An ensemble founded by young musicians in 2009, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra focuses on bringing unique musical experiences to young and diverse new listeners. SMCO's intimate performances feature a unique mix of music for chamber orchestra and small ensemble of all eras, with a significant focus on contemporary and rarely heard masterworks of the genre. The ensemble is dedicated to exploring the future of music, premiering new works of gifted young composers.
American conductor Geoffrey Larson is the founding Music Director of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. Seattle Weekly, Classical KING FM, The Gathering Note, and The SunBreak have hailed Mr. Larson as one of the Northwest's finest young conductors.
Geoffrey Larson has served as the Assistant Conductor of the Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island, and has been invited to appear twice at the Northwest Mahler Festival. His opera credits include Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Holst’s Savitri, and Chabrier’s L’étoile. He has given the world premieres of numerous works and has demonstrated a passion for new music. In 2014, he presented a lecture and complete performance of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire at Pittsburgh Opera Studio that was met with critical acclaim. In 2010, he created the ongoing Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra initiative to perform new works of excellent young composers, working with venerated Iranian composer Reza Vali to choose a winner of SMCO’s first International Composition Competition in 2014.
Mr. Larson was named a Fellow at the Bard Conductors Institute as the course’s youngest member in 2007, and joined three other young conductors in master classes at London’s Royal Academy of Music in 2008 at the personal selection of the late George Hurst. He has studied at the Pierre Monteux School under the tutelage of Michael Jinbo, and he studied opera conducting with Wolfgang Harrer for five months in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Larson was a student of two-time Grammy Award winner Robert Page at Carnegie Mellon University, where he conducted performances and recording sessions of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic and Contemporary Music Ensemble. He additionally counts Peter Erös, Ronald Zollman, Harold Farberman, Raphael Jimenez, and Rodolfo Saglimbeni among his teachers in conducting. He has assisted conductors such as Uriel Segal, Ronald Zollman, Gerard Schwarz, and Brian Garman.
As a clarinetist, Mr. Larson holds a degree from Michigan State University where he was a student of Caroline Hartig. He has given performances with ensembles such as the Seattle Modern Orchestra, Saratoga Orchestra, and Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra. He has performed in Michigan, Texas, Oregon, Illinois, and Washington, including a chamber music broadcast on Seattle’s KING FM. He has also given solo performances in Kanazawa, Japan and Vienna, Austria.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Steve Reeder, Acting President
Marcia Johnson, Director
Ursula Sahagian, Director
Andrea Wilson, Business Manager
Aleida Gehrels, Development Officer
Ashley Biermann, Concert Front of House
Tricia Wu, Personnel Manager
Chris Aagaard, Web Design
Meg Risso, Social Media