Tacoma, Wash.  –  The first official observance of the highly anticipated Bernstein Centennial in the Pacific Northwest.  The first performance of Barry Cooper’s innovative realization of Beethoven’s “10th Symphony” in the South Sound.  The first U.S. performance of Swedish composer Marie Samuelsson’s 2016 The Eros Effect and Solidarity.  The Tacoma solo debuts of pianist Andrew Tyson, Seattle Symphony cellist Efe Baltacigil, Metropolitan Opera soprano Kelly Cae Hogan, and new Principal Trumpet Charles Butler.  Symphony Tacoma’s 2017-2018 Season, announced this week, abounds with firsts.

 “At Symphony Tacoma, we strive to put community first, to welcome our audience in, going beyond tradition to surprise and captivate,” said Music Director Sarah Ioannides.  “Every concert on the 2017-2018 Season was meticulously curated with this vision foremost in mind.”


The season opens with a full evening of music by Leonard Bernstein, featuring his legendary musical West Side Story.  The seven major roles of the musical will be filled by soloists from the community, selected by auditions to be held this spring.  Also heavily in the spotlight during the season opening concert will be the acclaimed Symphony Tacoma Voices, directed by
Dr. Geoffrey Boers.
2017-2018 closes with another Symphony Tacoma first: an evening of works by Richard Wagner, including the Overture to Die Meistersinger, Ride of the Valkyries, and the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, featuring Kelly Cae Hogan.  The music of this greatest of all German Romantics is paired with French composer Francis Poulenc’s 1961 Gloria.
Other major orchestral works to be heard next season include Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 (its first performance by Symphony Tacoma), and Brahms’s Symphony No. 1.


Hailed by BBC Radio 3 as “a poet of the piano,” Andrew Tyson makes his Symphony Tacoma debut on November 18 performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. In summer 2015, he was awarded First Prize at the Géza Anda Competition in Zürich, as well as the Mozart and Audience Prizes. He is a laureate of the Leeds International Piano Competition where he won the new Terence Judd-Hallé Orchestra Prize.
Turkish cellist Efe Baltacıgil, Principal Cello of the Seattle Symphony since 2011, will perform the Elgar Cello Concerto on February 24 and 25.  Baltacigil was acclaimed by audiences and critics alike in February 2005 when he and pianist Emanuel Ax provided an impromptu performance of Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No.1 at a Philadelphia Orchestra concert when a winter snowstorm prevented most of the Orchestra from reaching the concert hall. The Philadelphia Inquirercited his “gorgeous sound, strong personality, and expressive depth.”
2016 was a landmark season for Charles Butler, during which he landed dual appointments as Principal Trumpet with Symphony Tacoma and Portland Opera. On March 25, 2018 Butler will make his Tacoma solo debut in Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto. The busy former Seattle Symphony member continues to perform with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Oregon Symphony, Oregon Ballet Theater, Bellingham Festival of Music and Issaquah’s Village Theater.
American soprano Kelly Cae Hogan, called “viscerally exciting” and “a revelation” by the Washington Times, will perform as soloist in works by Wagner and Poulenc during the Season Finale on May 12. Hogan recently made her London debut as Brünnhilde for Opera North at the Royal Festival Hall.  Other roles at the Met include Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Janáček’s From the House of the Dead, and Wagner’s Die Walküre.  The Guardian called her “bright and thrilling, incisive and sympathetic-magnificent throughout!”


Sarah Ioannides conducted the 2016 world premiere of Samuelsson’s Love Trilogy with the Nordic Chamber Orchestra.  The Eros Effect and Solidarity, the second part of the three-piece work, will open the program on February 24 and 25. “The Eros Effect” is a term coined by sociologist George N. Katsiaficas to describe the human capacity to respond in solidarity during social movements. The work includes a text (to be translated into English for this performance) which the orchestra chants behind the music.  “With Samuelsson’s music you enter a special sound world,” explains Ioannides.  “The Love Trilogy is a moving, spiritual work.”  The program will conclude with music by another Scandinavian, the Second Symphony of Jean Sibelius.


Since Sarah Ioannides’ arrival in 2014, Symphony Tacoma’s approach to orchestral pops has taken a turn toward the contemporary, with acts of artistic substance as well as entertainment value. Opus X, making its regional debut in April 2018, is a group cut from this cloth.  The “Charlie’s Angels of classical music,” this striking quartet consists of four virtuoso women soloists from the four corners of the world: Austrian violinist Lidia Baich, Danish pianist Tanja Zapolski, British clarinetist Lone Madsen, and Japanese-American cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper. From Handel to Led Zeppelin, their concerts bring a touch of glam rock to the classics!


Current season ticket holders are being mailed renewal materials.  New subscription orders are also being accepted; new subscribers will be seated after renewing subscribers and in advance of tickets going on sale to the general public.  Subscription offerings-starting at $111-include the Premier 8 (all concerts), and the Master 6 (all five Classics concerts and Spring Pops).  Subscribers save up to 25%-the equivalent of getting two concerts free.  To subscribe, call 253-272-7264 or email info@symphonytacoma.org.
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