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The Seattle Symphony Presents Two Free Community Concerts at Benaroya Hall in May



Seattle, WA – The Seattle Symphony is pleased to present at Benaroya Hall two free Community Concerts taking place in May. On Friday, May 13, at 8 p.m., Seattle Symphony Composer in Residence Reena Esmail returns to Benaroya Hall to host the first Community Concert, titled Ram Tori Maya, which features a Seattle Symphony string quartet sharing the stage with students of Swaranjali School of Music. Reena Esmail is a renowned composer who continues to thrill audiences with exciting new works that often bridge Indian and Western classical music traditions. She also has a passion for using music to bring people together, and has expressed commitment to writing music that sparks connection between people who may live in close proximity, but have been separated by socioeconomic or cultural differences. Swaranjali School of Music is an institution dedicated to the preservation, learning and performance of Hindustani classical music. This program takes audiences on a musical exploration of pieces arranged or composed by Esmail herself along with a carefully curated selection of popular Indian works.

On Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m., the orchestra performs under the direction of Douglas F. KingAssociate Conductor Lee Mills in the second Community Concert, which features music fromWolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Hannah Kendall, Astor Piazzolla, Johannes Brahms and Carlos Simon. The Symphony is especially pleased to welcome the 2022 Young Artist Henry From, who joins the orchestra to perform Brahms’ virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 1. The Seattle Symphony Young Artist program invites young instrumentalists to audition for the opportunity to solo in the Symphony’s education, family or community concert programs. All applicants go through a rigorous audition process that is adjudicated by an artistic panel from the Seattle Symphony.

