A professional ensemble founded by young freelance musicians in 2009, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra focuses on bringing unique musical experiences to diverse new listeners of all ages. 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 and creating programming that tells the story of the human experience.
The SPARK Series ignites collaborations with DJs, visual artists, and artists of other musical genres for unique events in nightclubs and unexpected spaces. Secret Chamber Music brings intimate small-ensemble performances into homes, galleries, and other private locations. In SMCO's central orchestral series in Seattle concert halls, audiences experience the best music of the diverse world of the chamber orchestra with a few verbal insights delivered from the stage.
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. He has recently joined the conducting staff of Drugaya Opera of St. Petersburg, Russia and the Berkshire Opera Festival of Massachusetts.
In the summer of 2016, Mr. Larson served as Assistant Conductor for two young artists opera productions in Prague, Czech Republic, working closely with baritone Sherrill Milnes on Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre, the site of the work's premiere. In 2014, he presented a lecture and complete performance of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire at Pittsburgh Opera Studio. Mr. Larson has served as the Assistant Conductor of the Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island, and has appeared with ensembles such as the Bainbridge Symphony, Thalia Symphony, and Northwest Mahler Festival. His opera credits include Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Chabrier’s L’étoile, and Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi.
Mr. Larson has given the world premieres of numerous works and has demonstrated a passion for new music, creating the ongoing Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra initiative to perform new works of rising young composers. He worked with composers Reza Vali and Huck Hodge to choose the winners of SMCO’s International Composition Competitions in 2014 and 2016. He has collaborated in performance with composers such as Erberk Eryılmaz, Nancy Galbraith, and Leonardo Balada.
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 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 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. He additionally counts Peter Erös, Ronald Zollman, 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