Seattle Symphony tackles Ives’ Fourth Symphony—onstage and off

Posted on: January 26, 2015

“Ives’ orchestral masterpiece, his Symphony No. 4, requires something … unorthodox, something the Seattle Symphony Orchestra will present in a rare performance of the work next Thursday and Saturday (Jan. 29 and 31),” writes Tom Keogh in Friday’s (1/23) Seattle Times. “Besides the main orchestra and Seattle Symphony Chorale crowded on stage at Benaroya Hall, there will be four conductors involved, two of whom will be leading additional, smaller ensembles backstage. Backstage? ‘We’ll open the doors between those spaces,’ says Seattle Symphony Orchestra music director Ludovic Morlot, explaining how the audience will hear the unseen musicians. ‘Those ensembles are completely separate from the rest of the orchestra. So the logistics are going to be quite exciting, and a headache.’ ” This complex work usually requires at least two conductors. “Morlot is principal conductor for Symphony No. 4. His onstage partner will be SSO associate conductor Stilian Kirov. Philharmonia Northwest music director Julia Tai and UW Orchestra conductor David Rahbee will be in charge of the other two units: one a percussion group—involving tricky, temporal ratios with the main orchestra—and the other a string quintet of five violins and a harp.” The program also includes Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Denis Kozhukhin.

Posted January 26, 2015