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Performances


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Performances


Welcome to our 2016-2017 season!

PLEASE NOTE: SFO's Sunday/Seattle concerts this season will be held at Plymouth Congregational Church instead of Town Hall!  Also, all concerts will begin at 3 PM.

SFO is pleased to continue our full Renton concert series! The Renton concerts will be held at New Hope Presbyterian Church (formerly First Evangelical Presbyterian Church), and the Seattle concerts at Plymouth Congregational Church. Both venues are great places for classical concerts.

Be sure to add these dates to your calendar! With the SFO continuing to grow in both membership and musicianship, this season is sure to offer some very special afternoons of music-making. To keep things simple, buy a season ticket through Brown Paper Tickets!

Concert programs and times are subject to change.

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Oct 29 & 30


Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff

Oct 29 & 30


Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff

Saturday, October 29, 2016, 3:00 PM
New Hope Presbyterian Church

Sunday, October 30, 2016, 3:00 PM
Plymouth Congregational Church

Wesley Schulz, conductor
Rick Rowley, piano

MENDELSSOHN Piano Concerto No. 1, G minor
RACHMANINOFF Symphony No. 2, E minor

Seattle Festival Orchestra starts its season with a bang with Mendelssohn’s brilliant Piano Concerto No. 1. Written when Mendelssohn was just 21 years old, this work soon became one of his most popular pieces. The concerto is in three connected movements and is filled with tuneful melodies and dazzling piano virtuosity. Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 takes up the second half of the program. With the spectacular failure of his First Symphony it is a wonder that the Second was ever written. After battling depression and self-doubt, however, the composer emerged with a work that proved his immense talent. Composed on an epic scale, the Second Symphony displays Rachmaninoff’s mastery of form, melody and orchestral color.


Rick Rowley, pianist

Rick Rowley leads a diverse artistic life. He has given concerts with many of the world’s finest instrumentalists and singers and his solo, concerto and collaborative performances have taken him throughout the United States, to Europe and Latin America. He has also taught, performed and directed in summer festivals for the French-American Vocal Academy in Salzburg and France, as well as numerous festivals in the United States. This summer Mr. Rowley began a series performing and videoing the complete Mozart Piano Sonatas for Mozart Festival Texas over the next few years.

Mr. Rowley has recorded highly praised solo discs of Chopin, Liszt, Mompou, Granados and American composers Richard Cumming, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and David Guion. He has also recorded several discs of chamber music and songs for voice and piano. His recording with flutist, Marianne Gedigian, “Revolution”, was one of the first CD’s on the University of Texas Longhorn Label.

Mr. Rowley has been on the Faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in the Butler School of Music for the past eleven years. In his position he coaches singers, works with collaborative pianists and has taught classes in art song literature, the history of Broadway and acting and singing for the musical theater. He also serves as Artistic Director of the Butler Opera Center Young Artists Program. He has performed with nearly every member of the BSOM faculty and has organized chamber orchestra concerts for performances of Beethoven's 3rd and 4th piano concerti and piano concerti of Mozart. In recent seasons he has performed Beethoven’s “Choral” Fantasy for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra with Gerhardt Zimmermann and the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, as well as Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety”. His performance of Schumann’s C major Fantasy, Op. 17, not only won the Austin Critics’ Table award for Instrumentalist of the Year, but was also named one of the 10 Best Performances of Music and Dance by the Austin Chronicle.

In addition to a musical career, Mr. Rowley has been involved in over fifty theatrical productions as actor, musical director and director. His last appearance was as Cosme McMoon, pianist to famed “non-soprano” Florence Foster Jenkins, in the play “Souvenir”. He performed speaking roles for two Austin Symphony “Beyond the Score” performances, including Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony and as Stravinsky for the presentation of “The Rite of Spring”.  He also performed the solo actor version of Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du soldat” with Dan Welcher and the UT New Music Ensemble. He appeared in the role of Frosch for the Butler Opera Center’s production of “Die Fledermaus” to great acclaim and created Herr Budweiser, a character who sang Gershwin’s “By Strauss” for the gala scene of the opera.

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Jan 21 & 22


Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, and Kalinnikov

Jan 21 & 22


Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, and Kalinnikov

Saturday, January 21, 2017, 3:00 PM
New Hope Presbyterian Church

Sunday, January 22, 2017, 3:00 PM
Plymouth Congregational Church

Wesley Schulz, conductor

MUSSORGSKY Khovantchina: Introduction, Dawn on the Moskva River
TCHAIKOVSKY Selections from Sleeping Beauty: Suite op.66a
KALINNIKOV Symphony No. 1, G minor

In this all-Russian program Seattle Festival Orchestra explores the timeless works of Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky as well as the seldom-heard Symphony No. 1 in G minor by Kalinnikov. Mussorgsky left behind only a handful of completed works when he died in 1881. The Introduction to his opera Khovantchina was the only part he finished (although Rimsky-Korsakov had to do the orchestration) but it is a beautiful work that stands well on its own. Tchaikovsky remains one of the finest composers of ballet music and his suite from Sleeping Beauty brings this fairy tale to life. Enthusiasts of Tchaikovsky will surely enjoy Vassili Kalinnikov’s powerful Symphony No. 1. Kalinnikov’s life was cut short by illness bringing a promising composer’s life to an untimely close. Despite this, his First Symphony is a masterpiece outlining his immense talent.

