About

Led by Music Director Thomas Dausgaard, the Seattle Symphony unleashes the power of music, brings people together and lifts the human spirit. Recognized as one of the “most vital American orchestras” (NPR), the Seattle Symphony is internationally acclaimed for its inventive programming, community-minded initiatives and superb recordings on the Seattle Symphony Media label. With a strong commitment to new music and a legacy of over 150 recordings, the orchestra has garnered five Grammy Awards, 26 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and was named Gramophone’s 2018 Orchestra of the Year. The Symphony performs in Benaroya Hall in the heart of downtown Seattle from September through July, reaching over 500,000 people annually through live performances and radio broadcasts.

History

The Seattle Symphony, under the leadership of Music Director Thomas Dausgaard, is a vital part of the Pacific Northwest cultural scene and is recognized for its extraordinary performances, programming, recordings and community engagement.

Since its first performance on December 29, 1903, the Seattle Symphony has held a unique place in the world of symphonic music. During its formative years, it was the charismatic Sir Thomas Beecham who most developed the orchestra's skill and reputation. In 1954 Milton Katims began his 22-year tenure as Music Director, greatly expanding the Symphony's education programs. Rainer Miedél, Music Director from 1976 until his death in 1983, led the orchestra on its first European tour in 1980. Gerard Schwarz was appointed Music Advisor in 1983, and Music Director in 1985. During his 26-year tenure, the Seattle Symphony made more than 140 recordings and garnered 12 Grammy nominations and two Emmy Awards. In 2011 Ludovic Morlot began his 8-year tenue as Music Director. Together Morlot and the orchestra achieved international acclaim, winning five Grammy awards and Gramophone’s 2018 Orchestra of the Year award.

In 1998 the Seattle Symphony inaugurated its new home, Benaroya Hall, noted for its architectural and acoustical splendor. Three years later, the orchestra opened Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center, where people of all ages explored the world of symphonic music through exhibits, classes and live music presentations. In 2019 the orchestra renovated and reopened the space as Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center, an immersive environment for inventive performances, education opportunities and community engagement.

Mission

The Seattle Symphony Unleashes the Power of Music, Brings People Together, and Lifts the Human Spirit

Values

Excellence · Innovation · Curiosity · Collaboration · Respect · Inclusivity · Integrity · Service