Northwest Symphony to premiere “For Malala” by Seattle-based jazz composer

Posted on: February 12, 2016

In Thursday’s (2/11) Seattle Times, Paul de Barros writes about For Malala, a new composition by jazz pianist Sumi Tonooka being premiered by the Seattle-based Northwest Symphony Orchestra on February 12. For Malala is “dedicated to 18-year-old Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by a Taliban terrorist and nearly killed in 2012, for encouraging women to go to school. ‘She is the real deal, a real heroine,’ said Tonooka…. For Malala grew out of a project Tonooka did for the American Composers Orchestra, Full Circle … in 2013. The conductor there … suggested she pitch it to his friend Anthony Spain, music director of the Northwest Symphony Orchestra. Spain … asked Tonooka to write another piece. For Malala is the happy result…. The piece is part of the orchestra’s ‘Season of Local Women Composers.’ For Malala features a hefty wind section, four percussion, strings and jazz piano trio. Tonooka will perform the piano part, with Michael Glynn (bass) and Max Wood (drums). The composition develops a lovely melody for the winds, with active piano accompaniment, moves into an improvised trio section, then returns to full orchestra. ‘I wanted to bring the orchestra into my world,’ said Tonooka.”

Posted February 12, 2016

Photo of Malala Yousafzai by Jon Fuller-Rowell