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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