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Seattle Times Review: Seattle Symphony shines in major works by women composers.

The following paragraphs are excerpts from Melinda Bargreen's review in the Seattle Times.


There’s never a good time for a busy orchestra conductor to fall ill. But for Seattle Symphony Music Director Thomas Dausgaard and regional music lovers, the indisposition that kept him off the podium for this week’s concerts is particularly unfortunate.


Fortunately, the orchestra’s associate conductor, Lee Mills, was at hand as Dausgaard’s substitute, and he proved the hero of the hour. Just keeping the full orchestra and the two harp soloists together in the world premiere of the complicated 35-minute, four-movement “The Peril of Dreams” was quite a feat. Mills, who clearly knew the score, did considerably more than direct traffic; he brought out the subtle textures and balances of the music.



The new concerto is a work of considerable beauty, with delicate, feathery glissandi in the two harps, a bewitching double cadenza, and intricate rhythmic patterns. Mills supported the brilliant solo harpists (the composer, and the orchestra’s own Valerie Muzzolini) and let them shine.


(Amy Beach's) “Gaelic” Symphony, incorporating folk themes from her background in the British Isles, is a work of considerable charm, and it got a rousing, high-energy performance from Mills and the orchestra on Thursday evening. With its abundance of melodies, the “Gaelic” Symphony offered great solo opportunities to the orchestra’s principals, particularly the winds, who outdid themselves in this spirited score.