Composer and pianist George Walker has broken countless barriers in his long and rich life, like when he became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1996. He belongs to an exceedingly rare class of composers who have produced vital, vibrant music into their late 90s. With his latest opus, Sinfonia No. 5, “Visions,” Walker meditates on the 2015 massacre at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. In his Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” Dvořák reflected back the bountiful and optimistic United States that welcomed him with open arms. Spirituals learned from the grandson of a freed slave and transcriptions of Native American melodies enrich this melting pot of European refinement and American earnestness. In the same way that Dvořák gave voice to his Czech homeland through folk-inspired symphonies and tone poems, the Polish trendsetter Karol Szymanowski liberated his country’s musical identity by crafting imaginative works for orchestra steeped in local traditions. The Scottish superstar Nicola Benedetti made a forceful case for Szymanowski when she recorded his First Violin Concerto at the age of 17, and now she brings that passion to the Second Violin Concerto, a seamless marvel of grounded melodies and lofty virtuosic flights.
Pre-concert Talk presented one hour prior to each performance. Free with ticket purchase.
Ask the Artist
Ask the Artist to follow the Thursday night concert. Free with ticket purchase.
1 hour, 40 minutes
1 hour, 30 minutes prior to performance
S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium - Benaroya Hall
Thomas Dausgaard is renowned for his creativity and innovative programming, the excitement of his live performances, and his extensive catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings.
Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation. Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and dynamic presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high-profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today.
Thomas Dausgaard’s performances are generously underwritten by Elwood and Ilene Hertzog. Thomas Dausgaard’s performances receive additional support from the Scan|Design Foundation by Inger & Jens Bruun. Dvořák New World Symphony is presented as part of the Seattle Symphony’s New Music WORKS initiative, which is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. New Music WORKS features commissions, concerts and educational activities that use composition as a catalyst for collaboration and engagement in music.