Review: Tacoma Symphony’s first in-person concert in months features new score by Patrice Rushen, plus Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky

Posted on: October 28, 2021

“Everyone in the almost-full Pantages concert by Symphony Tacoma Saturday night—their first in person since the pandemic began—realized this crucial point: If music brings our community together, then the audience is just as vital a part as the performers,” writes Rosemary Ponnekanti in Monday’s (10/25) South Sound Magazine (Tacoma, WA). “The evening’s musical journey was as emotionally powerful and musically symbolic as anyone could have hoped for…. After an emotional rendition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ with conductor Sarah Ioannides encouraging audience singing—was Color Express, the first movement of the first symphony by Patrice Rushen….Her aptly named Color Express charges through the orchestra, pulling apart its colorful timbres in a language that’s like Bernstein in a hip New York jazz bar…. It’s one of several works by women or composers of color occupying that five-to-10-minute spot on the top of the program [this season]…. Headlining Saturday’s program was Charlie Albright, a Centralia-born piano virtuoso who brought his sparkling technique to Shostakovich’s frenzied Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major…. As the welcome-back after 18 months of collective upheaval, separation, and grief, [Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6] was the perfect vehicle to express what everyone was feeling, musicians and audience alike.”