From The Seattle Times:

It’s a perennial challenge for symphony orchestras everywhere: how to get people who’ve never heard Haydn, Schubert or Mahler played in a concert hall to come hear anything at all.

Seattle Symphony Orchestra has found novel and delightful ways to lure newcomers — including concerts of video-game music and this week’s program of sci-fi movie scores — and has had some success. SSO’s hope is that a neophyte who enjoys the sound of a live orchestra performing something familiar might then be interested in exploring classical fare.

It’s a good idea.

But “Sonic Evolution” could be a better one.

A unique experiment in building new, symphonic repertoire inspired by the legacies of musical giants from such popular genres as jazz and rock, “Sonic Evolution” is a strong signal from new music director Ludovic Morlot that he means it when he says good music is good music, and distinctions can miss a larger point.

Morlot says the other new compositions — Cuong Vu’s “ONE,” a tribute to Jones; William Brittelle’s “Obituary Birthday: A Requiem for Kurt Cobain”; and Vladimir Nikolaev’s “The Sinewaveland: Homage to Jimi Hendrix” — are not jazz or rock tunes with orchestra accompaniment.

“You’re not going to hear a melody or tune from Jones or Cobain,” says Morlot. “It’s more encompassing the spirit of those artists in an original symphonic piece.”

Vu, the Grammy-winning, Seattle-based jazz trumpeter, will perform on “ONE,” which was inspired by Jones’ 1980s production work with Michael Jackson and James Ingram.

“I tried to set up some atmospheres that reflected that type of energy,” says Vu. “A lot of brass, trumpets, lines. Addressing groove with the orchestra was a challenge.”

Read the complete story at The Seattle Times.

Seattle Jazz