Thalia, one of the Greek muses said to inspire artists, must have paid Seattle a visit in 1949. That's when Mikael Scheremetiew—himself a violinist and conductor—established the Thalia Symphony Orchestra and named it for that mythic figure. Scheremetiew's wish was to give fellow local musicians another creative outlet, and it was more than granted. After a brief flirtation with opera, the organization devoted itself to music, and the aural tradition continues today.
The modern iteration of the orchestra, headed by new conductor Michael Miropolsky, features 80-plus instrumentalists, a core group frequently joined by noted soloists. The ensemble regularly performs unique concerts showcasing the work of composers united by common themes—a Tchaikovsky suite might share billing with a Dvorak symphony, while a Wagner overture could be accompanied by Schubert's latest remix. The orchestra's access to such a wide range of works is partially afforded by its Thalia Scheremetiew Library, one of the largest private music collections in the region.