educators introduce the instruments and explain musical concepts. Orchestra members demonstrate the concepts through a selection of songs that children respond to by singing dancing, marching and clapping their hands. Each of these concerts includes an instrument “petting zoo” that begins one hour before the performances. The petting zoo allows children to touch and try out the musical instruments with the assistance of Tacoma Youth Symphony students.

The grand finale concert is Sergei Prokofiev’s classic Peter and the Wolf, which introduces the different instruments in the orchestra as characters in the classic Russian folk tale. Featuring the full orchestra, it provides a culmination of concepts learned in the previous concerts.

All concerts are held at the University of Puget Sound’s Schneebeck Concert Hall at 2:30 pm on Sunday afternoons. Tickets are $7 for children and $10 for adults, plus box office fees.

More information: symphonytacoma.org/youth/family-concerts

MINI MAESTROS SCHEDULE:

January 13: The Great String Thing-a-Machine!
Featuring the String Quintet
Join the Symphony Tacoma String Quintet for an inside look into the string family. Explore the contrasts of high/low, slow/fast and major/ minor while learning what make the string family truly unique. This concert’s music includes a balance of popular classical era pieces and children’s tunes that the whole family will enjoy.

February 24: Brass Ahoy! Shiver Me Timbres
Featuring the Brass Quintet
Ahoy! The Symphony Tacoma Brass Quintet is hitting the high seas and taking you with them! Join the crew of the mighty brass-beards for a sea-themed musical adventure and search for musical treasures like timbre, pulse, dynamics and range. Featured music includes a variety of tunes inspired by pirates, the sea and Russian sailors.

March 24: Around the World in 80 Drums!
Featuring the Percussion Quartet
Take a whirlwind tour of the percussion family with the Symphony Tacoma Percussion Quartet. Explore the elements of rhythm, timbre and pulse and get an inside look at the world of percussion instruments from around the world. Pack your imagination as we embark on this exciting adventure!

May 5: Peter and the Wolf
Featuring the Full Orchestra
Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s 1936 classic Peter and the Wolf tells the story of a young boy living with his grandfather in a forest clearing, and the adventure he and his animal friends have when a wolf comes through the garden gate. This marvelous work introduces the different instruments in the orchestra, with each character portrayed by a different instrument or group of instruments. Note: No instrument petting zoo for this performance.

The Mini Maestros Series is sponsored by Ted Brown Music.

Symphony Tacoma Rings in the Holiday Season with Festive Performances

The holidays are coming and Symphony Tacoma has the music! From family favorite carols to gospel classics and Handel’s beloved Messiah, the holiday line-up has something for every music enthusiast.

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

Geoffrey Boers, conductor
Marlette Buchanan, soprano
Tacoma Youth Symphony
Symphony Tacoma Voices
Tickets: $24-$85

On Sunday, December 2, the Pantages Theater stage will be brimming with musicians and instruments when Symphony Tacoma presents Sounds of the Season, its annual collage of seasonal delights for the whole family. This year’s program features soprano Marlette Buchanan, an accomplished performer of opera, musical theatre, gospel, reggae and country music. The Tacoma Youth Chorus, under the direction of Judy Herrington, and Symphony Tacoma Voices complete the vocal line-up.

Symphony Tacoma Voices Director Geoffrey Boers will conduct the performance. Selections range from well-known favorites like Oh Come All Ye Faithful and Go Tell it on the Mountain to a special arrangement of Stars Tonight by Herrington and Sarah Ioannides. Audience members can join in during the ever-popular carol sing-along.

Prior to the concert, attendees will enjoy selections performed by the Tacoma Youth Symphony’s Brass Choir while enjoying holiday treats provided by Stadium Thriftway beginning at 1:45 pm.

Sounds of the Season is sponsored by Columbia Bank, Stadium Thriftway and The News Tribune. 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.

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

Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Tess Altiveros, soprano | Laurel Semerdjian, alto
John Marzano, tenor | Glenn Guhr, bass
Symphony Tacoma Voices
Tickets: $30-$48

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 will be conducted by Music Director Sarah Ioannides and performed by the talented Symphony Tacoma orchestra and vocalists of Symphony Tacoma Voices.

Handel was fascinated by human feelings and experience, and Messiah is his musical depiction of the human experience of the divine. Originally intended for the Easter season, it is now closely associated with Christmas. Audience members customarily stand during its most well-known segment, the “Hallelujah Chorus” following the tradition set by King George II who, according to legend, leapt to his feet when he first heard it.

Featured soloists include Tess Altiveros, soprano; Laurel Semerdjian, alto; John Marzano, tenor; and Glenn Guhr, bass.  The 75-member, all-volunteer Symphony Tacoma Voices includes professional singers and gifted amateurs who perform regularly in concert with Symphony Tacoma and in stand-alone engagements.

Tickets are on sale through the Tacoma Arts Live box office at 253-591-5894 or symphonytacoma.org.

Messiah is sponsored by Connelly Law and CHI Franciscan.
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.

