10PM. Benaroya Hall. Strolling up and down one of the most beautiful lobbies in the city with a glass of wine, listening to music, standing just a few feet away from musicians and a world class maestro definitely fits my bill of night out at the symphony. And oh, yeah, the $20 ticket price also fits my bill..
The Seattle Symphony has a new series called [UNTITLED] which takes place in the “informal atmosphere of the Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby” on Fridays at 10PM, three times during the year.
The symphony (actually it was more of an ensemble, three different groups of 10-30 people) played three pieces in three different locations during the evening and the audience was invited to roam around to move closer to the musicians or to find best place for acoustics for that particular piece.
There were chairs, bar stools or comfy booths set-up all over the Grand Lobby for people to sit. A whole bunch of people were sitting on the floor and a whole another bunch of people (including me) moved around throughout the night. It was indeed cool and an intimate atmosphere to be enjoying music. Ludo (Ludovic Merlot) introduced each piece before the playing and him and his thick French accent was absolutely charming in that setting. I loved everything about it…except the music. As the title of the concert may hint, the selections of music for the evening were from 20th century contemporary genre. I enjoyed playing contemporary pieces as a piano student but it is not the genre I would pick to listen to. As shallow as it might sound, I like music I can tap my feet to or move my body with or sing with. The selections during the concert sounded too experimental, too dissonant, too cerebral, and psychedelic for my taste (and I apologize in advance to those who love this genre).
Fortunately for me, it looks like they don’t only play contemporary genre for the [UNTITLED] series. I see Schubert on next year’s series. I will definitely go back. If not for the music, for the experience of it…and people watching. In any case, kudos to Ludo and the Seattle Symphony for trying something new!