Find a complete list of classical concerts in Seattle this fall on our Things To Do calendar.
Caroline Goulding makes her Seattle debut at Town Hall with TownMusic Artistic Director Joshua Roman, featuring a program of beloved works from Ravel, the Kodaly duo, and the Handel-Halvorsen collaboration.
Cirque de la Symphonie bring the revelry of the circus to the genteel drama of the symphony, with a brand new program of physical feats by acrobats, jugglers, and aerial flyers paired with the music from major films, including Gone with the Wind, Chariots of Fire, The Magnificent Seven, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Gladiator.
Grammy-winning, all-male chorus Chanticleer will perform their latest effort, focusing on "the power of water to redeem, restore, and refresh the human soul," with selections from ancient to contemporary.
Classical music icon and the world's most famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma joins the Seattle Symphony for an intimate evening that is sure to be powerfully affecting, considering Ma's long and storied career. Enjoy a set that pulls from his ninety-plus albums and over fifty years of international performances.
Legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman plays double duty by exhibiting a concerto by Bach, followed by leading Mozart’s swan song, the Requiem, with the Seattle Symphony Chorale as conductor.
You might consider parting with hard-earned cash on this one, and not just because Engelbert Humperdinck’s adaptation of the Grimm tale hasn’t been performed at Seattle Opera in 23 years and who knows when it will come again. No, it’s because of this particular production, reviewed tantalizingly (and glowingly) by The Guardian: “In Laurent Pelly's witty 2008 production for Glyndebourne… the tale becomes a gleefully ghoulish satire on consumerism, in which the forest is a maze of dead trees... Hänsel and Gretel's family are forced to live in a cardboard house following economic collapse; the Witch's gingerbread residence is a free-for-all supermarket; and the children who are freed at the end, after the Witch is thrown into her own ovens, are obese, having gorged themselves on the supermarket's high-sugar, high-fat goodies.” Plus! The Witch is played by a man, in Seattle Peter Marsh. At Glyndebourne it was Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke, who “plays her as a murderous matriarch, sharpening her knife, stripping down to her underwear, revealing wisps of mouldy hair under her wig and a ladder of bodyhair rising up her abdomen.” I sincerely hope Seattle receives a ladder of bodyhair. JG
The pillars of the ensemble-in-residence Pacific Musicworks—UW faculty artists Stephen Stubbs on lute and baroque guitar and Tekla Cunningham on violin—will exhibit a program of music performed in the style of the free-form violin music of the 17th century. They'll be joined by colleague Maxine Eilander on harp, with featured music by Farina, Fontana, Schmelzer, and Biber.
Leyla McCalla combines her New York roots with her classical cello background and Creole and Haitian musical traditions into a folk-infused rendering of many varied beauties played on cello, guitar, and banjo. She'll be joined by her partner, string-band style virtuoso and founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops Dom Flemons, and opening guests.
The UW Music Department will celebrate a half-century of musical collaboration between Stuart Dempster and William O. “Bill” Smith, two local legends and long-beloved faculty members, who are turning 80 and 90, respectively, this year.
Always a crafty shapeshifter behind the turntables or laptop, DJ Spooky (aka Paul D. Miller) has been one of the most interesting sonic scavengers for nearly 20 years. I’ve seen him DJ Iannis Xenakis to Harry Smith animations, reconfigure the powerful soul music of the Wattstax documentary, and “remix” D.W. Griffiths’s 1915 silent film, The Birth of a Nation. Furthering his eclectic credentials, Spooky’s also recorded with dub legends Lee Perry and Mad Professor, jazz pianist Matthew Shipp, and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. DS
The great Polish modernist composer Witold Lutoslawski (died 1994) was a formal experimenter during a time of great social upheaval. When he wrote the work Chain 1 in 1983, making use of phrases and figures that move along in a chain-like fashion, linked but evolving perpetually forward, it was in the middle of martial law in Poland, imposed from 1981 to 1989. He wrote the second, more conservative yet lovely piece on this program, Chantefleurs et Chantefables (Songflowers and Songfables), for a premiere in 1991, and here it will be performed by Agata Zubel, who was born in 1978 in Poland. She’s also a composer (the New York Times dubbed her a “musical threat”), and she’ll complete the night with her own composition adapting of Chapter 13 from the story of The Little Prince. She plays both parts, the dreamer and the businessman. JG
KHU.EEX is an experimental funk group that includes bassist Preston Singletary, Galactic drummer Stanton Moore, and saxophonist Skerik, who together fuse elements of funk, jazz, and Native American Tlingit singing and storytelling. It is also the brainchild of recently deceased Bernie Worrell, the pioneering funk and soul keyboardist of Funkadelic and Talking Heads. Gather to honor Bernie's legacy with musicians who truly knew him and appreciated his work.
