by Tom Keogh
The “Northwest” in “Northwest Symphony Orchestra” isn’t just a regional designation.
It’s an acknowledgement of one cultural institution’s commitment to the music of composers living and working in the upper-left corner of the Lower 48.
Founded in 1987 as an ensemble dedicated both to the breadth of classical repertoire and contemporary works by Northwest composers, NWSO has ambitiously developed its expansive mission for three decades. Under the guidance of longtime music director and conductor Dr. Anthony Spain, the organization has performed approximately 140 pieces by Pacific Northwest composers, including more than 60 world premieres.
That impressive, peerless track record and the consistently high quality of the orchestra’s musicianship have drawn local and national press raves over the years, as well as appearances on National Public Radio and NBC’s “Today Show.” NWSO has won eight national ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) awards, and its several CDs have earned praise.