The Seattle Symphony, with Ludovic Morlot as its music director and leader, is a crucial part of the Pacific Northwest cultural area. It is known for community engagement, extraordinary performances and recordings. Having a base of over 28,000 patrons, the Orchestra gives about 200 performances a year. Its audience counts up to 315,000 individuals. The Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra won Emmy Awards in 2007 and 2008. The award is owed to the television performances, named Seattle Orchestra from Benaroya Hall, the other one is known as Seattle Orchestra from Benaroya Hall: Kernis, Brahms and Kodly.
The first performance of Seattle Symphony was on December 29, 1903. In fact, Seattle Symphony holds a unique position in the universe of symphonic music. Sir Thomas Beecham, a very charismatic man developed the Orchestra's reputation. Milton Katims started his 22-year tour of duty as Music Director in 1954, he greatly expanded the programs of Symphony's education. Rainer Miedel, who was a Symphony's Music Director from 1976 till 1983, did his best to lead the Seattle Orchestra on the debut European tour. In 1983 Gerard Schwarz held the position of Music Advisor and was appointed Music Director in 1985. During the tenure of Gerard Schwarz that lasted for 26 years, the Symphony made over 125 recordings and got twelve Grammy nominations.
The Seattle Orchestra has made about 100 premieres starting from the year 1983, comprising commissions by 7 great American composers in celebrating the Orchestra's Centennial Season in 2003-2004, as well as 18 new works in 2010-2011. The Seattle Symphony has presented often-neglected musical masterpieces by the composers of mid-20th-century. Now it is possible to hear these works on re-mastered recordings editioned on the Naxos label.
Ludovic Morlot is now the leader of the Symphony. He is one of the most successful conductors of several generations. In the period of 2011-2012, during Morlot's opening season, the Orchestra enjoyed critical compliment for its performances of Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust, The planets by Holts and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring; the presentation of Sonic Evolution, a project designed by Ludovic Morlot to display new works in honor of Seattle's heritage in music; and a seasonal exploration of Henri Dutilleux's music, a French composer. The second season, 2012-2013, was also acclaimed by critics, including performances of RachFest, Britten's War Requiem, a cycle of Rachmaninov's Piano Concertos, and the Symphony's debut presentation of Messiaen's Turangalila.
The Seattle Orchestra opened its home, Benaroya Hall in 1993. In three years the Symphony inaugurated Soundbridgen Seattle Orchestra Music Discovery Center; here people can explore amazing world of symphonic music by attending classes, visiting live music presentations and exhibits. The education programs conducted by the Symphony, and its community engagement plans known nationwide, bring the essence of classical music to over 100,000 people every year, comprising students at about 200 schools functioning in the Pacific Northwest.