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Originally published June 15, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 26, 2007 at 2:20 PM

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Seattle Symphony features local soloists

The Seattle Symphony's next subscription program will showcase some local talent in the upcoming trio of concerts in Benaroya Hall, starting...

Seattle Times music critic

Classical-music previews


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The Seattle Symphony's next subscription program will showcase some local talent in the upcoming trio of concerts in Benaroya Hall, starting Thursday. Among the featured soloists: the orchestra's principal flute, Scott Goff; tenor Melvyn Poll, who has been a frequent guest artist with the orchestra; and organist Joseph Adam, whose performance with the Symphony in last week's "Glagolitic Mass" was a showstopper.

Goff, the Seattle Symphony's principal flutist since 1969, has also served as principal of Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, and has been featured on "Live from Lincoln Center" broadcasts. He studied with three of his predecessors in the Seattle Symphony principal-flute chair: Frank Horsfall, Felix Skowronek and Sidney Zeitlin, as well as with flute legend Julius Baker at the Juilliard School.

During the course of his career, Seattle-born Poll has performed both opera and concert repertoire in Europe, Israel and the U.S., including at the New York City Opera and Carnegie Hall. His symphonic guest engagements include the orchestras of Houston, San Francisco, Denver and Vancouver, B.C. Poll has collaborated with Gerard Schwarz on works of Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and Mahler in Seattle and Minneapolis, as well as at New York's Avery Fisher and Carnegie halls.

Adam, the Symphony's resident organist, also is cathedral organist at St. James Cathedral in Seattle (since 1993), and a faculty member at the University of Puget Sound. Adam's concert appearances have extended from France's Chartres Cathedral and Germany's St. Thomas Church to America's Disney Hall (Los Angeles) and Grace Cathedral (San Francisco). He won first prize in the St. Albans International Organ Competition in 1991.

The program is an unusually varied one. There's a middle-European classic of the repertoire: Dvorák's familiar and beloved Symphony No. 8; a newer work of contemporary American composer Paul Schoenfield, "Klezmer Rondos"; and an early-20th-century French classic, the Poulenc Organ Concerto.

Inspired by Jewish traditions, the "Klezmer Rondos" (for flute, tenor and chamber orchestra) are a new take on the often exuberant, dancelike music heard at weddings and other celebrations. The work combines elements of both flute concerto and song. Schoenfield is one of today's most successful composers: his exciting "Café Music" has become a staple of the chamber repertoire.

The one-movement Poulenc Concerto for Organ in G Minor is vintage Poulenc, full of the bittersweet, quicksilver harmonies you'll find in one form or another in almost all the composer's works. Somehow, everything he wrote sounds quintessentially French.

Classical-music previews

Thursday's 7:30 p.m. concert repeats at 8 p.m. June 23 and 2 p.m. June 24. The preconcert lecture, an hour before performance time, will be given by program annotator Steven Lowe. Tickets: $15-$89 (206-215-4747 or www.seattlesymphony.org).

Also at the Symphony

This weekend there's another chance to hear the Symphony's performance of Strauss' dancelike "Der Rosenkavalier" Suite, and violin soloist Elmar Oliveira performs Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy." The concert, at 8 p.m. Saturday, starts with Mendelssohn's "Hebrides" Overture, with the world premiere of David Stock's Fifth Symphony ("In tempore belli") completing the program. Gerard Schwarz conducts; tickets: $15-$89 (206-215-4747 or www.seattlesymphony.org).

Off-the-news opera

And now, for something completely different: a new opera about an illegal immigrant trapped in an elevator. The Theatre Off Jackson presents the premiere of "Stuck Elevator: The Super-Heroic Stationary Journey of Ming Kuang Chen," featuring Xike Xin, with musical direction by Julia Tai. Inspired by an actual news story (about an undocumented-immigrant restaurant deliveryman who was trapped for three days in a high-rise elevator), the work was composed by Seattle's Byron Au Yong, with New Haven writer Aaron Jafferis.

Details: 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave. S., Seattle; $10-$15 (www.brownpapertickets.com; more information, www.theatreoffjackson.org).

Melinda Bargreen: mbargreen@seattletimes.com

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