Gerard Schwarz, who recently laid down his the final beat as conductor of the Seattle Symphony after 26 years, had just one more act on his final day in the office: to accept a commission as a Washington general. On June 17 Commander Bill Sperry presented the maestro with his commission in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.
The commission captured not only that Schwarz was being awarded for his work with the Seattle Symphony, but also for his involvement in the community in various educational and civic activities. The commissioning was covered by KIRO-TV news.
Upon reflection of his career, Schwarz stated "I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to do what I have done and I couldn't do it without a lot of people saying yes. It's been a phenomenal time.”
Schwarz has conducted more than 100 world premieres in Seattle and has 14 Grammy nominations and two Emmy Awards to his credit. Although he has stepped down from his position as music director, he will continue to lead the symphony several weeks each year as its conductor laureate.