by Bruce Reid


SEATTLE SYMPHONY--There are several fine reasons for a symphony to have an organ, but few are as thundering and majestic, or as famous, as Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3 in A. And there are several fine reasons to consider Stravinsky the greatest of 20th-century composers, but none as captivating, touching, and at times sheer, rollicking fun, as Petrouchka. Benaroya Hall, Taper Auditorium, 215-4747 or, 7:30 pm, $10-$69. Also Fri-Sat Sept 22-23, 8 pm; Sun Sept 24, 2 pm.


THE ESOTERICS--The chorus' yearlong salute to the elements continues with a program devoted to Air. Strangely, as I would have thought Fire or Earth more inspirational, the lineup of composers is especially strong, from the hushed unfolding of Webern's Entflieht auf Leichten Kähnen, Op. 2, to Tippett's marvelous Dance, clarion air. I've not heard Tormis' Sügismaastikud, but the Estonian composer's folk-based music (powerful, craggy, and... well, elemental) is perhaps the finest being written for chorus today. Especially of note are three world premieres from Northwest artists: Donald Skirvin's ongoing song cycle, Joseph Waters' Sulfur-crested cockatoos, and Janice Giteck's Magic words to feel better. Pilgrim Congregational Church, Broadway and E Republican, 344-3327 or, 8 pm, $14-$17. Also Sat Sept 23, 8 pm.


NORTHWEST CHAMBER ORCHESTRA--The NWCO kicks off their season with a guest: soprano Carol Vaness, who'll trill her way through beloved arias from Rossini's William Tell, Mozart's Idomeneo and Nozze di Figaro, and Verdi's La Traviata. What best for the orchestra to play to fill out a night of such sparkling Classical grace? Wagner's eternal Romantic wallow Siegfried Idyll? It doesn't fit to me, either. Benaroya Hall, Nordstrom Recital Hall, 343-0445 or 292-ARTS, 8 pm, $30-$35. Also Sun Sept 24, 2:30 pm.


TACOMA NEW MUSIC--An evening of works by women composers. Yes, that means the inevitable selection from Hildegard of Bingen, but also Giteck's Agrarian Chants for solo flute, some of Lynette Westendorf's 12-tone jazz compositions, two pieces for bass clarinet by the Czech composer Ivana Loudova, and Marjorie Merryman's Hidden Boundaries for the enticing quartet of piano, clarinet, cello, and soprano. The sterling list of performers includes Paul Taub; Davenports Laurie, Michael, and Kimberly; and the Bastille Band. Little Theater, 210 N "I" St, Tacoma, 476-9575, 8 pm, free, though donations will be graciously accepted.


by Megan Seling


E TOWN--Hosts Nick and Helen Forster play music and discuss current environmental news with weekly guests. This week, they chat with Ralph Stanly & the Clinch Mountain Boys. Nickel Creek will also be appearing. KBCS 91.3 FM, 4 pm.

LIVE ROOM--The Live Room once again promises to liven up any dull Saturday night with performances straight from their studio. Appearing this week are "art-rockers" Stradhoughton Echo. KCMU 90.3 FM, 8 pm.

ALTERNATIVE RADIO--"Toward a Green White House." Ralph Nader, in town for a rally at KeyArena, discusses his campaign and the current state of the presidency. KUOW 94.9 FM, 3 pm


GRATEFUL DEAD HOUR--Do you wear tie-dyed shirts? Are your vehicles plastered with colorful dancing bears? If you tore yourself from the bong long enough to nod yes, then you won't want to miss this hour devoted to Deadheads like yourself. KBCS 91.3 FM, 8 pm.

SOUNDPRINT--Tonight's show follows journalist Andy Clark as he trains for the Rotterdam marathon and ponders the question, "Why the hell do people run marathons, anyway?" KUOW 94.9 FM, 6 pm.


SOUND AND SPIRIT--A program that explores the music people choose to accompany their spiritual life. Tonight's show will also be celebrating friendship around the world. That's sweet. KBCS 91.3 FM, 6:30 pm.


COUNTERSPIN--Examining coverage of the week's important news stories and then filling listeners in on what the mass media left out or chose not to share. Tune in for comprehensive analysis beyond sound bites. Produced by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. KBCS 91.3 FM, 6:30 pm.


WOMANOTES--Devoted entirely to women in music through the past 75 years, including Bessie Smith, Lucinda Williams, and Susana Baca. KBCS 91.3 FM, 7 pm.


NORTH BY NORTHWEST: Thurs-Sun Sept 21-24, Portland,

SAINT ETIENNE: Thurs Sept 21, Richard's on Richards, Vancouver, BC, 614-687-6794

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS: Thurs Sept 21, Memorial Coliseum, Portland, 503-224-4400

JETS TO BRAZIL: Fri Sept 22, Pine St Theatre, Portland, 503-241-5862

TRANS AM, NEIL HAMBURGER: Fri Sept 22, Starfish Room, Vancouver, BC

JOHN MAYALL & THE BLUESBREAKERS, PETER GREEN SPLINTER GROUP: Sun Sept 24, Aladdin Theatre, Portland, 503-233-1994

MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES, FLOGGING MOLLY: Sun Sept 24, Crystal Ballroom, Portland, 503-225-0047

PETER STUART, RON SEXSMITH: Mon Sept 25, Berbati's Pan, Portland, 503-248-4579

PRIMER 55, SOULFLY, SLAVES ON DOPE, DOWNSET: Tues Sept 26, Roseland Theater, Portland, 503-224-2038