WHATCOM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Our 40th Anniversary Concert Season: 2015-2016

The Emperor & the Titan

Alessio Bax, piano
Sunday, June 5, 2016 - 3:00pm

Mount Baker Theatre

Few works in the piano repertoire have captured audiences' hearts as much as Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto, subtitled Emperor. The WSO is joined for this beloved work by internationally acclaimed pianist Alessio Bax, whose electrifying performances have been compared to an out of body experience (Dallas Morning News) for listeners.

Mahler's soaring First Symphony completes the program, ending the anniversary season with a royal flourish!

Dr. Ed Rutschman presents a pre-concert lecture in the MBT Encore room, one hour prior to the concert. Admission to the lecture is free, but seating is limited.

Alessio Bax website

Emperor & Titan Tickets

 

Bax

 
Program includes:

  • Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 (Emperor)
    Alessio Bax, piano
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 1 (Titan)

WSO Season Sponsors:

Porsche/Audi Bellingham
Peoples Bank

Guest Artist Sponsor:

Strider Industrial Park

 

Performed Previously this Season:

A Royal Opening

James Ehnes, violin
Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 3:00pm

Mount Baker Theatre

Superstar violinist James Ehnes, two of Beethoven's greatest works, and a bit of Bernstein make for a truly magnificent opening for our 40th season.

Hearing Ennes, described as a wizard of the violin (Gramophone), play Beethoven's heavenly Violin Concerto is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Add the powerful sounds of Beethoven's Fifth and Bernstein's Candide overture for an epic musical adventure!

Dr. Ed Rutschman presents a pre-concert lecture in the MBT Encore room, one hour prior to the concert. Admission to the lecture is free, but seating is limited.

Click here to view Maestro Attar's preview to this concert!

James Ehnes website

Ehnes

 
Program includes:

  • Bernstein: Overture to Candide
  • Beethoven: Concerto for Violin in D major
    James Ehnes, violin
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor

WSO Season Sponsors:

Porsche/Audi Bellingham
Peoples Bank

Concert Sponsor:

Schlichting Wixson CPAs

¡Viva el Tango!

Elisa Barston, violin
Sunday, May 1, 2016 - 3:00pm

Mount Baker Theatre

Spring starts with the spark of syncopated rhythms from Latin America! From Piazzolla's innovative nuevo tango style to the infectious energy of Ginastera's dances, the Latin sound infuses this concert with warmth as winter ends in the Northwest.

Seattle Symphony Principal 2nd violin Elisa Barston - praised for her glowing sound (The Strad) - makes her first solo appearance with the Whatcom Symphony.

Dr. Ed Rutschman presents a pre-concert lecture in the MBT Encore room, one hour prior to the concert. Admission to the lecture is free, but seating is limited.

Click here to view Maestro Attar's preview to this concert!

Barston

 
Program includes:

  • Bizet: Danse Boheme from Carmen Suite No. 2
  • Piazzolla: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
    Elisa Barston, violin
  • Ginastera: Estancia: Four Dances
  • Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnole

Elisa Barston webpage

The Perfect Pair

Moran Katz, clarinet
Dimitri Murrath, viola
Sunday, November 22, 2015 - 3:00pm

Mount Baker Theatre

The rich tones of clarinet and viola blend perfectly in our second season concert. Two virtuosic young performers, clarinetist Moran Katz and violist Dimitri Murrath, take center stage for Bruch's rarely performed double concerto.

Along with Prokofiev's tale of starcrossed lovers, we are thrilled to present the world premiere of Hitherto, an overture by Sean Hickey, commissioned by the WSO in celebration of our 40th!

The pre-concert event before this performance will feature a special conversation with composer Sean Hickey and WSO Executive Director Thom Mayes. Mr. Hickey will discuss the process behind his new work, Hitherto, which will have its world premiere performance at this concert. The pre-concert lecture is in the MBT Encore room, one hour prior to the concert. Admission to the lecture is free, but seating is limited.

Click here to view Maestro Attar's preview to this concert!

