Spring Symphony

Saturday, April 27, 2019 • 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
William White, conductor
Arwen Myers, soprano
Stephen Rumph, tenor
Damien Geter, bass
Benjamin Yu, piano


Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)
D’un matin de printemps

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Vier Gesänge, Op. 17

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
Der Himmel Lacht!, BWV 31

— intermission —

Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 [second movement]

Robert Schumann (1810–1856)
Symphony No. 1 (“Spring”), Op. 38

About the Concert

“Landschaft auf Rügen mit Regenbogen” by Caspar David Friedrich

We conclude our 49th season with a wave of fresh air and a ray of sunshine. Our season-long retrospective of the music of Lili Boulanger culminates with her final completed composition, D’un matin de printemps (“Of a spring morning”), a bright and impressionistic work for orchestra that owes much of its musical language to Claude Debussy. This is followed by Johannes Brahms’ opus 17 collection of four songs scored for the unusual combination of women’s choir, two horns and harp. We conclude the first half of our concert with Bach’s sunny Easter cantata Der Himmel Lacht! (“The sky is laughing!”), a festive work for soloists, choir and orchestra.

Our grand finale is Robert Schumann’s “Spring” Symphony, which the composer said “was written in that rush of spring which carries a man away even in his old age, and comes over him anew every year.” Full of sparkle and verve (and sketched out in a mere four days!), it brims with spontaneity.

About the Soloists


Soprano Arwen Myers, praised for her artistry and warm, clear tone, is a versatile artist equally comfortable in oratorio, chamber music and on the recital stage. Ms. Myers has performed major works with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra and Sacred Music at Notre Dame. Recent engagements include Bach’s Mass in B minor and the title role in Handel’s Semele with the 2018 American Bach Soloists Academy; world premieres by Zachary Wadsworth (with Vancouver’s Chor Leoni) and Robert Kyr (with Trinity Music and the Ensemble of Oregon); world premieres of songs by Renée Favand-See, William C. White, and Emerson Eads with Northwest Art Song; Handel’s Italian cantatas with Seattle’s Gallery Concerts; Monteverdi’s Christmas Vespers with Early Music Vancouver; and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and a program English songs and arias with Portland Baroque Orchestra. A native of Augusta, Georgia, Ms. Myers holds degrees in vocal performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Learn more: arwenmyerssoprano.com@sopranoarwen


Tenor Stephen Rumph has established himself as a sought-after performer in opera, oratorio and on the concert stage. He made his Seattle Symphony debut in Bach’s BWV 171 and returned to sing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Uematsu’s Distant Worlds. Recent operatic credits include: Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) and Tamino (The Magic Flute) with Pacific Northwest Opera; Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus) and Danilo (The Merry Widow) with Tacoma Opera; and Don José (Carmen) with Vashon Opera. Concert performances include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Spokane and Bozeman Symphonies, Mozart’s Requiem with Northwest Sinfonietta and Walla Walla Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with Symphony Tacoma and the Bellevue Philharmonic, and Beethoven’s Mass in C with OSSCS and the Kirkland Choral Society. He is a professor of music history at the University of Washington and the author of Beethoven After Napoleon (2004) and Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics (2011), both published by the University of California Press. Learn more: northwestartists.org


Bass-baritone Damien Geter is a diverse artist whose credits include performances ranging from the operatic stage to the television screen. Recent concert performances include: appearances with the Resonance Ensemble (Portland); Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem at Lewis & Clark College; selections from La bohème and Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with the Bremerton Symphony; a Schubert Mass with the Oregon Chorale; and Fauré’s Requiem with Northwest Sinfonietta. Operatic roles include a Seattle Opera debut as the Undertaker in Porgy and Bess, a debut with Vashon Opera in La bohème, and a return to Portland Opera in La traviata. In the realm of musical theatre, he has appeared as Kevin Rosario in Lin Manuel-Miranda’s In the Heights with Stumptown Stages and in the role of Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar with Post5 Theatre. A native of Chesterfield County, Virginia, Mr. Geter made his television debut in the role of John Sacks on NBC’s Grimm. Learn more: damiengeter.com


Fourteen-year-old pianist Benjamin Yu is currently a freshman at the International Community School in Kirkland. He began his piano studies at age six and has been a top prizewinner at many local and regional competitions, most recently being the reigning Gold Medalist of the 2019 Northwest Chopin Foundation of the United States, Northwest Division. During 2018 Benjamin participated in the prestigious Music Fest Perugia in Italy, where he performed with the Virtuosi Brunenses Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Uri Segal. Benjamin has performed in masterclasses with world-renowned artists such as Marina Lomazov, Alex Sokolov and Sarah Tal. Aside from playing piano, Benjamin enjoys playing violin as a second instrument, as well as participating in the Seattle Youth Symphony Junior Orchestra. in his spare time, he enjoys drawing, swimming, studying video-game development and music theory, and having fun with his friends. Benjamin Yu is student of Nino Merabishvili.

Program Notes