Nicola Benedetti, violin
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor
George Walker – Sinfonia No. 5, “Visions”
Karol Szymanowski – Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 61
Antonín Dvořák – Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 “From the New World”
Composer and pianist George Walker has broken countless barriers in his long and rich life, like when he became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1996. He belongs to an exceedingly rare class of composers who have produced vital, vibrant music into their late 90’s. With his latest opus, Sinfonia No. 5, “Visions,” Walker meditates on the 2015 massacre at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
In his Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” Dvořák reflected back the bountiful and optimistic United States that welcomed him with open arms. Spirituals learned from the grandson of a freed slave and transcriptions of Native American melodies enrich this melting pot of European refinement and American earnestness.
In the same way that Dvořák gave voice to his Czech homeland through folk-inspired symphonies and tone poems, the Polish trendsetter Karol Szymanowski liberated his country’s musical identity by crafting imaginative works for orchestra steeped in local traditions. The Scottish superstar Nicola Benedetti made a forceful case for Szymanowski when she recorded his First Violin Concerto at the age of 17, and now she brings that passion to the Second Violin Concerto, a seamless marvel of grounded melodies and lofty virtuosic flights.
The Seattle Symphony invites young people ages 8 to 18 to attend most Delta Air Lines Masterworks, Seattle Pops, and Untuxed series performances FREE with the purchase of an adult ticket. Family Connections tickets are available at the time of adult ticket purchase by phone and in-person only at the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office. For more information, visit the Seattle Symphony Family Connections page.