Spring Arts Guide: More Classical

Photo by Joanne De Pue

Harry Partch Festival
Did you know that UW School of Music houses dozens of instruments made by 20th-century music pioneer Harry Partch? He invented them because they gave him way more notes per octave than standard instruments, and Partch wanted way more notes. UW celebrates this unique musical mind with a program including new works composed for Partch’s instruments, in addition to rarely or never-before performed works from the composer’s archives.
May 11–13 // Meany Theater

Beatrice and Benedict
Seattle Opera’s production of this Berlioz piece, which uses the English text from Shakespeare’s love-hate story Much Ado About Nothing, is a city-wide effort, directed by ACT’s John Langs and conducted by Seattle Symphony music director Ludovic Morlot.
Through March 10 // McCaw Hall

Roomful of Teeth
If you don’t know this Grammy-winning a cappella ensemble already, we highly recommend a quick visit to YouTube. Sure, we can explain that the eight-person group combines vocal traditions from around the world, from Tuvan throat singing to Broadway belting, but a listen is worth a thousand words.
March 9 // Town Hall Seattle

Seattle Baroque Orchestra, “The Fairy Queen”
Soprano Suzie LeBlanc lends her voice to baroque music from 17th century English masques, or semi-operas, which intercut spoken text with music. The program includes Henry Purcell’s “Fairy Queen” as well as Matthew Locke’s “The Tempest.”
March 17–18 // Benaroya Hall

In Blue…
Emerald City Music has emerged as a beacon for the casual-classical movement, presenting high-level musicians in an unstuffy environment. This program explores the profound effect of blues music from the American South on composers like Ravel, Stravinsky and, of course, Gershwin.
March 23 // 415 Westlake

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time
In 1941, Olivier Messiaen composed this quartet while in a Nazi POW camp; it was premiered by his fellow prisoners. In Seattle, hear the sublime chamber piece played by new music talents Luke Fitzpatrick, violin; Rose Bellini, cello; James Falzone, clarinet; and Jesse Myers, piano.
March 25 // St. Mark’s Cathedral