The three pieces Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot selected for this evening brilliantly showcase the many facets of the ocean. The program starts with Sibelius's serene tone poem, The Oceanides. The room will then sparkle and effervesce when the orchestra dives into Britten's Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes before completely freezing over when arctic blasts from Sibelius's Second Symphony start hitting everybody. RS
Benaroya Hall, $22–$122
LA-based composer Daniel Corral creates highly unpredictable music that swerves from serene, abstruse chamber music to chaotic sound collage to a wickedly warped deconstruction of the Sonics' "The Witch" called "Tacoma." But my favorite work of his is Diamond Pulses, a 32-minute piece marked by interlocking microtonal needlepoint and what sound like massive synthesized tides. DAVE SEGAL
Chapel Performance Space, 8 pm, $5–$15
Composer Edvard Grieg is credited with bringing Norwegian music to the world, and so this concert will honor his legacy with a showcase of meditations on the sounds of the Norwegian Arctic, with guest artists Ingrid Eliassen on the trumpet and Ekaterina Isayevskaya on the piano.
Ballard First Lutheran, 7 pm, free
The Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) will celebrate their centennial anniversaries this spring, so a program of classical folk songs and choral music will be performed by the Seattle Choral Company in partnership with the Mägi Baltic Ensemble, directed by Heather MacLaughlin Garbes, and the University of Washington Baltic Studies Program, chaired by Professor Guntis Šmidchens.
Saint Mark's Cathedral, 8 pm, $25
Considered Verdi's ultimate masterpiece, Messa di Requiem will be performed by a joint force of the Kirkland Choral Society and Philharmonia Northwest in a dramatic recall of traditional Latin Mass with a 100-voice chorus, full orchestra, and guest soloists.
Benaroya Hall, 2 pm, $25/$35
Olivier Messiaen composed his masterpiece, the aptly titled "Quartet for the End of Time," while captive in a Nazi POW camp in 1941. The staunchly spiritual piece takes into consideration acts of faith, and the depth of love in the face of universal time.
Saint Mark's Cathedral, 2 pm, $15/$20
March 29 & 31
Last time the Seattle Symphony commissioned John Luther Adams for a piece he created, Become Ocean, it ended up winning the 2014 Pulitzer Prize and the glowing admiration of a singer-songwriter by the name of Taylor Swift. (She later donated $50K to the symphony because she liked Adams's pieces so much.) The symphony has wisely commissioned another piece from Adams, Become Desert, which will have its world premiere right here in Seattle. RS
Benaroya Hall, $29–$122
The selections from Smetana, Schnittke, and Kancheli coalesce into the sonic equivalent of smoking a clove and thinking about the one that got away, and then internationally renowned Jeremy Denk is going to hit you with Beethoven's String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 4, which will put the pep back in your step, you big baby. RS
Benaroya Hall, 8 pm, $40
If the fact that Baroque revivalist and Bach expert Jeremy Denk is a recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant isn't enough to make you want to go to this, then take the word of the New York Times: "Mr. Denk, clearly, is a pianist you want to hear, no matter what he performs." In this case, he'll be performing Beethoven's masterwork, the "Emperor" Concerto.
Benaroya Hall, 12 pm, $37–$122
Macedonian pianist and concert hall regular Simon Trpeski will perform a dazzling program spanning from Mendelssohn's Songs without Words to Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.
UW Meany Theatre, 7:30 pm, $47+
April 19 & 21
Hearing Claude Debussy's "La Mer (The Sea)" in concert is a thrilling experience you need to have in order to feel the full force of the art. The piece is massive and fantastic in the Tolkienian sense of the word: It sounds like you're on a galleon sailing into the mountains to face the One Demon for control over your own mind. Russian phenom Daniil Trifonov will guide you through this intense dreamscape on the piano. Though he's young (24!), you'll be in good hands. RS
Benaroya Hall, $22–$122
Enjoy the endless current of melody that is the full spectrum of Debussy's aquatic explorations during a special edition of "Untuxed," a low-key, no-intermission way to enjoy the Seattle Symphony.
Benaroya Hall, 7 pm, $13–$55
April 26 & 28
Seattle Symphony music director Ludovic Morlot leads "star soloists, dancers, puppeteers, three choirs, four grand pianos and the Seattle Symphony" in this celebration of Stravinsky's woefully undersung minor pieces. Dancer Anna Marra's interpretation of Perséphone, Stravinsky's haunting melodrama about the Greek goddess of nature who was dragged to the Underworld against her will, should be particularly magical. The recent production at the Oregon Symphony featured life-sized puppets, bunches of oversized flowers, a man-deer, and one big, freaky moon. RS
Benaroya Hall, $29–$122
At the latest installment of the incredibly popular late-night, lie-on-the-floor-if-you-want-to concert experience from Seattle Symphony's most risk-taking players, [untitled] 2 will feature a blend of folk traditions and wild works by contemporary Russian composers, all animated by the Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble.
