The Seattle Symphony Announces 2022/2023 Season

The 2022/2023 season brings seven series to audiences at Benaroya Hall — Masterworks, Baroque & Wine, In Recital, Pops, Chamber, Octave 9 and Family Concerts.

By: Mar. 24, 2022
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The Seattle Symphony Announces 2022/2023 Season

Today the Seattle Symphony announced its 2022/2023 season, which features a wide range of repertoire across its full series offerings and an exciting lineup of acclaimed guest artists and conductors joining the orchestra from around the world. The upcoming season is one of continued collaboration to bring more inspiring new works and premieres to Benaroya Hall, paired with symphonic favorites and returning popular guest artists.

Seattle Symphony President & CEO Krishna Thiagarajan said, "Music is an essential part of the human experience - it allows us to express vast creativity, imagine things beyond ourselves, and aspire to a better collective existence. When people come to Benaroya Hall and listen to the beautiful music that the Seattle Symphony creates, there is a resounding spirit of imagination and inspiration felt, arguably one that is more poignant than ever as our perspectives have shifted during a couple of trying years. The amazing support we have felt throughout the pandemic has fortified our passion and commitment to our audience, reinforcing how important music is to us all. The 2022/2023 season strongly reflects that, and next season we will continue bringing our community together to hear more new music and see better representation on our stage.

"Our 2022/2023 season has been conceived to bring people together and entice us on new voyages of discovery," said Vice President of Artistic Planning Raff Wilson, "On our stage, the public will be able to experience some of today's most exciting conductors and soloists, collaborating with the brilliant musicians of the Seattle Symphony. Every concert tells a totally unique story in its combination of music, performers and audience. This season is about exploring those stories together. We have a lot in store in the upcoming season, and I can't wait to see our community at Benaroya Hall as we experience it together."

The 2022/2023 season brings seven series to audiences at Benaroya Hall - Masterworks, Baroque & Wine, In Recital, Pops, Chamber, Octave 9 and Family Concerts - along with additional Special Performances and holiday concerts in the lineup. Select concerts will be available for live and on-demand streaming on Seattle Symphony Live, the Symphony's streaming service. Launched during the pandemic to bring music to audiences at home, Seattle Symphony Live reaches a global audience through live concerts, behind the scenes interviews, educational videos and more, making the orchestra's powerful performances available beyond the traditional concert hall setting.


Opening Night 2022

The new season begins with a festive Opening Night Concert on September 17, 2022. Seattle Symphony Conductor Emeritus Ludovic Morlot conducts the orchestra, and pianist Jan Lisiecki joins Symphony Concertmaster Noah Geller and Principal Cello Efe Baltacıgil as the evening's soloists. The program opens with the world premiere of a new Seattle Symphony commission by Angelique Poteat, the Symphony's 2022/2023 Artist in Residence. Lisiecki will perform Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 1, which marks the start of the Symphony's two-year Prokofiev Piano Concerto cycle. Known for his nuanced interpretations of French repertoire, Morlot then takes audiences on a colorful journey with Saint-Saëns and Ravel: Geller and Baltacıgil render a charming dialogue between violin and cello in Saint-Saëns' La muse et le poète, and the concert concludes with Ravel's Suite No. 2 from Daphnis et Chloé.

Patrons looking to further their season opening experience will have two options this September with the Opening Night Gala on September 16, 2022 and the Opening Night Party following the concert on September 17, 2022.

New Works and Contemporary Voices

The Seattle Symphony's upcoming season sees a continuation of its steadfast commitment to bringing new works for symphonic music into the canon through commissions as well as featuring contemporary voices in concert repertoire, including works by 25 living composers. The 2022/2023 season brings 5 commissions, 4 world premieres and 2 U.S. premieres for audiences to hear for the first time.

In addition to the world premiere of Angelique Poteat's new work at the Opening Night Concert, the Seattle Symphony is also proud to present: in November, the world premiere of Mexican composer Enrico Chapela's Antiphaser Concerto for Electric Violin and Orchestra, which showcases his heavy metal rock background, performed by violinist Pekka Kuusisto with Alexander Shelley conducting; in February, the world premiere of a new work by Dai Fujikura, whose piece responds to and is paired with Sibelius' Symphony No. 7, conducted by Kazem Abdullah; later in February, the world premiere of Freida Abtan's My Heart is a River, to be debuted by cellist Seth Parker Woods; in March, the U.S premiere of the Three Continents Cello Concerto by Nico Muhly, Sven Helbig and Zhou Long, performed by cellist Jan Vogler and conducted by Yue Bao; in April, a U.S. premiere from Abel Selaocoe, who joins to orchestra to perform his own work on cello, with Lawrence Renes conducting.

