Sunday, September 27th @ 2:30

Livestreamed from Town Hall Seattle

Sophie Baird-Daniel, harp


Sunday, January 24th @ 2:30

Livestreamed from Town Hall Seattle

Nathan Chan, cello


Sunday, February 28th @ 2:30

Livestreamed from Town Hall Seattle

Leslie Martin, harpsichord


Sunday, April 25th @ 2:30

Livestreamed from Town Hall Seattle

Singles $15, 4-Concert Subscription $50 per household

The concert video will be available for viewing for two weeks after the concert. And season subscribers will have access to all the concerts for the duration of the season.

Four diverse programs include works by African-American composers and an entire concert for children. 

Soloists include Sophie Baird-Daniel (harp), Nathan Chan (cello), and Leslie Martin (harpsichord)

SEATTLE, WA – Philharmonia Northwest announces its 2020-21 season, the orchestra’s 45th year of making music in the Seattle community. This season will be like no other, as Philharmonia Northwest has adapted to the pandemic: the program for each concert allows for a flexible number of musicians depending on the county’s current phase of reopening, and will be performed without an audience in the hall while streamed live. “It’s been a time of struggle for all of us,” says Julia Tai, Music Director. “We miss live music, and the musicians miss playing with one another. Now more than ever we need music in our lives, to comfort and inspire us, and to give us hope that sustains us through this time of health and social unrest.”

The September 27 season opener “Reminiscence” is all about memory. George Walker, the first African-American composer to win a Pulitzer Prize, dedicated his “Lyric for Strings” to his grandmother after she died. Debussy looks back to antiquity with one of the first pieces composed for the modern harp, “Danse sacrée et danse profane,” which will feature harpist Sophie Baird-Daniel. Lastly, Tchaikovsky’s colorful Souvenir de Florence” remembers the composer’s travels in Italy.

The November 22 concert features Seattle’s beloved cellist Nathan Chan in Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile and an arrangement of David Popper’s Fantasy on Little Russian Songs. Titled “Exhilaration,” the concert also spotlights the acclaimed young African-American composer Jessie Montgomery. About her piece Strum, the composer said, “Drawing on American folk idioms and the spirit of dance and movement, the piece has a kind of narrative that begins with fleeting nostalgia and transforms into ecstatic celebration.” The concert concludes with the exhilarating String Symphony No. 2 in D major by Felix Mendelssohn.

The February 28 performance presents J.S. Bach‘s monumental Harpsichord Concerto in D minor, with soloist Leslie Martin. Titled “Ancient Voices,” the concert also includes one of the first well-known black composers during Mozart’s time, Joseph Bologne, also known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges. His string quartets are among the lost treasures of the classical era. “Ancient Airs and Dances by Ottorino Respighi reimagines 16th century lute music with modern instruments and string techniques.

Our final performance of the season on April 25 will be a concert for Seattle’s families. Encouraged by the success of our family concert last season, Philharmonia Northwest will again present symphonic jewels for the young ones. The program is still in flux, but we’re hopeful that by then we might be able to welcome kids back into our concert hall in person and celebrate music together again. 

2020-2021 SEASON

Concert I: Reminiscence

Town Hall Seattle

Sunday, September 27, 2020, 2:30 PM

Sophie Baird-Daniel, harp


George Walker: Lyric for Strings

Debussy: Danse sacrée et danse profane 

Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70


Concert II: Exhilaration

Town Hall Seattle

Sunday, November 22, 2020, 2:30 PM

Nathan Chan, cello


Jessie Montgomery: Strum 

Tchaikovsky: Andante Cantabile

Popper: Fantasy on Little Russian Songs, op. 43

Mendelssohn: String Symphony No. 2 in D major


Concert III: Ancient Voices

Town Hall Seattle

Sunday, February 28, 2021, 2:30 PM

Leslie Martin, harpsichord


Joseph Bologne (Chevalier de Saint-Georges): String Quartet No. 3

Bach: Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052

Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite III 


Concert IV: Children’s Concert

Town Hall Seattle

Sunday, April 25, 2021, 2:30 PM




Subscriptions for all four live broadcast concerts are $50 per household. The single ticket price is $15. Tickets may be purchased online at 

Philharmonia Northwest’s mission is to contribute to the vitality of the music community in the Pacific Northwest by presenting professional-level concerts highlighting diverse past and present repertoire for chamber orchestra. It is dedicated to promoting local composers and performers, while its outreach programs educate and inspire younger musicians and audiences of all ages.


