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Press Release:


Press Release:

Wednesday, 6 April, 2016

12-Day Celebration of the Last Century’s Rich American Musical Landscape

Nine Concerts Traverse Musical Genres Including Broadway, Minimalism, Avant-garde, Jazz, Classics, Film and Hollywood

Accessible Pricing: Tickets for All Eight Benaroya Hall Concerts are $15 and $25

All-Gershwin Outdoor Concert at Marymoor Park on June 26

Subscriber Pre-sale Available Now;
Tickets on Sale to Public on April 8 at 11 A.M.

Seattle, WA – The Seattle Symphony presents Tuning Up!, a two-week festival celebrating American musical creativity of the 20th and 21st century at Benaroya Hall in Seattle and Marymoor Park in Redmond from June 17 to July 2. With a tremendous breadth of music over nine concerts, Music Director Ludovic Morlot and the Symphony will explore everything from avant-garde to minimalism, jazz to Broadway, classics to Hollywood. Highlights of the festival will include a celebration of the cult electronic instrument — the theremin, reflections on 9/11 and a continuation of the Orchestra’s relationship with composer John Luther Adams. Local philanthropic support through the Judith Fong Music Director’s Fund will enable concert tickets to be offered at low affordable prices, furthering the Orchestra’s commitment to make music accessible to all.

“The last 100 years of American musical creativity has produced an incredible sonic landscape that I can’t wait to explore with our audiences,” commented Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot. “We’re going to delve into music that we believe is eclectic, surprising, stimulating and uplifting. I’m especially happy to have my dear friend Jean-Yves Thibaudet back to perform with us both in Benaroya Hall and at Marymoor Park, and to join with our incredible musicians in a celebration of the extraordinary diversity of American music!”

Seattle Symphony President & CEO Simon Woods commented, “We make no pretense of this being a definitive survey of American music–it’s more a personal collection of ideas brought together by Ludovic Morlot under one umbrella to stimulate discussion and inspiration, and remind ourselves about the incredible creativity of the past hundred years as we approach the Fourth of July holiday. And thanks to the great generosity of our board member, Judith Fong, we are able to bring it to the public at incredibly accessible pricing and invite the widest possible audience into Benaroya Hall. It’s quite unlike anything else we’ve done, and we’re excited to share it with the community!”

The nine-concert Festival takes its name from Edgard Varèse’s Tuning Up which opens the Festival on Friday, June 17. Celebrating the unique and eclectic history of American music, the Festival includes John Luther Adams’ In the White Silence, presented as part of the innovative late-night [untitled] series; Julia Wolfe’s My Beautiful Scream performed as a tribute to 9/11; Morton Feldman’s 90-minute minimalist masterpiece Triadic Memories performed by pianist Alexander Melnikov, and an all-Gershwin concert at Marymoor Park featuring 2015–2016 season Artist in Residence Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Thibaudet will also perform Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at the Festival opening concert. Guest artists include theremin virtuoso Lydia Kavina who will perform an all-theremin chamber concert with Seattle Symphony musicians; guest violinist Philippe Quint who will perform Corigliano’s Chaconne from The Red Violin and other selections both with the orchestra and in a chamber concert with Seattle Symphony musicians. The Festival concludes with a concert showcasing music from Hollywood including selections from Vertigo, Youth, and Selma.

Ticket Information

Tickets for all Tuning Up! Festival concerts at Benaroya Hall are $25 each (see below for Marymoor Park ticket information), with the exception of the [untitled] concert on July 1, which is $15. Tickets are available now for pre-sale to subscribers and donors, and on Friday, April 8 at 11 a.m. to the public. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at (206) 215-4747 or (866) 833-4747, or in person at the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office on the corner of Third Avenue and Union Street. Tickets may also be purchased through the Seattle Symphony's iPhone and Android apps by searching “Seattle Symphony” or “Listen Boldly” at Apple's App Store or Android's App Store.

A limited number of Festival passes are available for $148, and include a Festival lanyard, VIP seating to all concerts (excluding Marymoor Park concert), Festival t-shirt, invitations to the kick-off party and closing night party, and special meet and greet with Seattle Symphony musicians. Only 200 passes are available. 

Tickets for the Sunday, June 26 performance at Marymoor Park in Redmond ($34.50 General Admission Lawn; $42.50 - $49.50 Reserved Seating; or $69.50 Gold Circle Reserved Seating) may be purchased through on April 8 at 10 a.m. Tickets will not be available through the Seattle Symphony or Benaroya Hall ticket office. Tickets will be available from, by calling (888)-929-7849; or through the Marymoor Park Box Office by phone at (206)-477-7275 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m., or in person at 6046 W Lake Sammamish Pkway, N.E. in Redmond. Tickets are also available for in-person purchase at the Showbox Box Office, located at 1426 1st Avenue in Seattle, on Wednesday and Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Marymoor Park concert is not part of the Tuning Up! Festival pass offer.


TUNING UP! Rhapsody in Red, White & Blue
Friday, June 17 at 8 p.m.

