“Finally! After more than 20 months’ absence due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Thomas Dausgaard, the Seattle Symphony’s Danish music director, is back on the Benaroya Hall podium—much to the jubilation of the pumped-up, fully masked concertgoers and orchestra that assembled Thursday evening for his first concert of the season,” writes Melinda Bargreen in Saturday’s (11/13) Seattle Times. “It was even a thrill to … watch the full orchestra assemble on the stage. The long-awaited concert delivered a powerful musical statement, with Beethoven’s noble ‘Egmont’ Overture and the mighty Symphony No. 1 of Brahms. In between came the soloist Alessio Bax, in a lyrical and unbelievably fleet-fingered account of the Piano Concerto No. 2 of Saint-Saëns.… Bax was a replacement for the originally scheduled pianist, Nicolas Hodges, whose work visa was delayed due to pandemic-related travel issues (as Dausgaard’s had been). Dausgaard … gave a … heartfelt speech about the joy of making music together again with the orchestra…. The orchestra played with eager energy and brilliance…. The symphony is continuing its online Seattle Symphony Live streaming service for many … of its concerts; the Dausgaard concert is not available online, though next week’s concert … will be streamed.”