Sophie Baird-Daniel, harp

Praised for her “technicolor” sound (Gramophone), harpist Sophie Baird-Daniel is in high demand as a soloist and collaborator.  She has been featured at numerous series and festivals, including Tanglewood Music Center, Seattle Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Bellingham Music Festival, Seattle Modern Orchestra, and North Corner Chamber Orchestra.  As an orchestral musician, Sophie performs with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and Orquestra Filarmonica de Jalisco.

A champion of new music, she has given premiers of works by Freya Waley-Cohen, George Benjamin, Megan Bledsoe-Ward, Marc-André Dalbavie, and Ha-Yang Kim.  Sophie also enjoys exploring the harp in non-classical and interdisciplinary projects.  Recently she has collaborated with singer-songwriter Raymond Larsen, and is currently workshopping a piece with ACT Theater and choreographer KT Niehoff.

Sophie was a participant in the prestigious 2018 International Harp Contest in Israel, a quarter finalist in the 2016 International Dutch Harp Competition, and won the silver medal at the 2017 Vancouver international Music Competition.  She was the 2015 winner of the Frances Walton Competition, which culminated in an outreach tour of rural Eastern Washington reaching thousands of school-aged children. The experience has continued to inspire her work in outreach and education.

Alongside her performing career, Sophie is the artistic director of Archipelago Collective, a dynamic and forward thinking chamber music festival on San Juan Island, Washington. 

Sophie has been mentored by some of the world’s leading harp pedagogues including Isabelle Perrin, Nancy Allen, Elizabeth Fontan-Binoche, Mariko Anraku, Valerie Muzzolini, and Jessica Zhou.  She completed her Artist and Performance Diplomas at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of world-renowned harpist Judy Loman.  

Nathan Chan, cello

Cellist Nathan Chan discovered his talent for music at an early age through conducting. Before he was two, he could emulate the styles of conductors he saw on music videos such as Seiji Ozawa, Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein, using a chopstick as a baton. As a toddler, his imitations were so intuitively musical that he caught the attention of San Francisco Opera Assistant Conductor Sara Jobin. Under her eye, he made his debut as a conductor at age three, leading the San Jose Chamber Orchestra in a set of Mozart variations, despite not yet being able to read music. This was followed by a guest appearance with the Palo Alto Philharmonic a year later, conducting the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Initially drawn to the sounds of low strings, he began formal music lessons with cellist Irene Sharp at age five. He later studied with Sieun Lin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Nathan Chan has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, working with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, James Gaffigan, Alexander Prior, Benjamin Simon, Donato Cabrera, Alasdair Neale, Edwin Outwater, Laura Jackson, and David Allen Miller, among others. He also participated in the Emmy-award winning NPR program From The Top and NPR’s Performance Today with Fred Child. In 2009, he was featured in The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies, a three-part British series documenting a global search for talented musicians, in which Nathan and three other performers gave the world premiere of the Velesslavista Quadruple Concerto, composed by Alexander Prior. Nathan Chan has performed benefit concerts for the American Alzheimer’s Association and the Friends of Children with Special Needs, among others. For his contributions to the community, he won the Peninsula Arts Council’s Ray Lorenzato Diamond Arts Award in 2007. In 2006, Nathan Chan appeared in The Music in Me, a documentary that aired on HBO and won the Peabody Award. This program led to a performance in Carnegie Hall and caught the attention of the legendary soul singer Roberta Flack, who invited Nathan to collaborate on her project of Beatles songs for Sony Records.

Nathan Chan was named a 2012 Davidson Fellow for his project entitled, “The Importance of Passion” and was awarded a $25,000 scholarship as part of this prestigious honor. While in New York City, he made his debut in Avery Fisher Hall (now David Geffen Hall) playing Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major and with the Juilliard Orchestra performing Strauss’ Don Quixote as the winner of the 2013 Juilliard Cello Concerto Competition, led by Maestro Leonard Slatkin. In 2015, Mr. Chan was chosen to participate in Classe d’Excellence du Violoncelle with world-renowned cellist Gautier Capuçon in association with Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France. Nathan won the 2015 Aspen Low Strings Concerto Competition playing Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D Major and was a recipient of the 2016 Samuel Mayes Memorial Cello Award at Tanglewood.

