Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Adagio in B minor, K.540
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (arr. Spindler) Zaide: Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Lesben
Esaias Reusner Joseph, lieber Joseph mein
Antonin Dvorak Slavonic Dances, Op.72
Avner Dorman Variations without a theme

The Classical Notebook

Classical KING FM announcers and featured musicians share their thoughts on local concerts, seasonal music and evergreen classical favorites.
Posts from June 2014
by Seneca Garber posted Jun 25 2014 10:28AM
Classical KING FM airs every Seattle Chamber Music Festival concert LIVE beginning Monday, July 7. Check our Live & Local Broadcasts page for more information.

Seattle Chamber Music Society’s 2014 Summer Festival is full of so many great performances it’s hard to pick just a few highlights. Artistic Director James Ehnes has said that he tries to bring together the world’s finest musicians and program such great music that every single concert is a sure-fire winner. Even with that being said, several things stand out for the upcoming 12 concerts that run from July 7 – August 2.
 
James Ehnes During the first week the complete version of The Soldier’s Tale by Stravinsky on July 11 is not to be missed! This is one of the composer’s greatest pieces and is rarely heard in its complete version, let alone with so many amazing musicians. James Ehnes is joined by principal bass of the Seattle Symphony Jordan Anderson, the principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic Anthony McGill, the principal bassoon of the Orchestre symphonique du Montréal Stéphane Lévesque, former lead trumpet of the Canadian Brass Jens Lindemann, principal trombone of the Seatle Symphony Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, principal percussion of the Seattle Symphony Michael Werner, and just announced narrator, Jeff Kready, who is currently in the smash Broadway hit A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The concert also features a Mozart flute quartet and a Brahms piano quartet.


The late Toby Saks, founder of the Seattle Chamber Music Society, shared her favorite music in this episode of Musical Chairs from 2011.
 
On Monday, July 21 you’ll hear the incredible talent of the three winners of the KING FM Young Artist Awards Competition and Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Monika Meyer Clowes Memorial Award in the free Pre-Concert Recital at 7 pm. This is your chance to hear them live for a 30-minute performance. The main concert that evening features one of Haydn’s greatest string quartets, a Schumann piano trio, and Brahms’ rarely heard Liebeslieder Waltzes. You’ll get to hear soprano Hyunah Yu, mezzo Allyson McHardy, tenor Nicholas Phan, and baritone James Westman joined by pianists Jeewon Park and Max Levinson for this romantic masterpiece.
 
We’re offering our 3rd annual Chamber Music in the Park concert at Volunteer Park on Wednesday, July 30 at 7:00 pm. This is a perfect chance to hear live music on a beautiful summer evening at one of Seattle’s most beloved parks. This free event will feature pre-concert activities for the whole family starting at 5 pm and a food truck will be on hand so that you can have a lovely picnic, even if you don’t bring your own food to enjoy. This year you’ll hear Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, K. 581 with arguably the world’s greatest clarinetist Ricardo Morales, principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Beethoven’s C-Major String Quintet.
 
To wrap up the Summer Festival this year, we’re presenting Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 with Andrew Wan, violin, Julie Albers, cello, and Adam Neiman, piano. For some this may sound very familiar since it was programmed last summer but the performance was interrupted when smoke from a fire across the street made its way into the ventilation system. This was the making of such Seattle Chamber Music Society's Classical Conversationsan incredible performance that it would be a shame to not reschedule it for this summer. Also on the program is a Mozart string quintet and Beethoven Septet for strings and winds to bring the Summer Festival to a conclusion on a high note.
 