Hilary Hahn may only be 34, but she has already garnered many awards of renown, and has been an international violin sensation for years. On this tour, she performs selections from Bach to brand new commissions—baroque to contemporary.
Skate along with Music Director Ludovic Morlot to Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony as they confront a variety of human trials faced by the indifference of the universe, with an icy finale set to Sibelius’ Violin Concerto.
It’s a one-night only concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by the Phil’s charismatic, 35-year-old music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel, featuring the epic Ninth Symphony by Gustav Mahler—the very last work that Mahler completed, while a Mahler conducting competition was how Dudamel, without any formal training in conducting, exploded onto the international scene back in 2004. What more do you want? JG
What Sequentia does is like sci-fi for the past. Sequentia is an ensemble led by Paris-based Benjamin Bagby, whose “art is speculative reconstruction,” wrote Allan Kozinn of The New York Times in 2012. For this program, Bagby and Cambridge University musicologist Sam Barrett have created reconstructions of how Boethius’s classical text Consolation of Philosophy was performed in European monastic centers between the 9th and 12th centuries. Whoa! To me, that sounds like nerd heaven. Okay, but if you think you are not nerdy enough for this, then consider that Boethius wrote his text about the nature of evil, God, and happiness while awaiting execution for treason, and in the late 19th century, these poems were called “by far the most interesting example of prison literature the world has ever seen.” So hear the medieval monks sing the superlative pagan. JG
The Vienna Boys Choir, an internationally renowned preteen sensation for more than 500 years, bring their dulcet tones and confusingly adorable sailor suit outfits to the Pantages Theater for a night of childlike reverie, Austrian folk songs, vignettes from classical masters, and well-loved pop songs.
Make sense of the present by confronting the past with Shostakovich’s immense Symphony No. 11, snaking from Soviet Russia all the way back to the momentous Revolution of 1905, with a revival of Old World grandeur emanating from Rachmaninov’s final piano concerto.
Featuring award-winning tenor José Iñiguez and pianist Jeremy Neufeld, Encanto pairs the diverse qualities of opera arias, classical piano, and mariachi bolero for an evening of holiday-themed genre-blending. Proceeds from this concert will go to funding scholarships for first-generation students pursuing college/university education.
In nothing more than a little room in the University of Washington music department, there is a relatively new room known as the Harry Partch Instrumentarium. Partch was an American composer, sometimes homeless and riding the rails, later more established and slightly—slightly—recognized, who wrote his own music and created his own instruments to play it on, using wood, bamboo, glass, found objects, you name it. What he was interested in were “microtones,” based on the slight shifts possible in the human voice. His instruments, by chance, have landed at UW, which is a weird and wonderful resource for Seattle, and UW School of Music violinist Luke Fitzpatrick will perform Partch’s 17 Lyrics of Li Po for adapted viola and voice by Partch on this program, marking what UW says is “the first-ever performance of the work in its entirety on the composer’s original handmade instrument.” Rounding things out, Fitzpatrick’s performing John Cage’s Freeman Etudes for solo violin as well. This is a version of paradise. JG
The renowned Compline Choir at St. Mark's performs every Sunday evening at 9:30. Bring a blanket, lie on the altar, and contemplate divinity, or something like it. On Sunday, August 14, they'll celebrate their 60th anniversary with a total of three concerts, featuring new settings of music.