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Tacoma Symphony season-opener full of innovation

TSO openerIt was Sarah Ioannides’ first concert as music director of the Tacoma Symphony, bringing with her Dame Evelyn Glennie to premiere a new percussion concerto and its composer Sean O’Boyle.

 

Part of the success was a program thoughtfully chosen to back O’Boyle’s neo-Romantic “Portraits of Immortal Love” with a rich Impressionist soundscape: Ravel, Debussy and Respighi. Part of it was Ioannides herself, with great attention to detail (ends of phrases, hidden melodies) and innovative staging (women’s chorus singing siren songs from either side of the audience, an army of brass ranged around the balcony).

 

Then came an intelligent trick from Ioannides: flowing directly on from the Debussy into Respighi’s “The Pines of Rome” to create one lush, mammoth, seven-movement Impressionist symphony.

 

And if last night’s creativity and brilliance of sound is anything to go by, Ioannides’ five-year term promises good things for the city.

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