ADDITIONAL SYMPHONY TACOMA HOLIDAY PERFORMANCES:

73RD Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
Saturday, November 24 | 4:30 pm
Pantages Theater
Symphony Tacoma’s Brass Quintet will serenade community members at the 73rd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting in downtown Tacoma, a local holiday tradition since World War II. This family-friendly event, presented by Tacoma Arts Live, is free and open to the public. More information 

Woodwind Trio at Stadium Thriftway
Friday, December 14 | 4-6 pm
Stadium Thriftway, 618 N First Street, Tacoma
Warm up with a cup of coffee and enjoy some holiday music by Symphony Tacoma’s Woodwind Trio at Stadium Thriftway before heading to Messiah.

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 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.

‘Hip Harpist’ Returns to Tacoma for an Earth Day Concert with Symphony Tacoma

TACOMA, WA–Symphony Tacoma welcomes Grammy-nominated electric harp virtuoso Deborah Henson-Conant back to Tacoma for a special Earth Day performance. Earth Songs from the Harp will take place on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 2:30 pm in Tacoma’s Pantages Theater.

For this concert, Henson-Conant and Maestra Sarah Ioannides are planning a celebration of the joy, passion and humor of living on Planet Earth. Composed by Henson-Conant for electric harp, voice and orchestra, the music is inspired by Jazz, Latin, Blues, Musical Theater and Flamenco. Selections range from Belinda, a tender, melodic tribute to a tree, to Catcher in the Rye, a jungle warrior tribute to J.D. Salinger’s literary masterpiece, and Nightingale, a sweet lullaby.

Henson-Conant’s previous Tacoma performance resulted in a sold-out show in 2011. “I am thrilled to bring Deborah back!” says Ioannides. “She is one of the most unique and exciting artists we have presented, and this concert provides an opportunity for all to be a part of the wonder and diversity she brings.”

Henson-Conant’s voice has been compared to Carly Simon and Joan Baez; her playing to Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix; and her humor to Victor Borge and Eddie Izzard. Her signature instrument, the “DHC Light” electric body harp, was invented by Henson-Conant in collaboration with the French harp-builder CAMAC. “I wanted to take an 80-pound concert harp and shrink it down to an instrument I could strap on my hip and play like an electric guitar,” she says.  It allows her to stride onto stage like a rock star and delight audiences with songs and stories and a performance that is bigger-than-life, inventive and unexpected.

An ensemble of local harpists will accompany Henson-Conant on stage for a portion of the concert and harpists will be available with their instruments after the concert for guests to interact with. Tickets 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.

Earth Songs from the Harp is sponsored by KeyBank Foundation and Marine Floats, with support from the Tacoma Philharmonic Endowment.

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About Deborah Henson-Conant:

Deborah Henson-Conant is a Grammy-nominated electric harp virtuoso with a wicked sense of humor, a gutsy set of vocal chords and a theatrical flair. As an instrumentalist, she has brought the harp from the background and put it front and center. As a composer, she’s created concert, symphonic and music-theater works, from serious chamber operas and song cycles, to flamenco-inspired concertos and fantasies. She has released over a dozen albums, composed nearly 50 symphonic works and performed internationally for nearly three decades.  http://www.hipharp.com/

 

2018 Simply Symphonic culminates with live concerts

Tacoma, Wash. – Students and orchestras will come together world-wide this April in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute “Link Up” program, and Symphony Tacoma joins over 70 other orchestras across the globe as a Link Up partner orchestra through its popular education program, Simply Symphonic.

More than 4,000 4th and 5th grade students have been utilizing the Link Up curriculum since late January in the classroom. These students will all converge on the Pantages Theater for concerts held at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 19. Many will bring violins or recorders, others will sing, engaging actively in music making along with the Symphony. This year, Symphony Tacoma focuses on The Orchestra Moves, the second of Link Up’s three curriculum cycles—centered on all the different ways in which instruments, sound and even the audience “move” with the music.

“The strength of the Link Up program is that students are given the opportunity to be active participants in making music. Few other art forms provide the opportunity to participate collectively, which is a special magic of music,” says Music Director Sarah Ioannides.

Students first learn to sing or play an instrument in their classrooms, depending on the teacher and school capabilities and preferences. Then, they bring these skills to the concert hall, performing with the orchestra from their seats while the music is projected on screens above the stage. Link Up reaches nearly 250,000 students nationwide and is expanding beyond the US, partnering with orchestras in Canada, Spain, and Japan. As part of the partnership, participating schools are given access to downloadable curriculum guides for each teacher (featuring lessons on singing, playing the soprano recorder or violin, reading and notating music, and composing and improvising music) with accompanying audio and visual files for school use, as well as activities for students to try at home.

Simply Symphonic is open to 4th and 5th grade classrooms in the greater Pierce County area with scholarships available for schools with student populations in need. The Symphony commits to providing access to this award-winning program by keeping the participation fee low, at $3 per student. Since these fees cover only 15% of the program costs, the Symphony seeks sponsors to provide additional support. This year’s corporate partners include Aetna, ArtsFund, Callisons, Lexus of Tacoma at Fife, Summit Financial Group, and U.S. Bank. For more information: SymphonyTacoma.org or 253-272-7264.