Symphony Tacoma is ready to begin its 2017-18 season. Programmatically the symphony’s core season includes five main-series classical concerts, holiday choral pops and springtime orchestral pops, and annual performances of Handel’s Messiah. These concerts are primarily held at the downtown Broadway Center for the Performing Arts in the historic Pantages and Rialto theaters, where Symphony Tacoma has been one of the primary resident arts organizations for more than 30 years.
Symphony Tacoma 2017-18 Season Schedule:
‘West Side Story’
Oct. 21, 7:30-10 p.m. Pantages Theater, $19-$82
Music critic Donal Henahan called Leonard Bernstein “One of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.” Known to friends and fans as “Lenny,” he was an accomplished composer, conductor, pianist, and humanitarian. In observance of the international Bernstein at 100 celebration, Symphony Tacoma presents works from this great personality known for his message of understanding and hope — nowhere better demonstrated than in his score to “West Side Story.” The Symphony Tacoma Voices and a cast of 7 stellar vocal soloists will join the Orchestra for this unforgettable and moving performance.
Stravinsky & Tchaikovsky
Nov. 18, 7:30-10 p.m. Pantages Theater, $19
Stravinsky’s ballet about the magical Firebird was met with critical acclaim and marked the young composer’s breakthrough into the world of classical music. Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G starts with bright and boundless energy, followed by a soulful, introspective second movement. Young pianist Andrew Tyson, called “a real poet of the piano” by BBC Radio 3, makes his debut with Symphony Tacoma. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, hailed as one of the most “towering symphonic structures in our whole literature” by music experts, was said by the composer to deal with the power of fate.
Sounds of the Season
Dec. 3, 2:30-4 p.m. Pantages Theater, $19
This is the symphony’s annual collage of seasonal delights for the whole family, featuring classics from cherished TV and Christmas movies, moving choral masterpieces, and a carol sing-along. The concert will include such delights as “The Little Drummer Boy,” “The Sleigh,” “My Favorite Things,” “Joy to the World,” and many other carols. Orchestral works will include “The Flight into Egypt” from Respighi’s Church Windows, the Fantasia on “Greensleeves” by Vaughan Williams, Elgar’s The Snow, Prokofiev’s Troika. Choral works will include John Rutter’s “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” Eric Whitacre’s “Glow” and much more.
Messiah Dec. 14, 7:30-10 p.m.
Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, Gig Harbor
Dec. 15, 7:30-10 p.m.
St. Charles Borromeo, 7112 S. 12th St.
Vocal soloists and the Orchestra perform Handel’s beloved holiday classic – featuring the rousing “Hallelujah” chorus!
Elgar & Sibelius
Feb. 24, 2018, 7:30-10 p.m. Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, $19
Feb. 25, 2018, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., $19
Marie Samuelsson’s music is sparse and lush at the same time — and deeply spiritual. Sarah Ioannides conducted the 2016 World Premiere of “The Eros Effect and Solidarity in Sweden,” and now she presents the U.S. premiere. “The Eros Effect and Solidarity” highlights the human capacity to respond in solidarity during social movements. “This piece is a very touching, moving, spiritual work,” says Maestra Ioannides. “It communicates through melody, harmony and vocalizing, using special techniques that you don’t often hear.” At one point, she reveals, the orchestra literally whispers the meaning behind this piece. “It hauntingly speaks to the love and solidarity of the human race.”
Principal Cello of the Seattle Symphony since fall 2011, Efe Baltacıgil was previously Associate Principal Cello of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2003. Symphony Tacoma is pleased to welcome him for his Tacoma debut in the Elgar Cello Concerto. Now a cornerstone of the cello repertoire, it was virtually unknown until the great Jacqueline du Pré reintroduced it in the 1960s.
The program concludes with Sibelius’s beautiful Symphony No. 2 of 1902, hailed by many as a clarion call to Finland’s independence, but called “a confession of the soul” by the composer himself.
Beethoven & Brahms
March 25, 2018, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., $19-$82
Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 10 in E Flat Major is a hypothetical work, assembled in 1988 by Barry Cooper from Beethoven’s fragmentary sketches. This title is controversial since it cannot be proven that all the sketches assembled were meant for the same piece. There is, however, consensus that Beethoven did intend another symphony, and this is a fascinating, provocative and beautiful work.
2016 was a landmark season for Charles Butler, during which he landed dual appointments as Principal Trumpet with Symphony Tacoma and Portland Opera. With this performance, Butler makes his Tacoma solo debut in Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto. This work of 1796 was among the first written for the fancy newfangled keyed trumpet, which–unlike the old natural trumpet–could play chromatically throughout its entire range.
Brahms spent at least 14 years completing his Symphony No. 1, which was finally premiered in 1876. Conductor Hans von Bülow referred to it as “Beethoven’s 10th,” noting the strong resemblance between the main theme of the finale and that of the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Also, Brahms uses the rhythm of the “fate” motto from the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. This comparison annoyed Brahms; his use of Beethoven’s idiom was an act of conscious homage, not plagiarism. Brahms himself said, when comment was made on the similarity with Beethoven, “any ass can see that.”
April 22, 2018, 2:30- 4:30 p.m. Pantages Theater, $19-$82
Experience four mesmerizing women from the four corners of the world! Featuring violin, clarinet, piano and cello, these highly acclaimed musicians put a new spin on Classics. From Astor Piazolla to Led Zeppelin, their performances are modern, cutting edge, romantic, and lush. A perfect date night!
Poulenc & Wagner
May 12, 2018, 7:30-10 p.m. Pantages Theater, $19-$82
Metropolitan Opera star Kelly Cae Hogan, hailed by Opera Britannica for her “effortless radiance…vocal triumph,” graces a spectacular program that includes Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from “Tristan and Isolde,” the tour-de-force “Overture to Die Meistersinger” and the soaring and inspirational “Ride of the Valkyries.” The acclaimed 70-voice Symphony Tacoma Voices will thrill with Poulenc’s sparkling, extroverted setting of the Gloria, called “riotously wild, spiky, and humorous” by The Observer.