Seattle Symphony wins the prize on the eve of the release of their next album, which includes Berliozs Requiem. The symphony requires 18 timpani to play.
Seattle Symphony wins the prize on the eve of their next album release, which includes their recording of Berlioz's Requiem. The symphony uses 18 timpani, pictured here. Berlioz was very loud in his sadness.

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The Seattle Symphony won Orchestra of the Year 2018!!!! !!!!!!!! ! !

On Thursday afternoon Gramophone magazine, which is like Rolling Stone for classical music nerds, gave our hometown orchestra the prize following a public voting period that spanned the globe.

Seattle's win was particularly special considering the fact that they were the only U.S. orchestra nominated for the prize. All the other orchestras and ensembles were fancy Europeans. Take that, Europeans! The magazine announced the prize at the 2018 Gramophone Classical Music Awards in London, which must have stung a little, but maybe a little less post-Brexit.

Normally I find patriotism incredibly unattractive, especially given our current political climate, but I do have some affection for the American habit of celebrating wins with slobbering indignity. So please join me in shouting this tasteless chant: U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!

In a press release, Alexander White, the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players' Organization chairperson and assistant principal Trumpet called the award "an extraordinary honor for the musicians of the Seattle Symphony."

While the Seattle Symphony deserves all the credit for the strength of their recorded performances and the storied versatility of their players, you also deserve some credit for this win. Back in July I asked you all to vote for the Seattle Symphony to win the contest, and you did! We gave them The Stranger bump! In a good way! Nothing medical or anything! What I'm saying is we helped them win! And so now it's time to celebrate with some almonds, or an adult soda, or a really cold orange, or I guess maybe some weed.

Another way to celebrate, of course, is to actually go see the orchestra in action! On Friday the symphony drops its new album, Berlioz: Requiem & La mort d’Orphée. And on Saturday evening the symphony kicks off its season with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The horn part at the beginning and end of that piece will make you believe in things like victory and human strength and the possibility of actual happiness.