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From the Mountaintop to the River

Symphony Tacoma’s Classics V concert takes a look at history through music By Olivia Browdy | Photo by David Finlayson

symphony tacoma mcgill

Symphony Tacoma will present the fifth Classic Series concert of its 75th Anniversary season on Saturday, April 30, at 7:30pm at the Pantages Theater. The program, From the Mountaintop to the River, features conductor Sarah Ioannides along with clarinetist Anthony McGill.

Anthony McGill is a treat to audiences as one of classical music’s most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures. He serves as the principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic—that orchestra’s first African American principal player. Not only is McGill an extraordinary musician, he also serves as an ardent advocate for helping music education reach underserved communities and for addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in classical music.

This concert pays tribute to our collective sentiment through onerous times, inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Civil Rights Movement. The works included in the concert are Vivian Fung’s Prayer, Richard Danielpour’s From the Mountaintop, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 Rhenish.

Vivian Fung’s Prayer is a deeply personal commentary on the extraordinary conditions she faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. “For under no other circumstances … have I worn my heart on my sleeve as transparently as I have with this piece,” states Fung.

Inspired by the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Danielpour wrote From the Mountaintop for Anthony McGill. The piece is filled with the vivid sadness, happiness, prayerfulness, joy and pain of the Civil Rights Movement. Schumann wrote Rhenish, his final symphony, at a time when he was living near the Rhine River in 1850. Having been criticized in his earlier works as not understanding orchestral writing, Schumann silenced these claims with this work, proving his virtuosity to his critics and to himself.

Tickets, which are priced $24 to $83, and more information are available at

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