We’ve got a confession: we’re just as excited about the Seattle Symphony’s upcoming season as you are. Do you have favorites for the 12/13 season? So do we!
Want to know who’s bonkers for Brahms? Curious who’s transfixed by Turangalîla? Read on for some staff favorites.
An even better idea: come up with your own favorites — it’s okay to cheat and copy some of ours; we won’t tell — and build your own 3-, 4-, or 6-concert series with our Create Your Own series!
Special Event Manager
The concert that I am most looking forward to is Ludovic Morlot conducting Mahler’s sublime Fourth Symphony. The beauty of the third movement alone could break the stoniest heart, but the fourth movement’s setting of a poem from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, in which the joys of heaven are described through the innocent eyes of a child, causes me to grin from ear to ear. I mean, who doesn’t want to live where “Wine doesn’t cost a penny,” “we dance and we skip” and “the angels bake the bread”? And the best part is that this joy-filled celebration of life is set to some of the most gorgeous music Mahler ever composed.
Also, Sibelius is one of my favorite composers, being Finnish myself. So of course, how could I not look forward to hearing his marvelous Violin Concerto performed by the incomparable Hilary Hahn. This is one of those evocative pieces of music that haunt the listener for days.
Production Manager & Assistant to the Music Director
I am probably most excited about the 1962 [untitled] series program in October because we have never done anything like this before. The point of this performance is to create an incredibly interactive environment where musicians and audience alike can explore the space and experience the music in the moment together. Especially because it will be an absolutely new concept for everyone, I think it will be almost like Choose Your Own Adventure!
Assistant Personnel Manager (and former member of the Seattle Symphony horn section)
I’ll pick the Mahler 4, Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony and Britten’s War Requiem. I love Mahler 4 and I think pairing it with the Berg Violin Concerto is a great choice. The Turangalîla Symphony and War Requiem because they are great 20th century works. I regret I was not able to perform either when I was playing in the Orchestra.
Special Events Intern
As Valentine’s Day rolls around, I can’t help but swoon over the Symphony’s performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. A master of rich harmonies and beautiful melodies, no one does romance quite like Brahms. His final symphony is no exception, with a be-still-my-heart melodic theme in the second movement and a unique passacaglia in the fourth movement that is impossible not to admire. Skip the roses and get to Benaroya Hall for a true symphonic love story.
Front Desk Receptionist
The concerts in the experimental [untitled] series are what I am looking forward to. Anything that appeals to a crowd who may not “normally” come to the symphony is something I’m all for. And, why be normal? With a piece such as the Ligeti Poeme symphonique, who can not be intrigued? Plus, a setting where the audience can hang, relax and enjoy — the Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby — makes it even better. What Ludo is doing with the Seattle Symphony is a model that needs to be followed worldwide. How lucky are we to be able to take part and Listen Boldly!
Associate Principal Librarian
Emanuel Ax playing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2: I would not miss this for the world. “Manny” is in my opinion the greatest pianist alive today. His sound is rich and deep, and yet articulate. He and Brahms and Ludo are a wonderful collision about to happen.
Elisa Barston performing Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. This is a wonderfully exciting and enigmatic piece that reminds us of the great tango music of his. Take my word for it: Elisa [Seattle Symphony Principal Second Violin] will play the varnish off her violin in this titanic piece.
The Saint-Saëns “Organ” Symphony — Never miss Ludo and a giant piece of French repertoire. Be sure not to miss this one.
Last but not least, Executive Director Simon Woods weighs in with some of his favorites.
One of the most overwhelming, sensual and uplifting experiences in the entire world of music. Nothing less. Under Ludovic Morlot this is going to be an incredible night!
I love all British music, and I think much of it is hugely under-represented in American concert halls (just as American music is under-represented in British concert halls!). The War Requiem is certainly one of the greatest works ever written by a British composer, and one of the most moving of all choral works.
András Schiff’s Bach recital
Almost nobody in the world plays Bach like András Schiff. He manages to achieve the miracle of being both supremely stylish and attentive to 18th-century style and elegance, while turning Bach’s keyboard works into a real spiritual journey.
Thomas Søndergård conducting
Of all the “emerging” conductors I have seen in recent years, I rate Søndergård as one of the most exciting of them all. He’s explosive in his energy and has great podium presence. I think it’s going to be a memorable evening, especially with our own Efe Baltacıgil playing the Rococo Variations.
Neeme Järvi conducting
I have had the good fortune to know Neeme Järvi and his wonderful musical family for many years. He has had a relationship with every orchestra that I have worked with, and I’m thrilled he’s coming to Seattle. He’s a conductor that is beloved by orchestra musicians all over the world, and when you see him you know why — his hands do all the communicating!