Pair

 
Program includes:

  • Hickey: Hitherto (World Premiere)
  • Bruch: Concerto for Clarinet, Viola, & Orchestra
  • Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet (excerpts)

Moran Katz website

Dimitri Murrath website

WSO Season Sponsors:

Porsche/Audi Bellingham
Peoples Bank

Concert Sponsor:

The Willows

Guest Artist Sponsor:

Taylor Shellfish Farms

Harmony from Discord

Jessica Choe, piano
Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola
Zart Dombourian-Eby, flute
Sunday, March 6, 2016 - 3:00pm

Mount Baker Theatre

As part of our 40th anniversary season, the WSO embarks on a multi-year initiative exploring uplifting works composed by artists in the face of severe oppression. The project will be led by our Music Director, Yaniv Attar, whose Doctoral study of composers of the Holocaust era provided the inspiration for this effort. Entitled Harmony from Discord, this program centers around composers who were persecuted in Europe, many of whom ultimately passed away in concentration camps. The initiative seeks to honor the work of these composers, highlighting compositions which transcend the dark reality of a situation and celebrate the beauty of human life. Since many of these works are rarely performed, especially by American orchestras, our goal is to bring renewed interest in the music, and further the important discussion about the use of art as a tool to look beyond the atrocities perpetuated throughout human history.

Our first concert in the program showcases two works composed in the face of oppression. The first, Laszlo Weiner's vibrant and compelling Triple Concerto, was written at the end of his life and never performed before his death in the Lukov labor camp. Shostakovich's epic Fifth Symphony, written in defiance of Stalin's regime, completes this dynamic afternoon.

Jessica Choe webpage

Susan Gulkis Assadi webpage

Interview with Zart Dombourian-Eby

harmony

 
Program includes:

  • Weiner: Concerto for Flute, Viola, Piano & String Orchestra
    Jessica Choe, piano
    Susan Gulkis Assadi, viola
    Zart Dombourian-Eby, flute
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Click here to view Maestro Attar's preview to the Harmony from Discord series.

harmony   Program Sponsor: Carol & David Robinson

Magic of Motown

Season Extra! -- Seattle Rock Orchestra
Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 7:00pm

Mount Baker Theatre

Last year's Side-By-Side concert with the Seattle Rock Orchestra was such a hit that we're doing it again! Celebrate Valentine's Day with the glorious sounds of Motown: the horns, the strings, the complex harmonies. Join us as we once again bring a symphonic twist to other musical genres. The combined orchestras will pay homage to the signature 60's and 70's soul, R&B and funk sounds of Detroit-based record label Motown Records. Featuring songs by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and many more. This high-energy performance features unique arrangements for amplified orchestra and some of the finest singers in the Puget Sound area!

Motown


Concert Sponsored by Caitac

See more about the SRO at the Seattle Rock Orchestra website

'Ham for the Holidays

Bellingham Children's Choir
WWU Jazz Band
Yaniv Attar, Conductor
Takuya Nishiwaki, assistant Conductor
Sunday, December 6, 2015 - 3:00pm
Mount Baker Theatre

Warm up your holiday season with the best orchestral and choral favorites, right here in "The 'Ham."

The symphony is again joined by perennial favorite The Bellingham Children's Choir performing seasonal music by local composer Scott Henderson. We'll also hear from the WWU Jazz Band, and will enjoy classical winter tunes as well as favorite holiday carols and seasonal music.

Holiday

 
Program includes:

  • Strauss II: Tik-Tak Polka
  • Prokofiev: Winter Bonfire Suite, Op. 122
  • Tchaikovsky: Waltz from The Swan Lake, Op. 20a
  • Handel: Pastoral Symphony from The Messiah
  • Mozart: Sleigh Ride from Three German Dances, K. 605
  • Anderson: Sleigh Ride
  • arr Woods: four jazz arrangements: Little Drummer Boy; Christmas Time is Here; Sugar Rum Cherry; Winter Wonderland
    performed by WWU Jazz Band
  • Henderson: Northwest Nowell
    performed by Bellingham Children's Choir
  • Harris: A Medley of Well Known Carols
  • Strass I: Radetzky March, Op. 228

WSO Season Sponsors:

Porsche/Audi Bellingham
Peoples Bank

Concert Sponsor:

Phillips 66

For more information about concert sponsors, including links to their web sites, see our Sponsors Page.

Tickets for the 2015-2016 Season are available now! See our Tickets page!

Our Season Brochure contains detailed ticketing information. To receive a copy of the 2015/2016 brochure, call the Whatcom Symphony office at 360-756-6752 or Click Here and enter your mailing address.

Note: If you have not purchased a ticket in the past two years, click and enter your information to ensure you receive our new season brochure every year.