Your Destination Guide to Seattle

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Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony
Seattle Symphony

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For more than a century since its inception in 1903, the Seattle Symphony has been performing at Benaroya Hall and at other venues throughout the city, playing over 220 concerts to more than 315,000 avid music enthusiasts each year. The orchestra consists of 84 full-time musicians, members of the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players' Organization, a chapter of the International Guild of Symphony, Opera and Ballet Musicians.

Former Musical Director Gerard Schwarz recently left the symphony after 26 years as conductor. Under Schwarz’ leadership, the orchestra featured 20th century compositions and many times highlighted works of overlooked American composers. The maestro and his orchestra made over 140 commercial recordings and garnered 12 Grammy nominations. In both 2007 and 2008, the Seattle Symphony won Emmy Awards for its first two self-produced television specials, Seattle Symphony From Benaroya Hall, and Seattle Symphony From Benaroya Hall: Brahms, Kernis and Kodály.

For the 2011-2012 season, Ludovic Morlot takes the helm as the 15th music director and has been lauded as a man with limitless ability, sought after throughout North America and Europe as one of the greatest conductors of his generation. He is assisted by Marvin Hamlisch, principal pops conductor; Eric Garcia, assistant conductor; and Joseph Crnko, associate conductor for choral activities.

Benaroya Hall became home to the Seattle Symphony in 1998. The dual performance halls, S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium (capacity 2,500) and the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall (capacity 540), along with the rest of the building, occupy an entire block of downtown Seattle. Benaroya is noted for its architectural and acoustical splendor. In April 2001, the Seattle Symphony organization gave back to Benaroya Hall, constructing a space to serve as a learning center within the building. The Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center offers hands-on, interactive exhibits, orchestral instruments, and a performance and workshop area, where people of all ages and talents are welcome to express themselves musically.

The programs at Soundbridge are unique aspects of the Seattle Symphony, designed to work with the public to encourage musical exploration. Musical storytelling allows members to listen to and express themselves in a new manner. The “petting zoo” features a host of instruments at hand to be tested. A listening bar, symphonic treasure hunt, and the science of sound wall make up other exhibits at Soundbridge.

Attraction Information

  • Admission:
  • Varies by performance
  • Contact:
  • Location: 200 University St., Seattle, WA
  • Administration: 206-215-4700; Ticket Office: 206-215-4747
  • Website: www.seattlesymphony.org
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