Photo by James Holt
Stories from the Musical Legacy Society
By Martin K. Johansson
This month we hear from Patricia Tall-Takacs about her passion for symphonic music and the Seattle Symphony. Patricia is a longtime subscriber and a supporter of more than 30 years, a former Board member, and a Lifetime Director. She is also a member of the Musical Legacy Society which honors patrons who have included a gift for the Symphony in their will or estate plans. Patricia and other Legacy donors help to ensure a vibrant future for the Seattle Symphony.
Do you remember your first Seattle Symphony concert?
My first experience going to a concert was when I was 11 and the Seattle Symphony used to have a program for 5th graders. I'd only been in the theater to see a movie, but now the curtain went up and the conductor came out, tapped his baton on the podium, and started playing George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. I have never forgotten the experience of hearing it live after only listening to recordings.
When I came back to Seattle after college to do post-graduate work, I heard about student tickets to the Symphony. We sat in the front row, and Henry Siegl was the concertmaster. He would come out before every concert and sit at the edge of the stage with his legs dangling over, and he would say, "Now kids" — because we were in the front row — "Now kids, this is what you are going to be hearing tonight." And he would talk to us about the music. He gave us such a gift. Many years later, right before the Symphony moved to Benaroya Hall, I happened to see him, and I had the opportunity to tell him what gift he had given to me and thank him. It was really wonderful.
Why is supporting the Seattle Symphony important to you?
We have a very rich cultural scene in Seattle. Music is a place that I have gone to consistently my entire life for solace, for stimulation, for excitement. I just think that a city without a Symphony is a city without a soul. And I do feel that our Symphony is the artistic soul of Seattle and that's why I've continued to support it.
You’ve also helped commission new works of music. Could you share a little about that experience?
Commissioning a new work is very exciting for me. I want to keep classical music alive, and as we have new audiences we have to be able to offer new types of music. Music has changed through the years. It’s very important that a Symphony continues to change with it. My whole commitment to the Symphony — and to symphonic music — is to keeping it alive for future generations. I want my great grandchildren to be able to go to the Symphony and say, "Oh wow, that was fabulous!"
Thank you, Patricia, for sharing your story with us, and for your generous support of the Seattle Symphony!
The Seattle Symphony’s Musical Legacy Society is generously sponsored by Laird Norton Wealth Management.
Posted on May 24, 2017