Other contemporary works prominently featured in the upcoming season's programming include:

In Fall 2022, Gabriella Smith's Tidalwave Kitchen, conducted by Ludovic Morlot; Esa-Pekka Salonen's Cello Concerto performed by cellist Nicolas Altstaedt, with Jonathon Heyward conducting; works by Angelique Poteat and Gina Gillie in the opening Octave 9 Series concert of the season; and Tan Dun's Buddha Passion as well as Ghost Opera.

In 2023, the orchestra performs Nina Shekhar's Lumina with Lina González-Granados at the podium; Salina Fisher's Tupaia, conducted by Tianyi Lu; a new work for French horns from Shanyse Strickland; Qigang Chen's L'Éloignement, with Xian Zhang conducting; Caroline Shaw's Gardens and Graveyards; The Art of Leaving from Hannah Lash; and organist Thierry Escaich joining the orchestra to perform his own La Barque solaire, conducted by Morlot.

Tan Dun Conducts Buddha Passion

Internationally renowned composer Tan Dun joins the Seattle Symphony to conduct his monumental Buddha Passion on November 10 and 12. Inspired by musical manuscripts from ancient murals in the caves of Dunhuang in western China, Buddha Passion is a powerful vocal work of operatic scale. The Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer masterfully weaves chants, stories and sounds into a breathtaking masterpiece that captures Buddha's teachings and the timeless, universal concept of compassion through love, forgiveness, sacrifice and salvation.

Joining the Seattle Symphony for this program are vocalists Tan Weiwei and Batubagen, pipa soloist Chen Yining, in addition to soprano Sen Guo, mezzo-soprano Huiling Zhu, tenor Kang Wang, baritone Yunpeng Wang, the Northwest Boychoir and the Seattle Symphony Chorale.

Three Continents Cello Concerto

On March 23 and 25, 2023, the orchestra is proud to present the U.S. Premiere of Three Continents Cello Concerto, a recent work commissioned by the headlining cellist Jan Vogler. Jointly composed by Nico Muhly (North America), Sven Helbig (Europe) and Zhou Long (Asia), with each composer conceiving one movement of the work, the Three Continents Cello Concerto invokes varied musical landscapes and creates a unified whole. Yue Bao conducts the orchestra in a thrilling program that opens with Barber's Overture to The School for Scandal and concludes with Bartók's glorious and triumphant Concerto for Orchestra.

Octave 9: Emerging Artists Series Expands

Due to popular demand, the 2022/2023 season brings an expanded Octave 9 series, with a focus on new works that intermingle music with technology and push the boundaries of an immersive music experience. Launched in the current 2021/2022 season, the Octave 9 series is a lineup of concerts carefully curated specifically for Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center, which provides an immersive, intimate space for artists to break new creative ground within the Seattle community - tickets quickly sold out in its first season. In response to Seattle's growing appetite and curiosity for new music and innovative presentations, the Octave 9 series will offer two Friday performances for each program in the upcoming season, doubling ticket availability for interested patrons.

The highly anticipated programs being presented in this dynamic venue in 2022/2023 begin September 30, and include works by Gina Gillie, Angelique Poteat, Tan Dun, Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Philip Glass, Freida Abtan, Shanyse Strickland and Hannah Lash.

Additional Star Soloists and Guest Conductors

The Seattle Symphony is pleased to welcome acclaimed artists and conductors from around the world this upcoming season. In addition to the artists previously mentioned, the Symphony will bring to the Benaroya Hall stage: a second program featuring pianist Jan Lisiecki, who joins the orchestra after Opening Night for Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 in the first subscription concert of the season on September 22-24; on October 6 and 8, Kahchun Wong returns to conduct the orchestra in a program with Seattle Symphony Principal Clarinet Benjamin Lulich and Principal Bassoon Seth Krimsky performing Richard Strauss' Duet Concertino and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition; star violinist Hilary Hahn is set to perform Brahms' Violin Concerto with a new cadenza from Jessie Montgomery (commissioned by Hahn) on October 20 and 22, conducted by Alpesh Chauhan; renowned tenor Nicholas Phan joins the symphony for an audience favorite, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, performed December 28-31.