Each season, the Seattle Symphony presents free Community Concerts at Benaroya Hall and throughout the Puget Sound region. These concerts have taken place in a variety of locations, including various neighborhood venues, schools and prisons. Community Concerts aim to increase access to symphonic performances while bringing people together and sparking more connections in and between communities. Concerts feature chamber music, Side-by-Sides with community orchestras and full orchestra performances. Health And Safety The Seattle Symphony is requiring all visitors to provide proof of vaccination (or present a negative COVID-19 test) with photo ID, and wear masks at all times while in Benaroya Hall, except in designated refreshment areas. This is in addition to numerous safety measures, including a hospital-grade air filtration system, increased cleaning and more. For additional information about how the Symphony is working to ensure a safe return to live music, please visit the Safety Page. Additionally, the Seattle Symphony is implementing a flexible exchange and return policy through the end of the year. REENA ESMAIL COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE Indian American composer Reena Esmail works between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music, and brings communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces. Esmail’s work has been commissioned by ensembles including the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Kronos Quartet, Imani Winds, Richmond Symphony, Town Music Seattle, Albany Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Girls Chorus, The Elora Festival, Juilliard415 and Yale Institute of Sacred Music. Esmail is the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s 2020/2023 Swan Family Artist in Residence, and Seattle Symphony’s 2020/2021 Composer in Residence. She received a Fulbright-Nehru grant to study Hindustani music in India. Previously, she was named a 2019 United States Artist Fellow in Music, and the 2019 Grand Prize Winner of the S & R Foundation’s Washington Award. Esmail was also a 2017/2018 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. She was the 2012 Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (and subsequent publication of a work by C.F. Peters). LEE MILLS CONDUCTOR Douglas F. King Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony and winner of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award in 2014, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021, Lee Mills is internationally recognized as a passionate, multifaceted and energetic conductor. In his previous position as Resident Conductor of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, he led performances hailed as having a “sonority of unequalled liveliness and quality” (, working alongside such artists as Simone Porter, Conrad Tao, Eliane Coelho and the Smetana Trio. Mills has also previously led the National Symphony Orchestra (U.S.), Los Angeles Philharmonic, São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, through his project Vibe Sinfônica, in partnership with nightlife producer The Week Group in São Paulo, Mills has brought classical music to thousands of new listeners. In March 2022, Mills was selected to be the New Artist of the Month in Musical America. The League of American Orchestras selected Mills for the 2018 Bruno Walter National Conductors Preview, and in 2017, Mills was selected as a semifinalist in both the Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition and the Opera Royal de Wallonie-Liège International Opera Conducting Competition. Mills received the BSO-Peabody Institute Conducting Fellowship in 2011. He was a conducting fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen during the summers of 2012 and 2013. He received his Graduate Performance Diploma and Artist’s Diploma in Orchestral Conducting at the Peabody Institute and graduated from Whitman College. SWARANJALI SCHOOL OF MUSIC VOCAL ENSEMBLE Swaranjali School of Music is a vibrant institution dedicated to the preservation, learning and performance of Hindustani classical music. Established in 1999, with students ranging from 6 to 65, the students have an extensive repertoire of “Khayaals“ and Raag-based devotional songs as well as inspirational songs. Swaranjali students have given several performances for charitable organizations and accompanied prominent artists like Shankar Mahadevan. Vasu Sundarraj, a disciple of Pandit Jasraj, is the founder of Swaranjali School. She is a dedicated teacher and community leader. Vasu has used music as a vehicle to unite communities and bridge cultural divides. She was presented the Asian American Living Pioneer award in 2005. HENRY FROM PIANO (2022 YOUNG ARTIST) Henry From was First Prize winner in the 2018 Montreal Symphony Orchestra Manulife Competition and was named among the 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30 in 2019. His Piano Trio, Trio Savyon, has performed in Boston, Warsaw, Calgary, several cities in Israel, and at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. This past summer, he attended the Verbier Festival in Switzerland on full scholarship, where he received the Tabor Foundation Award for the most promising pianist at the Academy. Henry is also a composer; most recently his “Isle of Pic” was premiered by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and he was a prize-winner at the 68th Annual BMI Composer Awards. Henry took part in the 2021 Seattle Symphony Merriman-Ross Family Young Composers Workshop. Henry’s current teachers are Amanda Chan and Edward Top. SEATTLE SYMPHONY The Seattle Symphony unleashes the power of music, brings people together and lifts the human spirit. Recognized as one of the “most vital American orchestras” (NPR), the Seattle Symphony is internationally acclaimed for its inventive programming, community-minded initiatives and superb recordings on the Seattle Symphony Media label. With a strong commitment to new music and a legacy of over 150 recordings, the orchestra has garnered five Grammy Awards, 27 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and was named Gramophone’s2018 Orchestra of the Year. The Symphony performs in Benaroya Hall in the heart of downtown Seattle from September through July, reaching over 750,000 people annually through live performances and radio broadcasts, and through the Seattle Symphony Live streaming service, the orchestra’s concerts reach audiences at home and around the world.  


RAM TORI MAYA WITH REENA ESMAIL Friday May 13, at 8 p.m. Reena Esmail composer & host Swaranjali School of Music Ravi Albright tablo Eduardo Rios violin Andy Liang violin Olivia Chew viola Meeka Quan DiLorenzo cello Shankar Mahadevan Gananaayakaaya Salic Chaudhry Dhitang bole Traditional Trivat in Raag Kedar Traditional arranged by Reena Esmail Zara Zara Traditional arranged by Reena Esmail Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Reena Esmail Mvt. 2 of String Quartet (Ragamala) Reena Esmail Mvt. 4 of String Quartet (Ragamala) Reena Esmail Ram Tori Maya for Voices and String Quartet COMMUNITY CONCERT Tuesday May 17, at 7 p.m.

Lee Mills conductor Henry From piano Mozart The Marriage of Figaro: Overture Hannah Kendall Kanashibari Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1: Rondo: Allegro non troppo Piazzolla Tangazo Carlos Simon Fate Now Conquers

Sponsorships: Lee Mills’ position is generously underwritten as the Douglas F. King Associate Conductor. Eduardo Rios’ position is generously underwritten as the Clowes Family Associate Concertmaster. Reena Esmail’s residency is generously supported by Parul and Gary Houlahan. The Seattle Symphony’s Family, School & Community programs are supported by 4Culture, Arakawa Foundation, Marco Argenti, The Klorfine Foundation, Merriman-Ross Family, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Maryanne Tagney, the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation and individual contributions to the Seattle Symphony Annual Fund.


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