In Tuesday’s (9/16) Seattle Times, Nicole Brodeur reports on the Seattle Symphony’s season opening night, on September 13: “Symphony Board Chairwoman Leslie Jackson Chihuly dedicated [the evening] to the Benaroya family, ‘who set the bar for cultural philanthropy,’ she said. Indeed. Rebecca Benaroya used the opening night to donate $10 million to the symphony.… She didn’t want to comment, which wasn’t a surprise. The late Jack Benaroya and his wife have always been the most demure of donors; they had to be persuaded to have their name put on the concert hall.… [Music Director Ludovic] Morlot, who had ditched the tails for [the post-concert] dinner, loved that the night was full of surprises.… The maestro is excited about the new musicians joining the symphony, and the new season. ‘There shouldn’t be any routine,’ he said. ‘We’re performing artists. We start from scratch every time we step on stage.’ … Perhaps the best moment of the night—save for the $600,000 raised—was when Morlot asked all of the symphony members to stand. ‘If I do this in front of a mirror, nothing happens,’ he said, raising his arms. You’re my soul, my body and my sound.’ ” The symphony states that the gift will go towards building long-term sustainability.

Posted September 18, 2014

Pictured: Benaroya Hall, home to the Seattle Symphony