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Seattle Symphony Orchestra

Composers

Biography

Active: December 29, 1903 - ; Seattle, WA
The Seattle Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1903, its first concert taking place December 29 that year at Christensen's Hall, led by violinist/conductor Harry West. The ensemble consisted of just 24 musicians that night, but expanded to 52 in 1907 when the Seattle Symphony Society was established and incorporated. That organization appointed a new conductor, Philadelphia native Michael Kegrize, and the orchestra was given a new home the Read more following year at the newly built Moore Theatre. It had been giving performances in the Grand Opera House as of 1906. In 1909, Henry Hadley was appointed music director and by the following year, he had more than doubled the number of concerts and increased the size of the ensemble to 65. He also attracted major artists to perform with the orchestra, including Fritz Kreisler and Josef Hofmann. Despite these improvements, the orchestra often struggled to attract sufficient support and critical recognition. In 1911, John Spargur was appointed to succeed the departing Hadley and the orchestra was renamed the Seattle Philharmonic and given a new concert venue, the Metropolitan Theatre. Continued woes plagued the orchestra and it reorganized in 1919, reverting to its original name of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Spargur remained music director of the ensemble, now consisting of 85 musicians who performed at the University of Washington's Meany Hall. More financial and organizational problems ensued and the group lost its professional status. In 1921-1923, Madame Davenport-Engberg led the SSO, which had to disband at the end of her tenure. In 1926, it reorganized once more, as Karl Krueger was appointed conductor of the now 65-member ensemble. In 1932, the orchestra began its first radio broadcasts under new director Basil Cameron, but because of the national depression and other financial concerns, the season schedule had to be reduced. Still, the orchestra rebounded and took its first West Coast tour in 1935, highlighted by a series of broadcasts over CBS radio. In the period of 1938 to 1954, the orchestra had five music directors, the second of these being one of the most prominent from the first half of the twentieth century, Sir Thomas Beecham (1941-1943). Beecham's reign produced sold-out concerts, but his jesting remarks about the orchestra's abilities created much controversy. Milton Katims was appointed music director in 1954 and enjoyed the longest tenure of any conductor in the orchestra's history. He introduced many new works and attracted some of the finest artists in the world, even drawing an appearance from Igor Stravinsky in 1962. Under Katims, revenues more than quadrupled, many recordings were made, and the orchestra's reputation grew in stature. Though he remained the musical director until 1979, Katims surrendered the conductorship in 1976 to Rainer Miedél. His tenure was mostly successful, weathering a strike in 1979, and touting a highly acclaimed European tour in 1981. Following Miedél's death in 1983, Gerard Schwarz was appointed principal conductor in 1984, then music director in 1985. He is largely responsible for bringing greater recognition to the orchestra through frequent appearances on PBS and a spate of successful recordings. In the early 1990s, the SSO received a string of Grammy nominations. Gerard Schwarz has also introduced many new works: in the 2000-01 season, for example, he presented four new major compositions, including Nanking! Nanking! by Bright Sheng, a U.S. premiere. On September 12, 1998, the Seattle Symphony gave its first performance in its new home at Benaroya Hall. Read less
Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 / Dausgaard, Seattle Symphony
Release Date: 11/10/2017   Label: Seattle Symphony  
Catalog: 1017   Number of Discs: 1
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Hanson: Symphony No. 2 / Lux Aeterna, Mosaics, Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559701   Number of Discs: 1
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American Classics - Diamond: Symphony No 3, Etc / Schwartz  , Starker, Seattle So
Release Date: 04/15/2003   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559155   Number of Discs: 1
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Mozart: Piano Concertos 21 & 24 / Istomin, Schwarz, Seattle
Release Date: 03/12/1996   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 68   Number of Discs: 1
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Schuman: Symphony No 8, Night Journey / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
Release Date: 02/23/2010   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559651   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 157 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 / Dausgaard, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1017 Release Date: 11/10/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen
    Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    The Gerard Schwarz Collection
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503294 Release Date: 10/13/2017   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Webern,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Thelma Handy,  Kenneth Munday,  David Shifrin,  Richard Todd  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  Gunther Schuller,  Jason K. Fettig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  New York Chamber Symphony  ... 
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  • 3.
    Messiaen: Poemes pour Mi & 3 Petites liturgies / Morlot, Seattle Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1016 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Olivier Messiaen
    Performer:  Jane Archibald,  Michael Brown,  Cynthia Millar
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Northwest Boys' Choir
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  • 4.
    Ives: 3 Places in New England / Morlot, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1015 Release Date: 06/09/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Ives
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Naxos: The Anniversary Collection