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April 1 & 2


Barber and Mahler

April 1 & 2


Barber and Mahler

Saturday, April 1, 2017, 3:00 PM
New Hope Presbyterian Church

Sunday, April 2, 2017, 3:00 PM
Plymouth Congregational Church

Wesley Schulz, conductor
Megan Chenovick, soprano

BARBER Knoxville: Summer of 1915, op. 24
MAHLER Symphony No. 4, G major

Samuel Barber’s nostalgic Knoxville: Summer of 1915 draws upon the poems of James Agee and is sung by a soprano. The work is in a single movement and delivers tender melodies and delicious evocations of sitting on a porch in high summer. Gustav Mahler’s Fourth Symphony was birthed through song. “Das himmlische Leben,” or, “Heavenly life,” is the source from which the Fourth Symphony springs. In a unique turn of composition Mahler knew he wanted to use this song as the final movement of the symphony. When composing he therefore worked backward knowing already how the symphony would end. The basic trajectory of the symphony moves from complexity to simplicity ending with a beautiful image of heaven.


Megan Chenovick, Lyric Coloratura Soprano and cross-over artist graces operatic, musical theatre and concert stages alike. Hailed for her “superb showmanship” this two-time NW Regional MONC Finalist’s recent roles include Lucia- Lucia di Lammermoor with Skagit Opera conducted by Franz Vote, Bubikopf- Der Kaiser von Atlantis with Music of Remembrance conducted by Seattle Symphony's Ludovic Morlot, Musetta- La Bohème with Bellevue Opera, Marian Paroo- The Music Man and Guenevere- Camelot with Lyric Light Opera, & Giannetta- L'elisir d'Amore with Tacoma Opera & Skagit Opera. 

Megan made her McCaw Hall debut as a guest artist with the Seattle Men’s & Women’s Chorus, bringing down the house with “Glitter & Be Gay” in celebration of their 30th Anniversary. Other recent concert engagements include Simon Sargon's Shemà and Shostakovich's Jewish Folk Poetry, Op.79 with the Music of Remembrance, Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes with The Inverse Opera & The Seattle Dance Project, The Brazenly Baroque Trumpet and The Color of Coloratura with the Federal Way Symphony, and Handel's Messiah & Mařenka in the Bartered Bride with the Auburn Symphony. 

Upcoming engagements in the 2013-2014 Season include Peaches/Baby Jane- Jerry Springer the Opera with Balagan Theatre, Adele- Die Fledermaus with Skagit Opera, Music of Our Time with Music Northwest, Jake Heggie & Gene Scheer’s Farewell Auschwitz as well as the world premiere of a song cycle written by Lori Laitman with Music of Remembrance. 

Megan is a 2008 Sun Valley Opera Competition Finalist, 2006 & 2007 Michael Mitchell Memorial Scholarship recipient, 2007 & 2008 Ladies Musical Club Solo Competition Finalist, 2007 Alan Lund Scholarship recipient, and 2007 & 2008 recipient of a training fund grant from the Seattle Opera Guild. Megan also helps produce monthly events as a Managing Diva of Opera On Tap- Seattle. http://www.operaontap.com/seattle/

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May 6 & 7


Beethoven, Berwald, and Brahms

May 6 & 7


Beethoven, Berwald, and Brahms

Saturday, May 6, 2017, 3:00 PM
New Hope Presbyterian Church

Sunday, May 7, 2017, 3:00 PM
Plymouth Congregational Church

Wesley Schulz, conductor

Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3 (~14 min)
Berwald Symphony No. 3, C Major, Sinfonie Singuliere (~30 min)
Brahms Hungarian Dances No. 5, 6 (~15 min)


Just because you're one of the greatest creative geniuses in history doesn't mean you don't hit brick walls.

Beethoven is known for writing a multitude of magnificent symphonies, concertos, sonatas... but there's a reason he only wrote one opera: it was stinkin' hard.

Beethoven agonized over his incorrigible singleton opera - especially the important opening piece played by the orchestra, the Overture, which needed to musically recap the complex opera's entire story arc in a matter of minutes. He ended up overhauling the piece three times.

His struggles were worthwhile in the end; audiences far and wide came to revere his "Leonore Overture" (Take 3) for beautifully depicting the tale of (you guessed it) Leonore, a savvy and daring 16th century woman who must rescue her husband - who has been captured and jailed by an evil politician. Beethoven's masterpiece takes audiences through the deception, passion, depression, and finally unbridled joy experienced by his characters.

Fast forward to 2017 and you can hear the story brought to life by the Seattle Festival Orchestra--along with other masterworks by Brahms and Berwald--all under the baton of rising star conductor Wesley Schulz. In its ongoing efforts to build community and inspire the next generation of musicians, the orchestra will be joined by select instrumentalists from Nathan Hale High School.