Besides all the great concerts, Seattle Chamber Music Society offers a number of other events to enhance the festival atmosphere and this summer is no different. We’re offering a special screening of Richard O’Neill’s International Emmy winning film Hello?! Orchestra on July 10, Open Rehearsals, Classical Conversations, Meet the Artists post concert Q&A sessions, live broadcasts of every concert into local Seattle parks, and a Family Concert featuring an abridged version of Peter and the Wolf, and of course live broadcasts of every concert on KING FM! There is something for everyone during the 2014 Summer Festival; we hope you’ll join us!
by Lisa Bergman posted Jun 12 2014 12:30PM

This is the Twentieth Anniversary Celebration of the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts International Chamber Music Festival, with three hundred years of “the music of friends” – inspired works by the world’s most beloved composers, performed by world-class artists in an intimate, stunning, and acoustically perfect setting.  Come early, stay late, spend the weekend, and enjoy the unforgettable musical experiences and the breathtaking beauty of the Cascade Mountains.


A playlist of music from last year's summer festival.


The festival is full of wonderful concerts, but I'm most looking forward to Opening Night, From Sea to Shining Sea, on July 4 at 8pm. It's a celebration of Independence Day with a wide array of American music. Here's a rundown of the pieces featured on the program.
 
Gershwin-Grainger, Fantasy on “Porgy and Bess” for Two Pianos
This combination of the iconoclastic Gershwin with Grainger’s irrepressibility creates an exceptionally colorful work with unusual dance-like effects, exuberance and sheer joie de vivre.  Twenty fingers on two grand pianos provides the lure of the spectacle, particularly with two, synchronized wizards of keyboard marvels, Christina Dahl and Oksana Ezhokina (Artistic Director of the Festival) in this fire cracker opener!
 
Copland, Old American Songs for Voice and Piano
These songs are selected from two sets of songs arranged by Aaron Copland in 1950 and 1952 and are presented in their original scoring.  The songs are familiar and engaging, and include such gems as “The Dodger” (a campaign song), “I Bought Me a Cat” (a children’s song) and “Zion’s Walls” (a revivalist song).  Marilyn Horne, Sherill Milnes and Bryn Terfel are but a few of the famed recording artists who have recorded these pearls of Americana.   Melissa Plagemann, mezzo-soprano (a frequent, popular performer of opera and art song in the region is also an accomplished pianist) is joined by Oksana Ezhokina (a masterful collaborator of all styles).
 
Stacy Garrop, String Quartet No. 4 (“Illuminations”)
Award winning Stacy Garrop has won such awards as Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award; the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s 2006/2007 Harvey Gaul Composition Competition and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 1999-2000 First Hearing Composition Competition.  Her works span the gamut of scores for orchestra, brass, mixed chamber ensembles and chorus.  Her style is eclectic and evocative as are the performers in the Avalon String Quartet – “…polished, adroit, deeply musical and sheerly gorgeous …”  American Record Guide
 
Foss, Three American Pieces for Flute and Piano
Lucas Foss, a Renaissance man with roots interwoven in music theory, piano, composition, flute and conducting, received more than 20 honorary doctorate degrees in his lifetime. He studied composition with Randall Thompson, Paul Hindemith and Rosario Scalero. The “Three American Pieces” were composed in 1944 and are titled “Early Song”, “Dedication” and “Composer's Holiday”. These are reflective, genuine and fun. Flutist Ray Furuta returns by popular demand and is joined by the ever-flexible keyboard collaborator Oksana Ezhokina for this thrilling performance.
 

I'm also looking forward to the Young Artist Concert, a free event happening Sunday, July 13 at 1pm in the Canyon Wren Recital Hall. This concert features exciting young artists and pre-professionals  – all participants of the Icicle Creek Center for the Art’s Chamber Music Institute.   The Chamber Music Institute provides a unique educational experience for serious and accomplished young artists. It is an intensive three-week long program of chamber music study emphasizing individual musical development while working closely with internationally acclaimed faculty artists It is open to advanced college string players and pianists. All accepted students will engage in private lessons, masterclasses, rehearsals and performances of chamber music with their peers and artist faculty. 
 
The repertoire will be announced from the stage by the young artists themselves, providing their own colorful program notes. The playing promises to be stellar. Seasoned chamber music devotees have remarked each year on the virtuosity, youthful exuberance and sheer daring of these young artists. Repertoire will range from mainstream European masterpieces to music of our time. It is a thrill to fathom the world of performance awaiting these artists of the future.  

by Jill Kimball posted Jun 11 2014 4:51PM
A Seattle-born musician and composer caused quite a stir last week when he visited Benaroya Hall for a performance with the Seattle Symphony.