S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

Ludovic Morlot, conductor

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Members of the Seattle Symphony Chorale

Seattle Symphony

EDGARD VARÈSE                               Tuning Up

CHARLES IVES                                    Orchestral Set No. 2

GEORGE GERSHWIN                         Rhapsody in Blue                                                                                  

DEREK BERMEL                                  Elixir

JOHN ADAMS                                     My Father Knew Charles Ives


These daring composers captured the essence of their homeland: the jazz and ragtime, the patriotic songs and quirky tunes and even noisiest city streets. Come experience the full musical spectrum of this American rhapsody!

Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s performance is generously underwritten by The Martine and Dan Drackett Family Foundation.

Spellbound The Theremin Returns

Monday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall

Lydia Kavina, theremin

Jeffrey Barker, flute

Mary Lynch, oboe

Ben Lulich, clarinet

Seth Krimsky, bassoon

Jonathan Karschney, horn

Mikhail Shmidt, violin

Natasha Bazhanov, violin

Artur Girsky, viola

Eric Han, cello

Jonathan Green, double bass

Cristina Valdés, piano

JOHN HARBISON                               Quintet for Winds

EDGAR VARÈSE                                  Density 21.5 arranged for theremin solo

CHRISTIAN WOLFF                            Exercise 28 for Theremin, French horn, Violin and Double bass

DANIEL ROUMAIN                             Selections from Hip Hop Studies for solo violin

ANIS FULEIHAN                                 Concerto for Theremin

MIKLÓS RÓZSA                                   Spellbound Concerto

BERNARD HERRMANN                      The Day the Earth Stood Still

HOWARD SHORE                               Suite from Ed Wood

DANNY ELFMAN                                 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

DANNY ELFMAN                                 Mars Attacks

The theremin has become the quintessential sound of science fiction, aliens and all things eerie. Witness a true virtuoso, trained by inventor Léon Theremin himself, work her wizardry on an electronic instrument that sings and swoops without any physical contact.

Stage & Screen From Appalachian Spring to the Red Violin

Thursday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m.

S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

Ludovic Morlot, conductor

Philippe Quint, violin

Dancers TBD

Seattle Symphony

LEONARD BERNSTEIN                       Divertimento for Orchestra

FLORENCE PRICE                                Dances in the Canebrakes                                                                    

AARON COPLAND                               Suite from Appalachian Spring            

JOHN CORIGLIANO                            Chaconne from The Red Violin

JOHN WILLIAMS                                Theme from Schindler's List

MARVIN HAMLISCH                           A Marvin Hamlisch Celebration                                                      

From stage to screen to concert hall, these giants of American music transcended borders and created the music we know and love. Emotions run deep in music from Schindler’s List, The Red Violin and Copland’s portrayal of 19th century American life, Appalachian Spring featuring ballet dancers. Plus a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch!

Bernstein & Beyond Great American Chamber Music

Friday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall

Judy Kriewall, flute

Laura DeLuca, clarinet

Philippe Quint, violin

Rachel Swerdlow, viola

Meeka Quan DiLorenzo, cello

David Sabee, cello

Jessica Choe, piano

HENRY COWELL                                  Suite for Violin and Piano

ALYSSA WEINBERG                            Contemplations for Clarinet, Violin and Piano

DAVID ROZENBLATT                          Dispute in Conclusion Unplugged

MASON BATES                                   Life of Birds for Flute, Clarinet, Violin and Cello

LUKAS FOSS                                        Three American Pieces for Violin and Piano

LEONARD BERNSTEIN                       Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano

JAMES LEE III                                     Night Visions of Kippur for Flute, Clarinet, Violin,

                                                            Violoncello and Piano

American music is not one fixed sound or style but a constant conversation. This concert traverses the past 100 years of chamber music all the way through a new generation of composers adding their voices.


Sunday, June 26 at 4 p.m.

Marymoor Park

Ludovic Morlot, conductor

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Seattle Symphony

GEORGE GERSHWIN                         Cuban Overture

GEORGE GERSHWIN                         An American in Paris

GEORGE GERSHWIN                         Strike Up the Band
GEORGE GERSHWIN                         Rhapsody in Blue                                                                                  

GEORGE GERSHWIN                         I Got Rhythm Variations for Piano and Orchestra                           


Jean-Yves Thibaudet’s performance is generously underwritten by The Martine and Dan Drackett Family Foundation.

This performance is part of the Marymoor Park Concert Series, Presented by Swedish Redmond. 

triadic memories A Minimalist Masterpiece

Wednesday, June 29 at 7:30 p.m.

S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

Alexander Melnikov, piano

MORTON FELDMAN                           Triadic Memories

Please note the performance is approximately 90 minutes in duration with no intermission.

Morton Feldman’s epic piano solo takes you through a 90-minute hypnotic labyrinth. Like the handmade Persian rugs Feldman collected, Triadic Memories weaves simple and tactile threads of sound into a mesmerizing masterpiece.

The Light that Fills the World A Meditation in Sound & Light

Thursday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m.