On January 12-14 2023, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet leads the orchestra as pianist and conductor in a three-concerto program; pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii plays Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 to mark the composer's 150th anniversary with Jirí Rožeň at the podium on January 26-28; celebrated violinst Augustin Hadelich returns to Seattle alongisde conductor Kazem Abdullah on February 2-4 for Britten's Violin Concerto; Concertmaster Noah Geller takes centerstage on March 2 and 4 with conductor David Robertson for Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 2; Frank Strobel conducts Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin with a reconstructed score of Shostakovich symphonies on April 20 and 22; and conductor Marin Alsop and a star vocal cast join the orchestra for Bernstein's Songfest on June 15 and 17; Osmo Vänskä closes out the Masterworks season conducting the orchestra and Seattle Symphony Chorale in Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection."

The 2022/2023 season also brings stunning programs for Seattle audiences as part of the Symphony's In Recital series, with solo performances from pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performing Debussy's 24 Préludes; violinist Midori giving a solo recital to commemorate the 40th anniversary of her performance debut; and pianist Seong-Jin Cho showcasing the romantic sound worlds of Brahms and Robert Schumann.

Additional guests to look forward to in the upcoming season include conductors Aziz Shokhakimov, Sofi Jeannin, David Danzmayr and Lee Mills. Katharina Wincor also joins the orchestra to conduct April's RachFest - a two-day festival featuring all four Rachmaninov Piano Concertos, in commemoration of the composer's 150th anniversary.

Pops Series Highlights Entertainment Legends

Benaroya Hall transforms in sight and sound for the highly entertaining John & Ginny Meisenbach Foundation Pops Series concerts. Costa Rican trumpeter José Sibaja and vocalist Mónica Ábrego kick off the series on October 14 and 16 with Latin Fire, a sizzling celebration of Latin American orchestral hits. Next, conductor Stuart Chafetz and vocalist Dee Donasco bring the heartwarming sounds of the season to Seattle, with their dazzling Holiday Pops program on December 9-11. March 17-19 will hold a remarkable event honoring Gene Kelly, a legendary name in the entertainment industry. At Gene Kelly: A Life in Music, audiences will watch Kelly dance on the big screen, while accompanied by the Seattle Symphony, and hosted by Kelly's wife and biographer, Patricia Ward Kelly. On April 7 and 9, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, recognized as America's leading swing band, will be next to take the stage. The final performance of the series honors another revered entertainment legend, Linda Ronstadt. On June 9-11, singer-songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway takes audiences on a musical journey through Ronstadt's iconic songbook, full of record-breaking hits.

In-person Family Concerts Return

With newly appointed Douglas F. King Assistant Conductor Sunny Xia at the podium, the upcoming season's Family Concerts return to Benaroya Hall after being held virtually since the beginning of the pandemic. This year, these engaging concerts for younger audiences and their families tell timeless musical stories, bring family and friends together for holiday favorites, and spark imagination with song and dance from around the world. On November 5, Nature Resounds explores the great outdoors with Tan Dun's beautiful and interactive piece, Secret of the Winds and Birds. In-person favorite traditions like the classic children's film The Snowman are revived, accompanied by the Symphony, with a sing-along for the whole family on December 3. Next, The Peasant Prince, performed on April 1, showcases a beloved program built around storytelling, as the story of Li Cunxin's extraordinary life is told through the music of Katy Abbott. The series ends on June 10 with Dances Around the World, an energetic performance that moves through Hungary, China, Mexico and the United States with music by Johannes Brahms, Florence Price, Chen Yi, Ruth Crawford Seeger and Arturo Márquez.

The Delta Air Lines Masterworks Season encompasses the Symphony's core programming of symphonic repertoire. Additional subscription series: John & Ginny Meisenbach Foundation Pops, In Recital, Baroque & Wine, Chamber, and Family Concerts. Non-subscription performances may be added to subscription orders now and will go on sale to the general public in summer 2022.

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