Seattle Symphony

The Seattle Symphony is an American orchestra based in Seattle, Washington. Since 1998, the orchestra is resident at Benaroya Hall. The orchestra also serves as the accompanying orchestra for the Seattle Opera. The Seattle Symphony is one of the leading symphony orchestras in the United States. It is known for its innovative programs, recordings, and its commitment to the music of our time.
Located in: Benaroya Hall. Address: 200 University St, Seattle, WA 98101.

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Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony, WA
Seattle Symphony, WA

Here are some key details:

Founding and History The Seattle Symphony was founded in 1903 and has since grown into a world-class ensemble recognized for its deep relationships with the community and commitment to artistic innovation.

Initially a part-time ensemble of local musicians, the Symphony gradually began to attract renowned conductors and artists. With the support of the community, it grew in stature and recognition.

Venue The orchestra performs in the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall, located in downtown Seattle. The Hall, which opened in 1998, is renowned for its stunning architecture and superb acoustics. It houses two performance halls: the large S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium and the smaller, more intimate Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall.

Music Directors The Seattle Symphony has had a succession of notable music directors. Some of them include:

  • Henry Hadley (1909–1911)
  • Sir Thomas Beecham (1941–1943)
  • Milton Katims (1954–1976)
  • Gerard Schwarz (1985–2011)
  • Ludovic Morlot (2011–2019)
  • Thomas Dausgaard (2019–present as of my knowledge cutoff in 2021)

Under their leadership, the orchestra has evolved, taking on more complex works and challenging programming.

Performances and Recordings The Seattle Symphony gives around 200 performances each year, playing a wide range of repertoire from the baroque to the present day. This includes not just the standard symphonic and operatic repertoire, but also works by contemporary composers.

The Symphony has a strong commitment to new music and has commissioned and premiered many works by living composers. It has a particular focus on music by American composers, and it has won several Grammy Awards for its recordings of music by contemporary American composers.

The Seattle Symphony’s recordings have received high critical acclaim. Since the launch of its in-house record label, Seattle Symphony Media, the Symphony has made a commitment to recording live performances and has garnered multiple Grammy nominations and wins.

Education and Community Engagement The Seattle Symphony has robust education and community engagement programs, which aim to bring classical music to a wider audience, foster a love of music in young people, and engage with diverse communities across the region. Programs include family concerts, school concerts, community concerts, masterclasses, and other outreach activities.

Seattle Symphony Chorale The Seattle Symphony Chorale serves as the official chorus of the Seattle Symphony. Over its history, it has grown in size and stature, now being considered one of the finest symphony choruses in the world.

best seats at Seattle Symphony

Seattle Symphony Seating Chart
Seattle Symphony Seating Chart

The best seats at a symphony performance can depend on personal preference, as different locations within the concert hall can provide different experiences. However, here are some general tips when choosing seats at the Benaroya Hall, the home of the Seattle Symphony:

  1. Orchestra Level: This is the level closest to the stage and is often considered the most desirable. Center seats several rows back can provide a balanced sound. Some people prefer to sit a bit further back in the orchestra level (say, rows M to Z) because the sound has more room to blend, compared to the very front rows.
  2. Box Seats: If you want a panoramic view of the entire orchestra, you might consider a box seat. These are located on the sides of the hall. Do note that the sound balance may be different here since you’re essential to the side of the orchestra rather than in front of it.
  3. Dress Circle and Second Tier: These are the middle and upper balconies of the hall. Sitting in the front row of these sections can give you a fantastic view of the orchestra from above, and you’re still close enough to get great sound.
  4. Founders Tier and The Gallery: These are the highest seating sections. The sound is still very good here, and the tickets are generally more affordable. The perspective of seeing the orchestra from this height is quite unique.

As with any concert venue, the “best” seat is somewhat subjective and can depend on the specific piece of music being played, the individual’s hearing preferences, and what they want to see. Some people prefer to be close to the musicians to see their expressions and techniques, while others prefer to be a bit further away where the acoustics might blend the sound of the orchestra more. It’s also always a good idea to check with the venue’s box office. They often can provide specific advice based on the concert hall’s unique characteristics.

Ticket Information

here’s some general information on how to purchase tickets for the Seattle Symphony. However, the specifics might have changed since then, so please always check the official website or contact the venue for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

  • Online Purchase The easiest and most common way to buy tickets is online through the Seattle Symphony’s official website. You can view the concert schedule, choose your seats, and pay for your tickets all in one place.
  • Phone Purchase Tickets can also be purchased by phone. The Seattle Symphony Ticket Office typically provides a contact number for phone sales.
  • In-person Purchase You can buy tickets in person at the Benaroya Hall Ticket Office, which is usually open on weekdays and before performances.
  • Subscription Packages The Symphony offers various subscription packages, which can provide a significant discount if you plan on attending multiple performances throughout the season. These packages can often be tailored based on your preferences, for instance, selecting a package focusing on classical, pop, or family concerts.
  • Group Sales If you’re attending with a large group, there might be special group sales options and discounts available.
  • Student and Senior Discounts Discounted tickets are usually available for students, seniors, and sometimes for military personnel.
  • Rush Tickets Some orchestras offer discounted “rush” tickets for sale on the day of the performance, though availability varies and isn’t guaranteed.
  • Gift Certificates You can typically purchase gift certificates that can be redeemed for tickets.
  • Exchange Policy Ticket exchange policies vary. Generally, if you’re a subscriber, you may have more flexibility to exchange tickets for another performance.
Events

Events

Upcoming Events: 19
  • Seattle Symphony: She's Got Soul - Capathia Jenkins
    May
    31
    2024
    8:00 PM
    Fri
    Prices from $40
    Tickets
  • Seattle Symphony: She's Got Soul - Capathia Jenkins
    Jun
    01
    2024
    8:00 PM
    Sat
    Prices from $40
    Tickets
  • Seattle Symphony: She's Got Soul - Capathia Jenkins
    Jun
    02
    2024
    2:00 PM
    Sun
    Prices from $40
    Tickets
  • Seattle Symphony: Jan Lisiecki Plays Prokofiev
    Jun
    06
    2024
    7:30 PM
    Thu
    Prices from $69
    Tickets
  • Seattle Symphony: Jan Lisiecki Plays Prokofiev
    Jun
    08
    2024
    8:00 PM
    Sat
    Prices from $54
    Tickets
  • Seattle Symphony: Jan Lisiecki Plays Prokofiev
    Jun
    09
    2024
    2:00 PM
    Sun
    Prices from $67
    Tickets
  • Seattle Symphony: Beethoven Symphony No. 5
    Jun
    13
    2024
    7:30 PM
    Thu
    Prices from $100
    Tickets
  • Seattle Symphony: Beethoven Symphony No. 5
    Jun
    15
    2024
    8:00 PM
    Sat
    Prices from $100
    Tickets
  • Seattle Symphony: From Mendelssohn to Milhaud
    Jun
    18
    2024
    7:30 PM
    Tue
    Seattle Symphony: From Mendelssohn to Milhaud
    98111, 200 University St., Seattle, WA, US
    Prices from $63
    Tickets
  • Seattle Symphony: Joshua Bell
    Jun
    20
    2024
    7:30 PM
    Thu
    Prices from $115
    Tickets
All Events