The 2020/2021 Seattle Symphony subscription season at a glance
For many years, I’ve put together a little pocket guide to the Seattle Symphony subscription season for my symphony friends to help them decide which ticket package they want. At some point, we may start subscribing again, but for now, we pick-and-choose individual concerts.
Here’s the at-a-glance season guide for the 2020/2021 season, still with no comments from me because it’s not worth trying to rate every piece to help my friends pick one concert. If you’re my friend and want recommendations, just call. Besides, you can probably preview nearly all of the pieces nowadays (minus the premieres) by searching on YouTube.
- Official brochure. It’s called the “2021 season” because it’s short for “2020/2021”, not because it covers only the year 2021.
- Press release
- Official video
- Season highlights
This is Thomas Dausgaard’s second season as the Seattle Symphony’s music director.
|§ Reena Esmail: New Work¹|
§ Mozart: Piano Concerto #24
§ Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
§ Mozart: Piano Concerto #21
§ Beethoven: Symphony #5
|§ Charlotte Bray: At the Speed of Stillness|
§ Mozart: Violin Concerto #3
§ Dvořák: Symphony #6
§ Korngold: Dance in the Old Style
§ Barber: Violin Concerto
§ Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings
|§ Carlos Simon: An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave|
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto #1
Haydn: Symphony #104, “London”
§ Ravel: Mother Goose
|Vivaldi: The Four Seasons § (mandolin)|
§ Traditional Venetian Gondolier Songs
|§ Mendelssohn: The Hebrides (“Fingal’s Cave”)|
§ Jessie Montgomery: Starburst
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
§ Suk: Meditation on the old Czech Chorale “Saint Wenceslas”
§ Miloslav Kabeláč: Symphony #4 “Camerata”²
§ Mendelssohn: Symphony #3, “Scottish”
|Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune|
Bartók: Violin Concerto #2
Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem
Debussy: La mer
|Ligeti: San Francisco Polyphony|
Elgar: Cello Concerto
Amy Beach: Symphony #2, “Gaelic”
|11/19||Beethoven: Missa solemnis|
|Sarah Gibson: warp & weft|
Mozart: Piano Concerto #26 “Coronation”
Schumann: Symphony #3 “Rhenish”
|Jörg Widmann: Con brio|
Mozart: Sinfonia concertante for Winds
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #6, “Pathétique“
|Handel: Concerto grosso, Op. 6, #5|
Vivaldi: Cello Concerto in G minor, RV 416
Rameau: Selections from Les Boréades
Vivaldi: Cello Concerto in A minor, RV 419
CPE Bach: Cello Concerto in A major
Haydn: Symphony #13
|Kodály: Dances of Galánta|
Brahms: Hungarian Dances #1, 3, 10
Brahms: Symphony #4
|Nielsen: Symphony #6 “Sinfonia semplice“|
Enrico Chapela: Violin Concerto²
Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite
|Lutosławski: Symphonic Variations|
Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Tchaikovsky: Suite #3
|Hannah Kendall: Kanashibari|
Beethoven: Piano Concerto #4
R. Strauss: Le bourgeois gentilhomme Suite
|Christopher Rouse: Rapture|
Nico Muhly, Sven Helbig & Zhou Long: Three Continents Concerto²
Wagner: Selections from The Ring
|John Adams: I Still Dance|
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto #2
Dvořák: Symphony #9, “From the New World”
|Mozart: Piano Concerto #20|
Mahler: Symphony #5
|Beethoven: Coriolan Overture|
Bartók: Piano Concerto #3
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Phantasma²
|Bach: Concerto for Two Violins|
Handel: Organ Concerto Op. 7, #1
Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Cellos
Dvořák: Serenade for Strings
|05/14||Bach: Cantatas (selections)|
|Haydn: Piano Concerto in F|
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G
Mozart: Piano Concerto #9, “Jeunehomme“
|Betsy Jolas: A Little Summer Suite|
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto #2
Franck: Symphony in D minor
|Hans Abrahamsen: Horn Concerto²|
Schumann: Konzertstück for Four Horns
Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra
|06/24||Tan Dun: Buddha Passion|
¹ World Premiere
² U.S. Premiere
Update: Program changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic are marked with a § symbol. Changes of guest conductor or guest soloist are not marked. Affected concerts were streamed live and held with no audience physically present.
Insider tip: Click a column header to focus on a specific series. (This feature has been around for several years, actually.)
|22||Masterworks 22-concert series (Choice of Thursdays or Saturdays)|
|13||Masterworks 13-concert series (Choice of Thursdays or Saturdays)|
|7A||Masterworks 7-concert series A (Thursdays)|
|7B||Masterworks 7-concert series B (Saturdays)|
|8C||Masterworks 8-concert series C (Thursdays)|
|8D||Masterworks 8-concert series D (Saturdays)|
|7E||Masterworks 7-concert series E (Thursdays)|
|7F||Masterworks 7-concert series F (Saturdays)|
|8G||Masterworks 8-concert series G (Sunday afternoons)|
|5A||Masterworks 5-concert series A (Friday afternoons)|
|SU||Untuxed (Fridays, reduced program)|
|BW||Baroque and Wine (Choice of Fridays or Saturdays)|
For those not familiar with the Seattle Symphony ticket package line-ups: Most of the ticket packages are named Masterworks nX where n is the number of concerts in the package, and the letter indicates the variation. Ticket packages have been combined if they are identical save for the day of the week. For example, 8C and 8D are the same concerts; the only difference is that 8C is for Thursday nights, while 8D is for Saturday nights.
Notes and changes:
- The 7[AB], 8[CD], and 7[EF] concert series do not overlap, so you can create your own pseudo-series by taking any two of them, or recreate the 22-concert series by taking all three.
- The 13-concert series is the same as the 8[CD] and 7[EF] series combined, minus the November 19 and February 18 concerts.
- Conductor Emeritus Ludovic Morlot returns to the podium for the concerts on the weekend of June 10.
- Not included above are other regular series that do not overlap with the Masterworks series: Pops, Recitals, [untitled] (contemporary music), Chamber music, Family Concerts, and Tiny Tots.
- Last season, the Baroque and Wine series struck out on its own and had no overlap with the Masterworks series, but this season it connects back to the Masterworks series via the Four Seasons concert on October 25.
- The Seattle Symphony Family Connections program is still going. It provides free symphony tickets for up to two children with the purchase of an adult ticket.
- Khatia Buniatishvili is this year’s artist in residence, which I think will be very exciting. She performs on opening night and in recital.
- Violinist Ray Chen performs in recital. No relation.
- Once again, there is a June Beethoven Festival, commemorating the composer’s 250th birthday. It performs the complete symphonies alongside contemporary works. 1 and 3, 2 and 7, 6 and 8, 4 and 5, 9.
- There are always one-off concerts scattered through the year.
- Over the years, the format of the Seattle Symphony official brochure has gradually gotten closer and closer to the format of this pocket guide. This makes my job both easier and arguably superfluous.