Evocative, theatrical, and genre-bending, Difficult Grace is an evening-length, multimedia concert tour de force conceived by and featuring cellist Seth Parker Woods in the triple role of cellist, narrator/guide, and movement artist, performing music written for and with Seth by Freida Abtan, Monty Adkins, Fredrick Gifford, Michael Gordon, Nathalie Joachim, and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay.

Heightened by film, spoken texts, dance, and visual artwork by Jacob Lawrence, Barbara Earl Thomas, Zoë McLean, and Freida Abtan, Difficult Grace creates a vivid sonic and visual canvas that draws its inspiration from the Great Migration, archive research in the year 1915 of the historic newspaper The Chicago Defender, immigration, and the poetry of Amiri Baraka and Dudley Randall.

In fall 2022, Difficult Grace will premiere in its fully realized new iteration including an on-stage collaboration with choreographer and dancer Roderick George with new musical commissions from composers Ted Hearne and Devonté Hynes a.k.a Blood Orange.

The world premiere of Difficult Grace was presented by the Seattle Symphony at Octave 9 at Benaroya Hall in February 2020.

“Seth Parker Woods’s audiovisually mouthwatering performance”


“married the cellist’s most introspective playing with an affecting visual narrative…”