Seattle Symphony opens 2021-22 season with Reena Esmail premiere, Xian Zhang on the podium

Posted on: September 16, 2021

Seattle Symphony’s new season begins on September 18. Photo: Seattle Symphony

“In 1998, when Benaroya Hall opened, … a special event … became a tradition those first few years: the ‘Day of Music,’ … in which the hall was thrown open to everyone for free performances,” writes Gavin Borchert in Wednesday’s (9/15) Seattle Times. “This weekend, to mark the return of something like a normal concert season after two disrupted ones, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra is again offering a double season opener…. Sunday’s free orchestral concert … will combine highlights from Saturday evening’s opener with two additional pieces…. Music director Thomas Dausgaard won’t be on the podium [due to] COVID-related work-visa issues.… Filling in as conductor … will be Xian Zhang, music director of the New Jersey Symphony…. Dausgaard has already put his mark on programming, though…. On the menu for Sunday’s free concert [are George Walker’s] ‘Lyric for Strings’ … the second movement of [Amy] Beach’s ‘Gaelic’ Symphony …. and Strauss’ ‘Don Juan.’ … The most anticipated work will be a repeat of Saturday’s world premiere by the SSO’s composer in residence, L.A.-based Indian American composer Reena Esmail. Her seven-minute ‘RE|Member’ was intended, from the first, as a welcome-back piece—for 2020-21. It’ll be all the more poignant delayed a year.”