The 2020/2021 Seattle Symphony subscription season at a glance

Raymond

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.

This is Thomas Dausgaard’s second season as the Seattle Symphony’s music director.

Week Program 22 13 7A
7B
8C
8D
7E
7F
8G 5A SU BW
09/24
2020
Reena Esmail: New Work¹
Mozart: Piano Concerto #24
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
                 
10/08
2020
Charlotte Bray: At the Speed of Stillness
Mozart: Violin Concerto #3
Dvořák: Symphony #6
                 
10/15
2020
Haydn: Symphony #104, “London”
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto #1
Ravel: Mother Goose
                 
10/25
2020
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (mandolin)
Traditional Venetian Gondolier Songs
                 
10/29
2020
Mendelssohn: The Hebrides (“Fingal’s Cave”)
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
Suk: Meditation on the old Czech Chorale “Saint Wenceslas”
Miloslav Kabeláč: Symphony #4 “Camerata”²
                 
11/05
2020
Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Bartók: Violin Concerto #2
Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem
Debussy: La mer
             
 
 
 
 
 
11/12
2020
Ligeti: San Francisco Polyphony
Elgar: Cello Concerto
Amy Beach: Symphony #2, “Gaelic”
                 
11/19 Beethoven: Missa solemnis                  
01/14
2021
Sarah Gibson: warp & weft
Mozart: Piano Concerto #26 “Coronation”
Schumann: Symphony #3 “Rhenish”
             
 
 
 
 
01/21
2021
Jörg Widmann: Con brio
Mozart: Sinfonia concertante for Winds
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #6, “Pathétique
                 
01/29
2021
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
                 
02/04
2021
Kodály: Dances of Galánta
Brahms: Hungarian Dances #1, 3, 10
Brahms: Symphony #4
             
 
 
 
 
02/11
2021
Nielsen: Symphony #6 “Sinfonia semplice
Enrico Chapela: Violin Concerto²
Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite
                 
02/18
2021
Lutosławski: Symphonic Variations
Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Tchaikovsky: Suite #3
                 
02/25
2021
Hannah Kendall: Kanashibari²
Beethoven: Piano Concerto #4
R. Strauss: Le bourgeois gentilhomme Suite
                 
03/18
2021
Christopher Rouse: Rapture
Nico Muhly, Sven Helbig & Zhou Long: Three Continents Concerto²
Wagner: Selections from The Ring
                 
03/25
2021
John Adams: I Still Dance
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto #2
Dvořák: Symphony #9, “From the New World”
             
 
 
 
 
04/08
2021
Mozart: Piano Concerto #20
Mahler: Symphony #5
                 
04/29
2021
Beethoven: Coriolan Overture
Bartók: Piano Concerto #3
Erkki-Sven Tüür: Phantasma²
Stravinsky: Pétrouchka
                 
05/06
2021
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)                  
05/20
2021
Haydn: Piano Concerto in F
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G
Mozart: Piano Concerto #9, “Jeunehomme
                 
06/10
2021
Betsy Jolas: A Little Summer Suite
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto #2
Franck: Symphony in D minor
                 
06/17
2021
Hans Abrahamsen: Horn Concerto²
Schumann: Konzertstück for Four Horns
Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra
                 
06/24 Tan Dun: Buddha Passion                  
Week Program 22 13 7A
7B
8C
8D
7E
7F
8G 5A SU BW

¹ World Premiere
² U.S. Premiere

Insider tip: Click a column header to focus on a specific series. (This feature has been around for several years, actually.)

Legend:

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.

Update: The entire 2020–2021 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Replacement concerts were held with no audience physically present, and the live stream was made available to all subscribers regardless of ticket package. Selections marked with a § symbol were from cancelled concerts in the original 2019–2020 or 2020–2021 schedule.

