Sonic Evolution, Featuring Mike McCready and Mad Season Tribute


Seattle Symphony music director Ludovic Morlot with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready

See Mike and Ludo working on the new score in the most recent edition of Art Zone.

Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony will present this year’s Sonic Evolution concert on January 30, 2015. Now in its fourth year, Sonic Evolution creates a bridge between the Symphony and Seattle’s storied reputation as launching pad for some of the most creative musicians on the popular music scene. In celebration of the past, present and future of our city’s musical legacy, Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony commissioned three artists to write orchestral world premieres inspired by bands that launched from, or are related to, Seattle.

The first half of the program features three world premieres and Seattle Symphony commissions and co-commissions. French composer Yann Robin’s Ashes, a piece inspired by the iconic American rock band Nirvana, which rose to fame in Seattle in the late 1980s, will begin the program. It is followed by Beyond Much Difference by Angelique Poteat, inspired by another legendary Seattle-based rock band of the 1990s, Pearl Jam.  Poteat participated in the Seattle Symphony Young Composers Workshop from 2002 to 2004, and has since become one of the most promising young composers for new music.

The first half of the program concludes with Waking the Horizon, a piece conceived by Pearl Jam Lead Guitarist Mike McCready (arranged by Scott Teske). Joining Ludovic Morlot, the Symphony, and members of Vocalpoint! Seattle on stage, McCready will perform during the piece.  Ludovic commented during a recent score reading with McCready: “With this collaboration we are both coming out of our normal comfort zones. This is an incredible opportunity to learn from one another and give ourselves a chance to grow as artists.”

Mike McCready returns after intermission with American rock supergroup Mad Season, including original drummer Barrett Martin. The star-studded line up will also include iconic Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan. Ludovic Morlot will lead guest musicians and the Seattle Symphony in a debut performance of orchestral and solo arrangements of original Mad Season works.

Ticket availability is very limited.

Open Rehearsal for 1,000 Middle and High School Students

“You’ve opened my mind and heart to a whole new world.”

Photos (c) Brandon Patoc

On November 18th, Stilian Kirov and the Symphony hosted an Open Rehearsal for 1,000 Middle and High School students from 12 Puget Sound schools.

The Symphony performed Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 for the young audiences and gave them an opportunity to observe and participate, as well as learn about the role of a conductor, rehearsal techniques, and playing in an orchestra.

Watching my classmates conduct was so cool. It taught me new things that I never knew about conducting, such as why you use a stick so the beats are clearer for the musicians. I wish I had plucked up the courage sooner to raise my hand. You’ve opened my mind and heart to a whole new world.
-Lauren, grade 6

Open Rehearsals give students a unique opportunity to learn about symphonic music through an interactive rehearsal, ask questions, and even take a turn conducting. The Seattle Symphony is committed to offering engaging and interactive educational experiences, and making them available to all students. With the decline in arts education in our schools, our dedication to education has become increasingly vital.

If you are a teacher and would like your students to attend an upcoming open rehearsal, please contact us at for more information. 

Donors to the Seattle Symphony make programs like the student Open Rehearsal series possible. The cost of producing an Open Rehearsal is $25 per student, and more support is needed.

Will you help us with a gift today?

$50 sends 2 students to hear the orchestra
$250 covers the cost for 10 students
$500 shares this experience with a class of 20
$1,000 opens a rehearsal to 40 students


Seattle Symphony Chorale Prepares Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Seattle Symphony Vice President of Communications, Rosalie Contreras, visited a recent Seattle Symphony Chorale rehearsal for our upcoming performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Here are excerpts from her feature story in this months Encore magazine.

The Seattle Symphony Chorale rehearsing at the Swedish Cultural Center, with Joe Crnko conducting and Kimberly Russ on piano.

The Seattle Symphony Chorale rehearsing at the Swedish Cultural Center, with Joe Crnko conducting and Kimberly Russ on piano.

On a rainy Monday evening in October, members of the Seattle Symphony Chorale gather in their rehearsal space at the Swedish Cultural Center in Seattle.

Chorale members commit their time and artistry to volunteer a total of 185 hours each season, not including their own practice time. They span a variety of careers, with people in banking, medicine, law, education and tech.

While many have joined in recent years, soprano Lillian Lahiri joined the chorale in 1980. She started singing in the second grade and says that that for her, “It’s a joy watching the artistry of the chorale and the orchestra continue to increase under Joe Crnko and Ludovic Morlot’s leadership.”

Soprano Bonnie Thomas is a voice and piano teacher who has been in the chorale for 11 years. She calls it “a great joy to be part of this choir. It’s the finest choir and it’s an honor and a privilege to be part of it.”

When asked how singing in the chorale changes him, current Volunteer Council President Kevin Kralman says, “After a 10–12 hour day at work, it’s an escape. It’s something different at the end of the day. The Seattle Symphony Chorale provides a serious program with a professional environment for a volunteer group. While other choruses need to raise funds to cover their own overhead, we’re supported by the Symphony, and our job is to sing.” 

The Seattle Symphony Chorale performs Handel’s Messiah on December 19–21, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with its famous “Ode to Joy” finale on December 31 (for the New Year’s Eve Concert, Countdown & Celebration), and January 2–4.