Heiner Goebbels: Surrogate Cities

Surrogate Cities, a multimedia extravaganza by the German composer and theater artist Heiner Goebbels, studies the essence of a modern metropolis — its people, its power structures and its place in a changing world — with the world premiere of a new piece woven into Surrogate Cities. The music, like the city itself, is both organic and structured, a blur of human and machine-made sounds enhanced with striking visual effects. Texts by Paul Auster and Hugo Hamilton, two of the great novelists of urban life, supply a gritty script. Vocalist Jocelyn B. Smith brings the sultry intimacy of a cabaret singer, and David Moss delivers an explosive vocal performance that ranges from laconic film noir narration to hallucinogenic outbursts. As our city continues its rapid transformation, this timely performance offers surprising new angles of self-reflection.

Masterworks Series

Dates and Tickets

  • 25 Apr (Thu) 2019 7:30PM
  • 26 Apr (Fri) 2019 8:00PM

Pre-concert Talk

Pre-concert Talk presented one hour prior to each performance. Free with ticket purchase.

Ask the Artist

Ask the Artist to follow the Friday night concert. Free with ticket purchase.

Running time

1 hour, 25 minutes

Doors open

1 hour, 30 minutes prior to performance


S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium - Benaroya Hall


Ludovic Morlot


French conductor Ludovic Morlot has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 2011. Among the many highlights of his tenure, the orchestra have won three Grammy Awards and gave an exhilarating performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014, as reported in The New York Times: “The performance Mr. Morlot coaxed from his players was rich with shimmering colors and tremulous energy.”

Jocelyn B. Smith


Jocelyn B. Smith was born 1960 in New York. When she was 5 years old, Jocelyn started classical piano lessons, which she then pursued, with a lot of discipline, for another twelve years. Jocelyn only discovered later, when she was 11 years old, that her voice was a further form of musical expression.

David Moss


When his father, Roy Moss, put his arms around David Moss in 1959 and played the drums, he was touched by the mystery that music contains. As his percussionist life mutated into a singer’s life, he explored the power of the voice through its multitudinous utterances.

Heiner Goebbels

Lighting Designer

Norbert Ommer

Sound Designer

Seattle Symphony

The Seattle Symphony is one of America’s leading symphony orchestras and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history.


Major funding for Surrogate Cities is generously provided by the Judith A. Fong Music Directors Fund. Surrogate Cities is underwritten by Bob and Clodagh Ash