Published on September 28th, 2021

Symphony Tacoma will open its 75th Anniversary Season on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 7:30 pm in the Pantages Theater. The concert will feature a selection of works from different eras that offer hope and healing.

“There is no substitute for live music!” said Executive Director Karina Bharne. “We are thrilled that our 75th Anniversary Season had finally arrived, and we look forward to welcoming audiences to the Pantages Theater once again. “To ensure the safety of our audience, musicians and staff, we are asking all patrons to follow our COVID-19 vaccine, testing and masking policy prior to coming to the concert hall.”

“This program is a celebration of Symphony Tacoma’s first 75 years as well as a thank you to our community for their ongoing support. It is also a tribute to the hardships and losses our world has experienced over the past year,” said Music Director Sarah Ioannides. “We are all so incredibly happy to finally be able to bring back Symphony Tacoma, in person, and I have been longing for this moment for months!”

The concert will open with composer and musician Patrice Rushen’s vibrant Color Express, the first movement from her first symphony, Sinfonia. “I selected this piece for its thrilling energy, bursts of happiness and symphonic sounds that call for new voices,” said Ioannides. “It reflects Patrice’s desire to bring momentum and energy into African American compositions being performed by orchestras following the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Harvard and Juilliard-trained pianist Charlie Albright will be the evening’s guest soloist. A Centralia native, Albright will perform Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in his signature playful, athletic style.

“I’m excited to perform once again with our good friend Charlie Albright. Shostakovich’s second piano concerto has long been a favorite of mine—it was the piece I performed for my audition with Symphony Tacoma!” said Ioannides. “It is also a favorite of Charlie’s that brought him great renown when he toured with the BBC Concert Orchestra. It will bring uplifting energy to the stage and to our audience.”

Considered one of the defining works of the Romantic era, the final piece on the program is Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique.” Dramatically emotional, it is known as the “passionate symphony” and was the composer’s final work, premiering just nine days before his untimely death. Reflective of Tchaikovsky’s melancholic nature, Ioannides selected this work as a tribute to the tremendous losses and suffering caused by the world pandemic.

“There are few works that really convey the emotional depth of suffering of the soul. A work that also has fighting optimism and balletic beauty, Tchaikovsky here is more than ever the master of tugging at our heartstrings. My hope is this will be a time of healing for our community,” said Ioannides.

The opening night concert is sponsored by Gordon Thomas Honeywell, University of Puget Sound, Eliseo, Marlene’s Market & Deli and Tacoma Arts Month.