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Why am I going to Seattle tomorrow night? The SFSO. Enough said.

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Jan. 20, 2009 at 9:52 am |
January 20, 2009 9:52 am

The San Francisco Symphony. Photo courtesy Seattle Symphony.

It takes a lot to convince me to drive up to Seattle through evening rush-hour traffic in the kind of fog we’re getting these days, especially mid-week. But tonight and tomorrow night there’s the kind of reason that would make me go up twice in a row if I had the time:

The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

They’re playing Benaroya Hall tonight and tomorrow, and they’re playing Brahms, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. But even if they were playing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” I’d still go and hear them. They’re one of the world’s best bands, playing with a sound in which every instrument speaks uniquely. Bernard Holland, reviewing a Carnegie Hall concert last year, called their sound European (rather than brassy American), with “a glow and a weight that begin below the surface of the sound and expand upward and outward.”

They also have the best attitude toward younger audiences that I’ve found–their “Metallica” CD is a great example–with a website that really walks the talk with audio and video.

Tonight they’re playing Berg, Copland and Brahms 1; tomorrow it’s Prokofiev’s 5th concert (Garrick Ohlson) and Tchaikovsky 5, plus a piece by their superb conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas. It’s part of the longest West Coast tour they’ve done yet.

Both shows start at 7:30 p.m. Benaroya Hall is on Second Avenue at Union and University Streets in downtown Seattle. Tickets: 1-866-833-4747, or www.seattlesymphony.org

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