“Listen Boldly.” That’s the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (SSO) motto. And it’s not just words. More people in the Seattle area have started doing just that — listening more boldly — thanks to innovative programming and community outreach efforts, both by SSO and classical radio station KING FM. We’re literally tickled pink (hot pink is SSO’s signature color) to be working with these two organizations on Pianos in the Parks. And we’re excited about a bunch of new programs they’ve launched.
Last year, at the finale for Pianos in the Parks, SSO Conductor Ludovic Merlot pointed out that Pianos in the Parks has brought together all sorts of communities, not just musical ones. It could be said that Maestro Merlot does the same thing. He and SSO are building community — by bringing to Benaroya Hall an extremely high caliber of performance, coupled with experimentation and discovery.
The great news is that we’re in store for more. Last month, SSO renewed Maestro Merlot’s contract until 2019, ensuring at least four more years of remarkable performances, SSO-label recordings, and Seattle recognized as a place where classical music is coming alive. September will be especially exciting at Benaroya Hall.
For starters, there’s the first ever Seattle Symphony International Piano Competition, Sept. 15 – 18 (free to the public).
A day later – Saturday, Sept. 19 – is the Symphony’s Opening Night Concert and Gala, which LNWM is happy to be sponsoring again this year. This is sure to be one of this year’s “don’t miss” events, as Ludovic Merlot takes the podium to start his fifth season, with performances by world renown pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, SSO’s artist in residence.
At the same time, KING FM 98.1 is doing a phenomenal job as the voice of the local classical music scene. KING FM’s Young Artists Competition highlights the high level of young talent in our midst. And this past March, KING FM partnered with SSO on a new streaming service, the KING FM Seattle Symphony Channel.