Week Program
09/19
2020
Season Opening Reimagined
Mozart: Overture to Don Giovanni
Whitney Mongé: “Tomorrow”, “Crash”, “Day N Nite”, “Gracefully”
Mary D. Watkins: Five Movements in Color: Soul of Remembrance
Beethoven: Symphony #7
09/24
2020
Mozart: Piano Concerto #21
Beethoven: Symphony #5
10/02
2020
Essentials Series
Whitney Mongé with the Seattle Symphony
10/08
2020
Korngold: Dance in the Old Style
Barber: Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings
10/15
2020
Carlos Simon: An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave
§ Shostakovich: Piano Concerto #1
§ Haydn: Symphony #104, “London”
10/22 § Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
10/29
2020
Jessie Montgomery: Starburst
§ Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
Mozart: Symphony #29
11/05
2020
Thomas Adès: Three Studies from Couperin
Debussy: Danses sacrée et profane
Martin: Ballade for Flute and Orchestra
Honegger: Symphony # 2
11/12
2020
Caroline Shaw: Entr’acte
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto #2
Beethoven: Symphony #8
11/19
2020
Brett Dean: Testament
§ Tyshawn Sorey: For Roscoe Mitchell for Cello & Orchestra¹
Beethoven: Symphony #4
12/04
2020
(cancelled)
Essentials Series
Ivan & Alyosha with the Seattle Symphony
12/11
2020
(cancelled)
Holiday Pops with the Seattle Symphony
N’Kenge with the Seattle Symphony
12/17
2020
(cancelled)
Handel: Selections from Rodrigo
Rameau: Selections from Hippolyte et Aicie
W.F. Bach: Harpsichord Concerto, F. 41
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto #5
01/08
2021
(cancelled)
Essential Series
Grieves with the Seattle Symphony
01/21
2021
Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Trumpets
Bach: Oboe Concerto in F major
Grieg: Holberg Suite
01/28
2021
Haydn: Cello Concerto in C major
Prokofiev: Symphony #1
02/04
2021
“Hope & Harmony” (program announced from the podium)
Mendelssohn: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Juan David Osorio López: El Paraíso según Maria
Carlos Simon: Fate Now Conquers
02/11 (no replacement concert)
02/18
2021
Chamber music series
Juri Seo: Lost Songs
Schumann: String Quartet #2
Mozart: Serenade #12 “Nachtmusik”
02/25
2021
§ Hannah Kendall: Kanashibari²
§ Beethoven: Piano Concerto #4
§ Ravel: Mother Goose Suite
03/04
2021
Pops Series
Sinatra and Beyond with the Tony DeSare Quartet
03/18
2021
“Celebrate Asia” annual concert
Takashi Yoshimatsu: Atom Hearts Club Suite #1
Dai Fujikura: Umi (“Sea”) for Orchestra²
Akira Senju: A Ba La Ka Kya IV¹
Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme
03/26
2021
Essentials Series
Ivan & Alyosha with the Seattle Symphony
04/02
2021
A Tribute to Louis Armstrong
Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra
04/08
2021
§ Mozart: Piano Concerto #20
Schubert: Symphony #8 “Unfinished”
04/15
2021
Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op. 110A
Respighi: The Birds
04/23
2021
§ Schumann: Konzertstück for Four Horns
Elgar: Serenade for Strings
Jessie Montgomery: Strum
04/29
2021
Chamber Series
Anthony Barfield: Gravity
Allison Loggins-Hull: Hammers
Takemitsu: Rain Tree
Tan Dun: Elegy: Snow in June
05/06
2021
Handel: Organ Concerto in F “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale”
Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Cellos
Dvořák: Serenade for Strings
05/13
2021
Bach: Orchestral Suite #1
Schubert: Symphony #5
05/20
2021
Beethoven: Piano Concerto #2
§ Mozart: Piano Concerto #9, “Jeunehomme
05/27
2021
(Chamber works for brass and organ)
Dukas: Fanfare to La Péri
Pierre Dumage: Grand Jeu from Premier livre d’orgue
Eugène Gigout (organ arr. Michel Rondeau): Grand chœur dialogué
Marques Young: Synthetic Voices
Anthony DiLorenzo: Tango #1
Emma Gregan: Popcorn
Duruflé: Scherzo, Op. 2
Anthony Barfield: Invictus
Wagner (organ arr. Jay Friedman):
  Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral from Lohengrin
06/04
2021
Pops Series
Wish Upon the Stars: Music from movies
Mickey Mouse March
Selections from The Jungle Book
Ponchielli: Dance of the Hours (Fantasia)
Selections from How to Train Your Dragon
Hallelujah from Shrek
Selections from Alice in Wonderland (1951)
When You Wish Upon a Star from Pinocchio
Rhapsody in Blue (arr. orch.) (Fantasia 2000)
Selections from Beauty and the Beast
06/10
2021
Augusta Read Thomas: Magic Box
§ Prokofiev: Violin Concerto #2
Haydn: Symphony #86
06/17
2021
Miguel De Águila: Malambo
Beethoven: Symphony #6 “Pastoral”
06/24
2021
Arild Plau: Tuba Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony #3 “Eroica”

3 comments

Comments are closed. Login to edit/delete your existing comments

  • Neil Rashbrook

    It could just be flattery, or perhaps that they’re seeing visitors coming from your posts and adjusting their brochure accordingly to improve their SEO?

  • nathan moore

    Will we see the “completely arbitrary march madness bracket” return this year ?