The musician in question has a keen ear for rhythmic detail and often finds inspiration in electronic music. He in turn inspired a series of pieces by Gabriel Prokofiev, the talented and musically adventurous grandson of Sergei. The Seattle Symphony’s Artistic Director, Ludovic Morlot, took to the podium over the weekend to premiere Prokofiev’s latest work with the orchestra as part of its Sonic Evolution series.

 

The Seattle Symphony premieres new works by avant-garde composers at least a handful of times every year, so why the commotion? It’s because that as-yet-unnamed musician is actually hip-hop artist Sir Mix-A-Lot, whose 1992 breakout hit “Baby Got Back” is included in Prokofiev’s latest suite dedicated to Mix-A-Lot’s complex beats. In the weekend performance, the rapper invited several dozen female audience members onstage to dance along as he and the Symphony performed Prokofiev’s remix of the famous ode to derrières.

After watching the video above, which has now crept up to nearly 2 million views, a few of the staff at Second Inversion traded thoughts on this and other groundbreaking Seattle Symphony concerts and wondered what it all means for the classical genre.Read more on their blog.
by Jill Kimball posted Jun 4 2014 11:53AM
When the much-loved Olympic Music Festival hit its 30-year milestone last season, Executive Director Alan Iglitzin packed its schedule with heavy hitters: big names, popular pieces, and wonderful program curation. The season Iglitzin himself called the "best ever" will certainly be hard to top, but there's a lot to anticipate.



In this Musical Chairs episode from June 2013, Iglitzin shared with us some of his favorite classical music.

First, of course, is the festival's pastoral setting. Meteorologists say we're in for a long, hot summer--a perfect forecast for a concert series that sets up camp on a former dairy farm on the Olympic Peninsula. In sunny weather, concergoers can stroll around the property or set up a picnic near the refurbished barn where each concert is held.

And then there's the vibe. After nine months of ironed suits, slacks and skirts, both musicians and audience members are more than happy to discard their Sunday best and wear whatever they wish come June. There's no dress code at the Olympic Music Festival, whether you're a spectator or a performer. 

Die-hard festival fans will recognize many returning musicians this season, including violinists Korine Fujiwara and Ray Chen, pianist (and co-Artistic Dreictor) Julio Elizalde, and of course Iglitzin himself, once the violist for the Philadelpha String Quartet. 

Like last year, this season's lineup boasts a few concerts focused on one composer: one shines the spotlight on Mozart and three take a closer look at Beethoven. The first all-Beethoven concert juxtaposes his three compositional eras and offers a great introduction for anyone new to chamber music; the second features his string trios; and the third highlights some of his later, lesser-known chamber music.

I love when concerts attempt to tell a story, especially when it's with an unpredictable mix of music, so I'm looking forward to the July 5 & 6 program called "Arias and Arguments: From Love to Loss in Four Acts." Accompanied opera arias (sung by Zachary Gordin and Shana Blake Hill) and solo piano works (played by Paul Hersh) come together to trace the story of failed love, from courtship to honeymoon to conflict to parting. The story even has a narrator in Anamaria T. Lloyd.

If you're one of those people who presses the fast-forward button to the "good part" in a movie, you might enjoy "Dramatic Moments in Chamber Music" on August 30 & 31. No need to wait for the good part here; all three of the pieces on the program are filled with climactic musical moments. First comes Tartini's "Devil's Trill" Violin Sonata, Then Shostakovich's Sonata in D Minor for PIano and Cello. The closing piece is Brahms' Piano Quartet No. 2, about as Romantic and Viennese as it gets. 

The festival concludes with two virtuosi, Ray Chen and Julio Elizalde, in the spotlight. Together they play Clair de lune, Ravel's Tzigane, and pieces by Falla, Schubert and Stravinsky.

You can find complete concert details and directions to Quilcene on the Olympic Music Festival's website.
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