Nathan is a strong proponent of using technology and media to attract others into the classical world and is committed to his fast growing Internet presence; to date, he has over 7 million views on YouTube and Instagram. (@nathanchancello) He recently joined the Seattle Symphony as their new Assistant Principal Cello. In 2018, Mr. Chan performed the Elgar and Schumann Cello Concertos with the Bainbridge Symphony and the Cascade Symphony. Nathan’s 2019-2020 season includes a performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D with the Everett Philharmonic and the Shostakovich Cello Concerto with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, as well as a summer at the Marlboro Music Festival.

Nathan received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics at Columbia University and his Masters of Music with Richard Aaron at The Juilliard School. 

Leslie Martin, harpsichord

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Leslie Martin is adjunct instructor of organ, harpsichord, and piano at Seattle Pacific University, and is a former member of the organ and harpsichord faculty of the University of Washington. He joined the faculty of the Suzuki Academy at Music Center of the Northwest in 2011, where he continues to be a dedicated piano pedagogue, employing the philosophy developed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, which aims to create beauty and inter-connection in the lives of young people through the art of music. His Suzuki piano studies were with master teacher, Caroline Fraser of Lima, Peru; his principal organ and harpsichord studies were with John Hamilton at the University of Oregon, from which he received Masters degrees in organ performance and choral conducting. He is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda scholastic honor society.

Les has performed organ recitals in numerous European cities including Geneva, Uppsala, Monopoli, Martignano, Sirolo, and Rome, and has been featured at European organ festivals such as the Stagione Concertistica Internazionale d’Organo in Lecce, Italy (2001 and 2009); the Accademia Organistica Elpidiense in Sant’ Elpidio a Mare, Italy, and the prestigious Festival International de l’Orgue Ancien, in Sion, Switzerland (1995 and 2007), performing there on the world’s oldest playable organ, dating from 1435.

Locally, Les has appeared variously as guest conductor, keyboard soloist and continuo organist-harpsichordist with many Seattle-based orchestras including Philharmonia Northwest, Thalia Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Seattle, the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and served as the principal harpsichordist of the Northwest Chamber Orchestra.

During his career he has also held positions as organist and choirmaster for noted Episcopal and United Methodist churches in Washington, Texas, and Connecticut.

Areas of special interest include keyboard improvisation, performance practices in early music, and the study and performance of the cantatas of J. S. Bach.

Les enjoys balancing his musical activities with fly-fishing, hiking, and traveling across the Western States and Canada with his wife, Laura, and their Black Labrador Retriever, Petey, as this energetic canine pursues his squirrel-sighting adventures.

Julia Tai, conductor

Julia Tai has established herself as one of the most dynamic young conductors on the international stage. She is currently the Music Director of Philharmonia Northwest, and the founder and co-artistic director of the Seattle Modern Orchestra. Her career has led to acclaimed performances and rehearsals with orchestras around the world, including the American Youth Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic), Brandenburger Symphoniker (Germany), Estonian National Youth Symphony (Estonia), New Symphony Orchestra (Bulgaria), Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Carlos Chávez (Mexico), and the Seattle Symphony. She has participated in the renowned Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at the New England Conservatory, and worked with legendary composers, performers and ensembles such as Jonathan Harvey, Tristan Murail, Graeme Jennings, Garth Knox and Ensemble Modern.

Philharmonia Northwest

Philharmonia Northwest, one of Seattle’s finest chamber orchestras, is a vital part of the regional classical music scene. For more than four decades, the orchestra has presented lively performances of works ranging from the classics to world premieres. The orchestra is composed of dedicated and skilled musicians who contribute their time and talent to Philharmonia’s continuing success. Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Julia Tai, the orchestra has strengthened its ties to the regional musical community and introduced a number of new musical initiatives. Philharmonia’s educational outreach program partners with community arts organizations and local schools to provide learning and performing opportunities for students, making the experience of live classical music meaningful to widely diverse audiences. As part of its mission, the orchestra is dedicated to promoting Northwest soloists and living composers.


If you would like more information, please contact Julia Adams, Program Manager, at