Benaroya Hall, 10 pm, $16
The University of Washington School of Music and DXARTS—Center for Digital Art and Experimental Media will co-sponsor this series that showcases innovative new works and contemporary classics composed and initiated by faculty members and guest composers.
UW Meany Theatre, 7:30 pm, $15
Gamba player Jordi Savall and Galician bagpiper Carlos Núñez will transport their audience to the Emerald Isle with a program rife with Celtic culture, lively jigs, and ancient music traditions represented with a modern twist. They'll be joined by the musicians of Hespèrion XXI.
Seattle First Baptist Church, 7:30 pm, $20–$50
Locally beloved experimental composer Matthew Shoemaker's life was tragically cut short last year. To honor his legacy, sound artists Colin Andrew Sheffield, Jim Haynes, Climax Golden Twins, and Dave Knott will gather to perform waves of sonic texture inspired by their relationships and collaborations with Shoemaker.
Chapel Performance Space, 7 pm, $5–$15
Bellevue Chamber Chorus will join in collaboration with City Cantabile Choir for a unique program featuring "Misa por la Paz y la Justicia (Mass for Peace and Justice)," a rare work by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez that showcases the melding of indigenous South American instruments and styles with conventional classical music traditions, as well as other excursions into the music of Latin America.
Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7:30 pm, $15–$20 (May 5); St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Bellevue, 3 pm, $10–$20 (May 6)
Verdi's Aida is a hugely ambitious tale that ties in pharaohs and slaves, priests and priestesses, lust and love, betrayal and redemption, and a bunch of other major themes that will be tended to by Seattle Opera in what will surely be the production of the year.
McCaw Hall, $87+
Babes of the contemporary classical music scene JACK Quartet will take the church world by storm with their string-centered program of selections by Jefferson Friedman's Quintet, Carlo Gesualdo, Joshua Roman, and more.
Plymouth Congregational Church, 7:30 pm, $15/$20
Harry Partch was a composer who invented his own microtonal systems and created his own massive, whimsical instruments like the Chromelodeon, Harmonic Canon, and Spoils of War. This weekend, Charles Corey and the Harry Partch ensemble will honor the musical innovator with performances of his compositions on these hand-hewn instruments, as well as modern classics by Satie, Berio, Cage, Ives, and Pärt, among others.
University of Washington School of Music, 7:30 pm, $10–$60
Ten performers astride a baby grand apiece will play selections from every genre to raise money for children's music education.
Benaroya Hall, 7 pm, $43–$121
"Never forget" was the refrain the world adopted in response to the horrors of the Holocaust. Music of Remembrance takes that charge seriously, using symphonic music's ability to transcend time and create emotional connections between an audience and those touched by the Shoah and other tragedies. They'll mark their 20th season with "Gaman," a piece by Seattle-based composer Christophe Chagnard about the Japanese interment camps. To tell the story, Chagnard uses Japanese and Western instruments, as well as testimony and visual art from poets and artists imprisoned in the camps. RS
Benaroya Hall, 5 pm, $30–$45
Chamber ensemble Frequency, comprised of UW faculty members Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir on cello and Melia Watras on viola, along with Pacific Northwest Ballet concertmaster Michael Jinsoo Lim on violin, will perform works by Luciano Berio, Witold Lutosawski, Bruno Maderna, Maurice Ravel, and Melia Watras, with additional pieces written for duos that will showcase a collaboration with guest violinist Yura Lee.
UW Meany Theatre, 7:30 pm, $20
May 31 & June 2–3
Attn: Seattle Scandinavians. The symphony and their Danish principal guest conductor (and future music director) Thomas Dausgaard are bringing you Sibelius's Kullervo, which will reportedly make you very horny for Finland folk mythology and for your snow-covered motherlands. Another thing to look forward to: soprano Maria Männistö, who has "one of the most hauntingly beautiful voices" the Seattle Times has heard in years. RS
Benaroya Hall, $22–$122
This is an excellent opportunity to lie on the floor while listening to choral music. Rich Smith wrote, "Something about the combination of the architecture, the fellowship, and the music gave me a little peek into the ineffable."
Saint Mark's Cathedral, 9:30 pm, free