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Our 2015-2016 Concert Season


From Darkness To Luminosity

From Darkness To Luminosity
  • Octandre - Edgard Varèse
  • Singing in the dead of night - Julia Wolfe
  • The Viola in My Life I - Morton Feldman
  • From Darkness to Luminosity - Orlando Jacinto Garcia

Saturday, October 17, 2015, 8:00 PM
Pre-concert presentation at 7:30 PM
The Chapel in the Good Shepherd Center
Tickets available September 1st

Seattle Modern Orchestra opens its 2015-16 season with a commissioned work by Cuban-American composer Orlando Jacinto Garcia for UW faculty and pianist Cristina Valdés, titled From Darkness to Luminosity. In this new work, Garcia’s piano writing explores moments of traditional virtuosity as well as extended techniques that amplify the timbral possibilities of the instrument, contrasting against the quiet canvas held by the ensemble.

Also on this program are works from three celebrated composers: Edgard Varèse, Morton Feldman and 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner Julia Wolfe. Varèse and Feldman’s non-developmental approach, Wolfe’s repeated pattern and static harmonies, and Garcia’s slow evolution of musical material with a counterpoint of register, density and timbre all explore darkness and light with their unique voices.

We are also very excited to have UW faculty violist Melia Watras perform Morton Feldman’s The Viola of my Life I.

Musica Electronica

Musica Electronica
  • Differences - Luciano Berio
  • NEW WORK for ensemble and surround sound - Ewa Trębacz
  • Lichtbogen - Kaija Saariaho

Saturday, April 9, 2016, 8:00 PM
Pre-concert presentation at 7:30 PM
The Chapel in the Good Shepherd Center
Tickets available September 1st

Seattle Modern Orchestra presents a full concert of electronic music, including three works from three different generations and three stages of technologic development. SMO has commissioned Seattle-based Polish composer and research scientist at University of Washington DxARTS Ewa Trębacz to write a piece for ensemble and surround sound. Trębacz utilizes the latest technologies in sound processing and spatialization in an immersive approach to music with a lyrical narrative. To place this new work in context, this concert will present Differences (1959) by celebrated Italian composer Luciano Berio for small ensemble and tape. The tape plays a filtered, transposed, expanded recording of the acoustic part, creating a polyphonic relationship with the live ensemble. Finally, we will feature Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s Lichtbogen (stemming from Northern Lights) for ensemble and live electronics designed at the French institute IRCAM.

Discrete Infinity

Discrete Infinity
  • Samarkand - Claude Vivier
  • Periodes - Gérard Grisey
  • Discrete Infinity - Anthony Cheung

Saturday, June 11, 2016, 8:00 PM
Pre-concert presentation at 7:30 PM
The Chapel in the Good Shepherd Center
Tickets available September 1st

For its season finale, Seattle Modern Orchestra will host composer and Rome Prize winner Anthony Cheung in residency for the US Premiere of his 2011 piece, Discrete Infinity. The piece, borrowing its title from Noam Chomsky’s The Architecture of Language, explores the limitless possibilities of expression with a finite material such as language. Also on the program will be a classic of Spectralism, Gérard Grisey’s Periodes, and a little-known work by Canadian composer Claude Vivier titled Samarkand, in which he continues to work with melodies while exploring harmonies built on Spectralist thinking.