Published on March 8th, 2024


Contact: Jennifer Cargile, (253) 272-7264



Symphony Tacoma presents


Saturday, March 16th – 7:30pm
Pantages Theater

Sarah Ioannides, conductor
Ronaldo Rolim, piano



Tacoma, WA — March 5, 2024 – On Saturday, March 16th (7:30pm), Symphony Tacoma takes audiences on a journey of Transformation, traversing the landscapes of emotion and expression, illuminating the profound changes that music ignites within the soul. With the backdrop of timeless masterpieces, this concert promises an immersive experience that transcends the ordinary. From the hauntingly evocative strains of Andrée’s Intermezzo to the virtuosic fervor of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and closing with the four most famous notes in the classical repertoire, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.


Opening this transformative evening is Elfrida Andrée’s Intermezzo from her First Symphony, likely the earliest symphony written by a Swedish woman. She was also one of the first female organists to be officially appointed at Gothenburg Cathedral (1867), the first Swedish woman to conduct a symphony orchestra, and a staunch women’s activist, challenging many barriers limiting women’s musical activities. She was later elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music for her activism and musical works.


Andrée’s Intermezzo is a poignant reflection on transformation, with delicate melodies weaving a tapestry of introspection and renewal. The piece invites listeners to witness the subtle yet profound shifts inherent in change and growth through its gentle phrasing and evocative harmonies. Like whispers carried on a gentle breeze, Andrée beckons audiences to explore the transformative power of music in moments of quiet contemplation.


Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 continues the contemplative evening, serving as a musical canvas where transformation takes center stage. From its introspective passages to its dazzling virtuosity, the concerto encapsulates the journey of personal growth, reflecting Liszt’s own transformative artistic vision. As the concerto unfolds, listeners are swept away on a voyage where each note becomes a catalyst for inner reflection and renewal.


Liszt wrote drafts of his second piano concerto during what is known as his virtuoso period (1839-1840). He then put away the manuscript for a decade before revising and scrutinizing it repeatedly for another decade, with the final set of revisions ending in 1861. Liszt was known to be able to turn out a composition at the drop of a hat; this 20-year project may reflect that he was very busy, traveling around Europe as the most celebrated piano virtuoso of his day. But that is only part of the story; he tended to agonize over any work he envisioned would live on in posterity, such as a symphony or concerto.


Often described as a “concerto of contrast,” this piece continually runs in opposites. Soft and lyrical to forceful and march-like; gentle and bright to intensely dark. This roller coaster reminds the listener that life is full of change and contrasts. The light of a sunset transforms into the dark of night; indifference transforms into love; pain can transform into joy.


It takes a deft hand and unique ability to bring such a nuanced concerto to life. Joining Symphony Tacoma to do just that is Tacoma resident and Brazilian pianist Ronaldo Rolim. Acclaimed for his “consummate elegance” (New York Concert Review), Rolim has performed extensively over four continents (including the Liszt Academy in Budapest) and claimed top prizes at numerous prestigious international competitions.


After beginning his musical studies with his mom, Miriam Pregnolato, Rolim gave his first public performance at four years old. He continued his piano studies, later receiving degrees from Magda Tagliaferro School in São Paulo, the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, and the Yale School of Music in New Haven. Not a stranger to the area, Rolim calls Tacoma home, where he is a professor of Piano and Director of Keyboard Studies at the University of Puget Sound. He was just named the newest member of the Puget Sound Piano Trio, which for 35 years has performed all around the US while firmly committed to community engagement and music education.


Da, Da, Da, Duh. Those four simple notes open Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and take the listener on a journey of transformation, unfolding with every resounding note as motifs evolve and themes undergo profound change, echoing Beethoven’s own triumph over adversity. This iconic and universally recognized masterpiece was composed during a period of personal turmoil for Beethoven and is a tribute to his resilience and creative genius. Opening with perhaps the most famous four-note motif in the history of Western classical music, often referred to as “short-short-short-long” or “fate knocking at the door,” this motif serves as the driving force throughout the symphony. From its iconic opening bars to its triumphant finale, Beethoven’s Fifth embodies the essence of transformation, mirroring the human spirit’s resilience and capacity for evolution. As the symphony’s melodies intertwine and develop, they weave a narrative of transformation that transcends time, resonating with audiences across generations.


​Tickets for Symphony Tacoma’s Transformation, available at the Symphony Tacoma Box Office, symphonytacoma.org, or 253-272-7264. Prices range from $24 to $89.

Symphony Tacoma’s 2023-2024 season is sponsored by Tacoma Creates. Transformation is sponsored University of Puget Sound, Timothy E. Williams Attorney at Law, Classic Pianos, and Happy Duo Café.

Building community through music. Symphony Tacoma is a dynamic professional orchestra composed of local musicians dedicated to making great music accessible to all. Led by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, the orchestra is committed to engaging, educating, and inspiring the community through transformative musical experiences. www.symphonytacoma.org




FRANZ LISZT | Piano Concerto No. 2
LUDWIG von BEETHOVEN | Symphony No. 5

  • Interviews with Symphony Tacoma Music Director, Sarah Ioannides and attendance at a rehearsal are available upon request.
  • Contact Symphony Tacoma Marketing Manager, Jennifer Cargile at Marketing@SymphonyTacoma.org, or 907-227-1401 to make arrangements.