Stories from the East

Saturday, March 31, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.
First Free Methodist Church (3200 3rd Ave W)

advance tickets: Brown Paper Tickets or 1-800-838-3006

Orchestra Seattle
Seattle Chamber Singers
Michael Spassov, conductor
TBD, piano


Georgy Sviridov (1915 –1998)
Pushkin’s Garland

Chopin Foundation competition winner

— intermission —

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 –1908)
Scheherazade, Op. 35

About the Concert

In Scheherazade, one of the most popular pieces in the orchestral repertoire, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov created “a kaleidoscope of fairy-tale images” around the seductive storyteller at the center of The Arabian Nights — basing each movement on a different tale, lavishing each of them with the beguiling melodies and the dazzling orchestral colors for which he was famous. Georgy Sviridov’s Pushkin’s Garland, a virtuoso “choral concerto” for a cappella voices, pays homage to Alexander Pushkin, often considered Russia’s greatest poet — the work runs the full gamut of moods and emotions, from the deeply moving “Reveille” to the zanily cheerful finale, “Magpie Chatter.”

Please join us prior to the concert at 6:30 p.m. for a free “Behind the Music” discussion!

About the Conductor


Michael Spassov, currently on the music staff at Santa Fe Opera, has worked as a conductor and repetiteur at Washington National Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, the Juilliard School, Sarasota Opera, Bel Canto at Caramoor and Des Moines Metro Opera, where he recently led performances of Peter Brook’s The Tragedy of Carmen. Previously, he has served as chorusmaster at Utah Opera, principal coach and assistant conductor at Atlanta Opera, as well as artistic administrator and chorusmaster at Edmonton Opera. He was worked with many of today’s leading conductors, including Phillippe Auguin, Plácido Domingo, Emmanuel Villaume, Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Keri-Lynn Wilson.

A dedicated proponent of new opera, Mr. Spassov served on the music staff for the world premieres of Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs and Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain, as well as productions of Jeremy Howard Beck’s The Long Walk and Peter Ash’s Golden Ticket, conducted by the composer.

An enthusiastic collaborative pianist, he has been seen in recital at La Scala, the Kennedy Center and the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre in Toronto. Mr. Spassov was hand-picked by Plácido Domingo for the Domingo–Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera, after training at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program and the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio.

Also active as a composer, he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition from the Juilliard School, and his compositions have been performed by the Juilliard Orchestra, eighth blackbird and Toronto’s Continuum Contemporary Music ensemble.

About the Soloists

Program Notes