From Chamber Pop to Modern Opera: New Music for February

by Maggie Molloy
Second Inversion and the Live Music Project create a monthly calendar featuring contemporary classical, cross-genre, and experimental performances in Seattle, the Eastside, Tacoma, and places in between! 

Keep an eye out for our flyer in concert programs and coffee shops around town. Feel free to download, print, and distribute it yourself! If you’d like to be included on this list, please submit your event to the Live Music Project at least six weeks prior to the event and tag it with “new music.”


Wayward Music Series
Concerts of contemporary composition, free improvisation, electroacoustic music, and sonic experiments. This month: white noise, dark ambient, abstracted songs, and Kurdish rhythms.
Various days, 7:30/8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $5-$15

Caroline Shaw.

Seattle Symphony: Caroline Shaw’s ‘Watermark’
Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto was the inspiration behind Caroline Shaw’s Watermark, which receives its world premiere at Benaroya Hall. Pianist Jonathan Biss performs both pieces with the Seattle Symphony, conducted by Ludovic Morlot. Take a peek behind the scenes in our interview with the composer.
Fri, 2/1, 12pm, Benaroya Hall | $22-$122
Sat, 2/2, 8pm, Benaroya Hall | $22-$122

SMCO: From Spain to India
The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra explores connections between Indian classical music and flamenco in this program featuring music of Manuel de Falla, Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar, and Jason Everett performed with guest soloists.
Sat, 2/2, 8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $15-$25
Sun, 2/3, 4pm, Vashon Center for the Arts | $10-$22

Erin Jorgensen (left) and Rose Bellini (right).

Cheating, Lying, Stealing
New music luminaries Erin Jorgensen and Rose Bellini assemble a cast of Seattle’s top new music movers and shakers for this wide-ranging program of chamber works by David Lang, Anna Clyne, Carla Kihlstedt, Marc Mellits, and Caroline Shaw. Did we mention it takes place amid a dreamy neon light show? The concert’s creators take us behind the scenes.
Sun, 2/3, 8pm, Washington Hall | $20

Amy Denio Ensemble: ‘Varieté’
Seattle avant-gardist Amy Denio and her band perform her original film score alongside this special viewing of the 1925 silent film Varieté: a tale of jealousy, obsession, and murder set against the backdrop of the circus.
Mon, 2/4, 7pm, The Paramount Theatre | $10

Seattle Symphony: Silkroad Ensemble
Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh performs the world premiere of his clarinet concerto with the Seattle Symphony in this concert celebrating cross-cultural collaboration. He’s joined by the musicians of the Silkroad Ensemble for music by Vijay Iyer,Edward Perez, and Chen Yi.
Wed, 2/6, 7:30pm, Benaroya Hall | $22-$122

Clarinetist Kinan Azmeh.

Melia Watras: ‘Schumann Resonances’ Album Release
Fairy tales, folk songs, and the music of Schumann are a few of the major influences behind violist Melia Watras’s new album. She performs new works from Schumann Resonances alongside special guests. Hear our sneak preview of the album.
Wed, 2/6, 7:30pm, UW Brechemin Auditorium | FREE

Seattle Improvised Music Festival
No scores, no plans, no safety net: just a whole bunch of artists from all different musical backgrounds collaborating in an atmosphere of spontaneity, intuition, and discovery.
2/6-2/10, Various times and locations | $5-$20

Harry Partch Ensemble
This concert has been cancelled due to inclement weather.
Experience the handmade microtonal instruments of Harry Partch in this concert featuring new works composed for his instruments paired with rarely-performed works from the composer’s archives. Take a tour of the Harry Partch Instrumentarium.
Sat, 2/9, 7:30pm, Meany Studio Theater | $10

Harry Partch’s Chromelodeon. Photo by Maggie Molloy.

UW School of Music: ‘The Innocents’
Visiting percussionists John Lane and Allen Otte perform music from their performance art piece The Innocents, which uses found sounds, street percussion, thumb pianos, and electronics to explore issues of wrongful imprisonment and exoneration. The concert also features the UW Percussion ensemble performing works for speaking percussionist.
Tues, 2/12, 8pm, Good Shepherd Chapel | $5-$15

Kin of the Moon: A New Phase
The composer-performer troupe Kin of the Moon presents the world premiere of Ewa Trębacz’s Winter After Times of Fire, a surround-sound collage of improvisations from a wide range of sonic spaces, including the Fort Worden Cistern. Also on the program are new works exploring graphic scores, forgotten sounds, and film.
Fri, 2/22, 7:30pm, Kerry Hall | $5-$15

The Esoterics: Vulnerability
Openness of heart and mind is the overarching theme of this choral concert featuring wide-ranging works from Reena Esmail, Ted Hearne, David Lang, Jennifer Higdon, Evan Flory-Barnes, and more.
2/22-2/24, Various times and locations | $15-$22

Piano Drop @ Jack Straw
The fractured remains of a piano dropped from a helicopter 50 years ago become the canvas for a concert of brand new works by local composers. Discover the story behind the instrument.
Sat, 2/23, 7pm, Jack Straw Cultural Center | FREE

Emerald Ensemble: ‘the little match girl passion’
David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning the little match girl passion tells the haunting tale of a poor young girl who freezes from the bitter cold of the cruel world around her. The harrowing oratorio sets Hans Christian Andersen’s original story in the format of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.
Sat, 2/23, 8pm, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church | $30

Shara Nova of My Brightest Diamond.

My Brightest Diamond
Few artists inhabit both pop and classical worlds so freely and convincingly as Shara Nova, the operatically-trained singer and composer behind the art rock band My Brightest Diamond. She performs music from her new album A Million and One.
Sat, 2/23, 9pm, Tractor Tavern | $18

Seattle Opera: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
Mason Bates takes you inside the life and legacy of one of the greatest minds of the digital age in this opera exploring the intersections of technology, spirituality,  and ambition. Learn more about the music in our album review.
2/23-3/9, Various times, McCaw Hall | $25-$335

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