Maestro Gerard Schwarz Bows Out

Seattle Symphony conductor plays his final concert as music director. Get the scoop on his finale pe

The year 1985 was a big one for music: USA for Africa’s “We Are the World” raised $70 million, David Lee Roth left Van Halen for a solo career, and Madonna embarked on her first tour—The Virgin Tour, which kicked off in Seattle. But of much greater import locally, Gerard Schwarz took the position of music director for the Seattle Symphony. Since then, he’s raised the symphony’s global profile, earned 12 Grammy nominations and countless other awards, and was instrumental in bringing a state-of-the-art symphony hall to our city. His farewell season has been phenomenal, highlighted by 18 world premieres from composers of note, commissioned in honor of his career. Schwarz ends his tenure with characteristic flourish, conducting a world premiere work by Philip Glass as well as Mahler’s classic “Resurrection” symphony. Next fall, he’ll have a resurrection of his own, in his role as conductor laureate.

6/16 & 6/18. Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St.; 206.215.4747;