Rick Steves and The Cascade Symphony Orchestra (CSO) are partnering to present Rick Steves’ Europe: A Symphonic Journey in two concerts on Sunday, Dec. 10, and Monday, Dec. 11 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA), 410 4th Ave. N., in Edmonds. Both events will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Steves, the world-renowned tour guide, travel writer and Edmonds native, will give a pre-concert lecture each night starting at 6:30 p.m.
The orchestra’s music director, Michael Miropolsky, is excited to be working with Steves for the holiday season concerts.
“What we will present will be a little different,” Miropolsky said. “We celebrate the return of our close friend and world-famous travel guru Rick Steves, with his innovative program.”
Steves is equally enthusiastic about these December shows.
“One of the great thrills of my career took place at the Edmonds Center for the Arts in 2011,” said Steves. “Melding my love of music with my love of European culture, I collaborated with Maestro Michael Miropolsky and our wonderful Cascade Symphony Orchestra to create and perform Rick Steves’ Europe: A Symphonic Journey.”
Normally Steves is touring the great destinations of Europe instead of performing on the concert stage. In this unique musical experience, he combines Europe’s most stirring Romantic-era anthems with beautiful high-definition cinematography and insights into European history.
Steves – America’s leading authority on European travel – utilizes his extensive knowledge about the continent’s history and culture to help set the context for each musical piece. Then, the orchestra performs a selection of stirring 19th century anthems by Romantic-era composers, including Grieg, Smetana, Strauss, Berlioz, Elgar, Wagner and Verdi. Each selection honors a particular nationality, while the finale, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” (Europe’s official anthem), pays homage to the continent’s motto of “United in Diversity.” The music is accompanied by a montage of evocative video images from each country.
“We’re bringing the concert, with some new pieces and newly spiffed-up video clips, back home to Edmonds,” Steves notes. “Our musical journey will begin in the United States before touching down in seven different European countries with stirring pieces that illustrate how Romantic-era music stoked national pride in the late 19th century. Like a tour guide, I’ll set up each piece. And then, as a dramatic video with dreamy scenes from each featured country rolls, the Cascade Symphony Orchestra will perform stirring anthems from Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Britain, Norway and France, with a grand Beethoven finale.”
In addition to the music, Steves will give away a free European tour to a random audience member at each of the two concerts. Commemorative “Symphonic Journey” t-shirts will be available for purchase for $15 in the ECA lobby each night.
Concert ticket prices are: $30 for adults; $26 for seniors (60-plus); and $10 for youth (12 and younger).
Tickets can be purchased online through the ECA website and by telephone (425-275-9595). The ECA Box Office may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The ECA Box Office is currently open noon-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and extended hours during performances.
Additional information about the Cascade Symphony Orchestra and the upcoming 2023-24 concert season is available online at www.cascadesymphony.org.