For many years, I've put together a little pocket guide to the Seattle Symphony subscription season for my symphony friends to help them decide which ticket package they want. In the years that have passed since I started doing this, nearly all of the members of the group have started families, and we tried things like splitting tickets, but even that became difficult to maintain, and last year, we ended up not ordering any tickets at all. (Well, no tickets for adults. We did buy tickets to kids concerts.)

I compiled the at-a-glance season guide for the 2013/2014 season anyway, but I didn't bother adding my comments since we know we're not ordering any tickets. Moreover, the Seattle Symphony created online playlists where you can listen to the pieces in the upcoming season, so you can decide for yourself whether you like them or not!

Here is the official brochure for those who want to read the details, and you can see what The Seattle Times thinks of it. To access the playlists, go to www.naxos­music­library.com and log on with userid SymphonySubs with password 20132014. Once you've logged in, click Playlists in the navigation bar and choose the concerts you want to hear.

Week Program 21 13 7A
7B
7C
7D
7E
7F
7G 4A HS SU WG
09/19
2013
Ravel: Alborada del gracioso
Ravel: Concerto for Left Hand in D
Ravel: Rapsodie espagnole
Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G
Ravel: Boléro
               
 

 
 

 
 
10/03
2013
Beethoven: Triple Concerto
Schubert: Symphony #9 in C The Great
                   
10/10
2013
Purcell: Suite
Mozart: Piano Concerto #23 in A
Vaughan Williams: Symphony #5
                   
10/18
2013
Mozart: Divertimento for String in D
Dittersdorf: Sinf. concertante for Double Bass & Viola
Mozart: Exsultate jubilate K.65
Mozart: Symphony #29
                   
10/24
2013
Elgar: Serenade
Haydn: Cello Concerto in C
Mozart: Symphony #37
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings
                   
11/07
2013
Boulez: Notation
Mahler: Symphony #6
                   
11/13
2013
Sibelius: Tapiola
Pascal Dusapin: Violin Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony #6 Pastoral
                   
11/21 Verdi: Requiem                    
12/13 Vivaldi: The Four Seasons                    
12/20 Handel: Messiah                    
12/23 Christmas carols (Northwest Sinfonia)                    
12/31
2013
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Tchaikovsky/Ellington: Nutcracker excerpts
Williams: Star Wars excerpts
other amusements
                   
01/02
2014
Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Beethoven: Symphony #9 Choral
               
 
 
01/23
2014
Prokofiev: Symphony #1 Classical
Haydn: Piano Concerto in D
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto #4
Mozart: Symphony #35 Haffner
                   
01/30
2014
John Adams: The Chairman Dances
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto #2
Liszt (arr John Adams): The Black Gondola
Shostakovich: Symphony #9
               
 

 
 
02/13
2014
Schumann: Cello Concerto
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
                   
03/06
2014
R. Strauss: Don Juan
R. Strauss: Burleske
R. Strauss: Divertimento
R. Strauss: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier
                   
03/13
2014
Dvořák: The Noonday Witch
Bartók: Violin Concerto #2
Mozart: Symphony #38 Prague
                   
03/20
2014
Rimsky-Korsakov: Suite from The Snow Maiden
Alexander Raskatov: Piano Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #6 Pathetique
                   
03/27
2014
Dvořák: Cello Concerto
Varèse: Déserts
Debussy: La Mer
                   
04/03
2014
Haydn: Symphony #100 Military
Orff: Carmina burana
                   
04/17
2014
James MacMillan: The Death of Oscar
Beethoven: Piano Concerto #3
Rachmaninoff: Symphony #2
                   
04/24
2014
Martinů: Memorial to Lidice
Brahms: Violin Concerto
Dvořák: Symphony #7
                   
06/05
2014
Dutilleux: Symphony #2 Le double
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé complete ballet
                   
06/12
2014
J. Strauss: Emperor Waltzes
Schoenberg: Piano Concerto
Brahms: Symphony #2
                   
06/19
2014
Stravinsky: The Firebird
Stravinsky: Petrushka
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
               
 


 
Week Program 21 13 7A
7B
7C
7D
7E
7F
7G 4A HS SU WG

Legend:

21Masterworks 21-concert series (Choice of Thursdays or Saturdays)
13Masterworks 13-concert series (Choice of Thursdays or Saturdays)
7AMasterworks 7-concert series A (Thursdays)
7BMasterworks 7-concert series B (Saturdays)
7CMasterworks 7-concert series C (Thursdays)
7DMasterworks 7-concert series D (Saturdays)
7EMasterworks 7-concert series E (Thursdays)
7FMasterworks 7-concert series F (Saturdays)
7GMasterworks 7-concert series G (Sunday afternoons)
4AMasterworks 4-concert series A (Friday afternoons)
HSHolidays at the Symphony
SUSymphony Untuxed (Fridays, reduced program)
WGWolfGang (Various evenings), see notes below

For those not familiar with the Seattle Symphony ticket package line-ups: Most of the ticket packages are named Masterworks nX where n is the number is the number of concerts in the package, and the letter indicates which variation. Ticket packages have been combined if they are identical save for the day of the week. For example, 7C and 7D are the same concerts; the only difference is that 7C is for Thursday nights, while 7D is for Saturday nights.

The WolfGang series is available only to members of the WolfGang club. It also includes two concerts not listed above (Opening Night and Sonic Evolution).

This chart doesn't include "one-off" concert series such as the Mainly Mozart or Distinguished Artists series. A "one-off" series is a concert series which shares no concerts with any other series. This year, the Beyond the Score multimedia concerts fell into that category.

According to the Seattle Times article, the new music director has "always dreamed of spending a whole evening with a composer," and he went big this year, with three concerts consist of multiple works by a single composer.

Symphony trivia: The audience for the Sunday afternoon concerts (series 7G) leans toward what we in the United States euphemistically call senior citizens. I find it interesting to see what those sweet old ladies get put through every year. For example, this year, they get a performance of Carmina burana, which will probably offend half of the audience and delight the other half.