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8503293 Release Date: 04/14/2017   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Bettina Eger,  Ute Hartwich,  Martin Kevenhörster,  Hans-Martin Kothe  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Müller-Brühl,  Georg Tintner,  Robert Stankovsky,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    Dutilleux: Orchestral Works / Morlot, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1013 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Henri Dutilleux
    Performer:  Xavier Phillips,  Benjamin Richardson,  Kepler Swanson,  Andrew Torgelson  ... 
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Dutilleux: Sur le meme accord / Hadelich, Morlot, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1012 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Dutilleux
    Performer:  Augustin Hadelich,  Michael A. Werner,  Mary Lynch,  Mahan Esfahani  ... 
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 10 / Dausgaard, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Stravinsky: Petrushka - Debussy: La boite a joujoux / Morlot, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1010 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Kimberly Russ
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Ives: Symphony No. 4; The Unanswered Question; Central Park in the Dark; Symphony No. 3
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1009 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Ives
    Performer:  Cristina Valdes,  Joseph Adam
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Chorus
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  • 11.
    Dutilleux: Metaboles; L'arbre Des Songes; Symphony No. 2, Le Double
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1007 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Dutilleux
    Performer:  Augustin Hadelich
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Dvorak: Symphony No. 9
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1006 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Edgard Varčse
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Adams: Become Ocean / Morlot, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Cantaloupe   Catalog: 21101 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Luther Adams
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Luminescence: Works For Strings And Orchestra Brought To Light
    Label: Navona   Catalog: 5969 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marvin Schluger,  David Kirtley,  Robert Burrell,  Rain Worthington  ... 
    Conductor:  John Yaffé,  Robert Ian Winston,  Petr Vronsky,  Stanislav Vavrínek  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen / Grimsley, Mellor, Blythe, Vinke, Fisch, Seattle Opera
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2313 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Stephanie Blythe,  Alwyn Mellor,  Stefan Vinke,  Greer Grimsley  ... 
    Conductor:  Asher Fisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Seattle Opera Chorus
    CD: $168.99
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  • 16.
    Hindemith: Nobilissima Visione... / Schwarz, Seattle
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 572763 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith
    Performer:  Ko-ichiro Yamamoto,  Emma McGrath
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Dutilleux: Symphony no 1, Tout un Monde Lointain, The Shadows of Time / Phillips, Morlot
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1001 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Dutilleux
    Performer:  Xavier Phillips,  Benjamin Richardson,  Kepler Swanson,  Andrew Torgelson
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Ives: Symphony No 2; Carter: Instances; Gershwin: An American In Paris / Morlot
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1003 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Ives,  Elliott Carter,  George Gershwin
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Ravel: Orchestral Works - Saint-Saens: Organ Symphony / Morlot, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Seattle Symphony   Catalog: 1002 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Joseph Adam
    Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    The Sea In Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578269 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Frank Bridge,  Claude Debussy,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Connolly,  István Kassai,  François-Joël Thiollier
    Conductor:  David Lloyd-Jones,  James Judd,  Jun Märkl,  Simon Wright  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,  Lyon National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    40 Tracks for 40 Years - Delos Anniversary Set
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3440 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Antonín Dvorák,  Aram Khachaturian,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold  ... 
    Performer:  James Earl Jones,  Charles Butler,  Marina Domashenko,  Dmitri Hvorostovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton,  Zdenek Macal,  Constantine Orbelian,  James DePreist  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  New Jersey Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Marga Richter: Poetic Images Beyond Poetry / Gerard Schwarz
    Label: Ravello   Catalog: 7867 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marga Richter
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Radio Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Dvorak: Symphony No. 6; Janacek: Idyll / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572698 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Leos Janácek
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Stravinsky: Pulcinella, Etc / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8571224 Release Date: 12/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Susan Graham,  Gran Wilson,  Jan Opalach
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies No 1 & 2  / Schwarz, Seattle  Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8571225 Release Date: 12/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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