S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

Ludovic Morlot, conductor

Alexander Melnikov, piano

Elisa Barston, violin

Mikhail Shmidt, violin

Mara Gearman, viola

Walter Gray, cello

Jeff Lincoln, lighting design                                                                 

Seattle Symphony

JULIA WOLFE                                      My Beautiful Scream

JOHN CAGE                                         4’ 33”

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS                       The Light That Fills the World

MORTON FELDMAN                           Piano and Orchestra

PHILIP GLASS                                     The Light

An immersive concert that will sweep you into an exploration of light from the scientific bent of Philip Glass’ The Light, to the rushing light of the Arctic and on to the illuminating agony of Julia Wolfe’s My Beautiful Scream. These musical mystics will pull you into a world of sound and silence, light and dark.


in the white silence John Luther Adams’ Alaskan Landscapes

Friday, July 1 at 10 p.m.

Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby

Ludovic Morlot, conductor

Nathan Cole, violin

Cordula Merks, violin

Sayaka Kokubo, viola

Eric Han, cello

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS                       In the White Silence

John Luther Adams is the pioneer of musical environmental activism, translating the vast horizons of the frozen far north into a musical tableau of clean, radiant harmony and subtle transformation. In the White Silence exemplifies his “sonic geography.”

IN THE WHITE SILENCE John Luther Adams’ Alaskan Landscapes is presented as part of the Seattle Symphony’s New Music WORKS initiative, which is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. New Music WORKS features commissions, concerts and educational activities that use composition as a catalyst for collaboration and engagement in music.

Live with the Silver Screen The Symphony in Hollywood

Saturday, July 2 at 8 p.m.

S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium   

Ludovic Morlot, conductor

Cyndia Sieden, soprano

Nathan Cole, violin

Efe Baltacıgil, cello

John Goberman, narrator

VellVett, hip-hop artist

The Sound of the Northwest Choir

Seattle Symphony

MAX STEINER                                     Selections from Gone With the Wind

ERICH KORNGOLD                             Concerto in C in one movement, Op. 37

BERNARD HERRMANN                      Selections from Vertigo

ERICH KORNGOLD                             Selections from Robin Hood

DAVID LANG                                      “Simple Song #3” from Youth

JOHN WILLIAMS                                Rey's Theme and Scherzo for X Wings from The Force Awakens

JOHN STEPHENS, LONNIE LYNN,      “Glory” from Selma


Lights! Camera! Music! Hollywood brought together the best composers on earth with visionary film directors, and the movies accessed new dimensions of action and suspense. Film clips come to life on a giant screen with the Seattle Symphony playing music from Gone with the Wind to “Glory” from Selma.

Efe Baltacigıl’s performance is generously underwritten by Patricia and Jon Rosen.

About Ludovic Morlot

The French conductor Ludovic Morlot is Music Director of the Seattle Symphony.  During the 2015–2016 season Morlot and the Seattle Symphony will continue to invite their audiences to “listen boldly,” presenting a wide variety of works in concert and releasing several more recordings on the Orchestra’s label, Seattle Symphony Media. He was Chief Conductor of La Monnaie for three years (2012–2014). During this time he conducted several new productions and concert performances.

During the 2015–2016 season Morlot will return to the New York and LA Philharmonic Orchestras as well as NSO Washington. He will also conduct a subscription week with the Boston Symphony Orchestra whom he has conducted regularly in Boston and Tanglewood and recently on a tour to the west coast of America. This relationship started in 2001 when he was the Seiji Ozawa Fellowship Conductor at the Tanglewood Music Center and subsequently appointed assistant conductor for the orchestra and their Music Director James Levine (2004–07).  Morlot has also conducted the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Morlot studied conducting in London and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in 2014 in recognition of his significant contribution to music. He is Chair of Orchestral Conducting Studies at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle.

About Marymoor Concert Series
King County's most active park, more than 3 million people visit Marymoor annually to explore every inch of Marymoor's 640 acres packed with recreational activities, rare amenities and community-enriching events that are first class. This regional gem is located in Redmond, Washington, and nestled near the beautiful Willowmoor Farm historical district near Clise Mansion. Marymoor Park's natural and scenic environment easily makes the 5,000-capacity outdoor venue the home to Seattle's best open-air concert series. The best part is that this intimate outdoor concert experience is only a 15-minute trip away from downtown Seattle.

About the Seattle Symphony
The Seattle Symphony is one of America's leading symphony orchestras and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history. Under the leadership of Music Director Ludovic Morlot since September 2011, the Symphony is heard from September through July by more than 500,000 people through live performances and radio broadcasts. It performs in one of the finest modern concert halls in the world — the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall — in downtown Seattle. Its extensive education and community engagement programs reach over 65,000 children and adults each year. The Seattle Symphony has a deep commitment to new music, commissioning many works by living composers each season. The orchestra has made nearly 150 recordings and has received two Grammy Awards, 21 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and numerous other accolades. In 2014 the Symphony launched its in-house recording label, Seattle Symphony Media.

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