On the Radar: Planning a Visit to the Seattle Symphony

Photo by Brandon Patoc.

When is the last time you went to the symphony?

Benaroya Hall is a beautiful and majestic venue that many of us hardly visit. Native Seattleites might remember when they took a grade school field trip to watch the symphony perform years ago. Those who are newer to the city may have never been, but many state that they’ve “been meaning to go”. The Seattle Symphony has something for everyone, offering a variety of programs, from casual and short to more sophisticated and slightly longer to family friendly.

Photo by Brandon Patoc.
Photo by Brandon Patoc.

Sci-fi at the Pops / May 20 – 22

Into sci-fi AND music? This is the perfect concert for you. The symphony performs music from popular science fiction films and TV shows (Star Wars, Star Trek, E.T. etc).

More information and tickets here.


A tribute to Woody Guthrie / Thursday, May 26

In May of 1941, Woody Guthrie was hired by the Bonneville Power Administration to write folk songs for a film about the Columbia River. He spent that month traversing Washington State and writing an astonishing 26 songs in just 30 days. On the 75th anniversary of this historic month of song, a whole host of musicians—including Northwest-based artists Sera Cahoone, Bill Frisell and Shelby Earl—will explore Woody Guthrie’s music and influence, including the aforementioned 26 songs. Other special guests for this event include John Doe, Ian Moore, Tim Easton, Gerald Collier, Dave Alvin and former Seattle mayor Mike McGinn.

More information and tickets here.

Lullaby Project at Folklife / Sunday, May 29

Listen to original lullabies and contribute to a good cause at this musical and educational event. For the past three years the Seattle Symphony has partnered with Mary’s Place to empower mothers in challenging situations by helping them write personal lullabies for their children. This year the Seattle Symphony has partnered with Northwest Folklife Festival to present a concert, workshop and panel discussion at the annual festival celebrating the music traditions of the Pacific Northwest.

More information and tickets here.


Shostakovich Symphony No. 4 / June 2 & June 4

As part of the Masterworks series (my personal favorite), a night of masterpieces! Stunning, visceral and profoundly spiritual, or as TIME Magazine called Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, “the best classical music composition of the 20th century.” Then, working during the oppressive Soviet regime and under the watchful eye of Stalin himself, Dmitri Shostakovich’s overwhelming Fourth Symphony is one of the composer’s boldest scores.

More information and tickets here.


Ravel Piano Concerto / Sunday, June 5

Love the piano? Ludovic Morlot leads the orchestra in Dvořák’s famous “New World” Symphony, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet lends his talents to Ravel’s whimsical Piano Concerto in G major.

More information and tickets here.

Brahms & Dvořák / Tuesday, June 7

Hear the talented musicians of the Seattle Symphony as they perform chamber works in the intimate Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall. This final program in the series features Artist-in-Residence Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

More information and tickets here.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet Photo 2_Decca

Gershwin & Beethoven / June 9 – 11

Artist in Residence Jean-Yves Thibaudet brings the vim and vigor of 1920s New York City to Benaroya Hall with Gershwin’s jazzy Concerto in F. Music Director Morlot leads the orchestra in Beethoven’s exhilarating Symphony No. 7.

More information and tickets here.


Club Ludo / Saturday, June 18

Check out the Chihuly Boathouse at the Symphony’s summer kick-off party. This is one of Seattle’s most beautiful venues. Expect unforgettable performances, hosted bars and fabulous Northwest cuisine, and take home once-in-a-lifetime experiences from the live and silent auctions to keep your party going all summer long.

More information and tickets here.