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July 28, 2016

Seattle Chamber Music Society 2016 Summer Festival final concerts

King FM brings you the final two concerts of the Seattle Chamber Music Society 2016 Summer Festival, broadcasted live at 8pm on Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30. Friday’s concert will feature music by Mozart, Richard Strauss, Britten and Mendelssohn’s Quartet for Piano and Strings Op. 1 composed when he was only 13! If you ever wondered about Mendelssohn’s precocious genius, here is an opportunity to experience his very first published work in all its glory. For their grand finale, the SCMS has pulled all the stops with music by Poulenc, Beethoven and Brahms’ magnificent Quartet for Piano and Strings Op. 25, one of the finest of its kind in the chamber music repertoire.

Plus, keep an ear open for other great chamber music festivals this August, including The Orcas Island Music Festival, Methow Valley Summer Festival, and Whidbey Island Music Festival (Music Director Tekla Cunningham will be our Musical Chairs’ featured guest on August 12.)

Visit our website at, our facebook, twitter, and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed of the latest chamber music offerings in the pacific northwest.

For great orchestral music, turn to our broadcast of a Seattle Symphony concert on Friday, August 5th at 9pm featuring one of the most ground-breaking symphonies ever composed: Beethoven’s No. 3, “Eroica”! There are musicians who create art and there are a few who rewrite history in the process. Monteverdi’s “L’Orfeo”, Bach’s “Musical Offering”, Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro”, Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”, The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and Jimi Hendrix’ “Are you Experienced” revolutionized the music of their respective eras and so did Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony.

When it was premiered on April 7, 1805, nothing like Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony had ever been composed. The first movement alone was as long as entire symphonies of the day. The innovative orchestration created a flurry of sound that astonished its bewildered audience! This highly complex, grand-scale symphonic structure was Beethoven’s first musical “cathedral” and marked the beginning of his middle-period when the master would unleash the full might of his genius.

Here are a couple of famous “Eroica” anecdotes:

The famous horn solo which Beethoven, in a typical act of defiance, placed four bars before the true recapitulation which completely confused audiences and musicians alike. Ferdinand Ries, a composer himself and Beethoven’s secretary who was present during the symphony’s first reading described the confusion: “The first rehearsal of the symphony was terrible, but the hornist did, in fact, come in on cue. I was standing next to Beethoven and, believing that he had made a wrong entrance, I said, “That damned hornist! Can’t he count? It sounds frightfully wrong.” I believe I was in danger of getting my ears boxed. Beethoven did not forgive me for a long time.”

There is also the notorious story of the dedication. Beethoven was a great and early admirer of Napoleon. He dedicated his revolutionary symphony to France’s First Consul with the following inscription on the cover page: “Heroic Symphony, Composed to celebrate the memory of a great man.” Beethoven’s initial enthusiasm was however crushed when Napoleon crowned himself emperor. The enraged composer stated: “So he is no more than a common mortal! Now, too, he will tread under foot all the rights of Man, indulge only his ambition; now he will think himself superior to all men, become a tyrant!” He proceeded to vehemently erase the dedication, re-dedicating his masterpiece as Sinfonia Eroica instead.

–Christophe Chagnard

Mark O’Connor on Musical Chairs

KING FM is delighted to welcome multi-Grammy and CMA Award-winning eclectic violinist and composer Mark O’Connor to Musical Chairs on Friday, August 5 at 7pm. Mark returns to Seattle and Jazz Alley where he will perform August 18-21 with the O’Connor Band and their debut album, Coming Home.

A product of America’s rich aural folk tradition as well as classical music, Mark O’Connor’s creative journey began at the feet of a pair of musical giants. The first was the folk fiddler and innovator who created the modern era of American fiddling, Benny Thomasson; the second, French jazz violinist, considered one of the greatest improvisers in the history of the violin, Stephane Grappelli. Working with classical violin icons Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Yehudi Menhuin and Pinchas Zukerman, he absorbed knowledge and influence from the multitude of musical styles and genres.

With his body of work including 45 feature albums of mostly his own compositions, Mark O’Connor has melded and shaped these influences into a new American Classical music, and a vision of an entirely American school of string playing.

NW Focus Highlights

Here at KING FM, we’re celebrating mid-summer and gearing up for the concert season ahead. Tune in Friday, August 5, at 8pm for a look back at some of our favorite live, in-studio performances featuring groups with exciting upcoming concert seasons! For details, visit here.

Sean’s MacLean’s Concert Picks

Sean has scoured the chamber music festival cornucopia and can’t miss these:

And Sean’s top pick:

  • Friday, August 5 , 9am – sunset: Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. Spend all day on the dreamy island, starting with a luxurious behind-the-musical-scenes from a pro I can’t recommend highly enough: King FM’s own Lisa Bergman, a musician who knows this part of the world and what makes it tick and swing like nobody. Her “Know the Score” lecture will introduce you to the hugely popular trio “Time for Three,” just before one of their violinists starts next month as concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra! From Carnegie Hall to Dancing with the Stars, Time for Three is as comfortable with Brahms as they are with their ingenious mash-ups of Beatles, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake. Except, unlike most who aspire to this, they do it really really well! A day on Orcas Island is never wasted. Take a Friday holiday and soak up the talent and natural beauty of this gem festival.


Album Review

In light of recent tragedy and political turmoil around the world, we need music now more than ever—not as a distraction or an escape, but as a gateway toward experiencing our shared humanity. Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble bring this vision to life in their new album, Sing Me Home, which draws upon instruments, ideas, and traditions from around the world. The result is an album which travels fearlessly from the folk melodies of Macedonia to the traditional textiles of Mali, from the fiddle ditties of Ireland to the harvest songs of Galicia, and from the taiko tunes of Japan to the sitar suites of India. Click here to read our album review on Second Inversion!

Seattle Opera 2016-2017 Season Preview

Seattle music writer and critic Melinda Bargreen previews Seattle Opera’s 2016-2017 season which opens next month with Rossini’s fun-filled, wacky, outrageous farce Count Ory which general director Aidan Lang describes as ‘Monty Python meets Blackadder meets the Love Guru’. Read the full preview here.

KING FM Arts’ Picks

You Make It Possible

You listen to the music every month… every week… every day… Classical KING FM is a critical part of your life. You can be a part of the family that makes it all happen by becoming a sustaining member of KING FM. Join at $8 a month and we’d love to thank you with 100 Best Film Classics. It’s the famous pieces from composers including Mozart, Chopin, and movie great John Williams in all your favorite blockbusters like Black Swan, Amadeus, Fantasia, of course Star Wars, and more! The best part is you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing your part to keep classical music on the air. Become a sustainer today. Thank you!

June 16, 2016: Chamber Music to Read By

Chamber Music to Read By
It’s nearly summertime and the weather is glorious this year! Feel like reading on the porch or a park bench, in bed for a lazy Sunday morning? We have just the right background music to let your imagination soar! Here is our new “Chamber Music to Read by” playlist. Over time, we’ll keep adding musical gems that lend themselves to immersive reading experiences. Here are the first 5:

  • Corelli: Violin Sonata in D, Op.5/1, Ingrid Matthews, violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord

  • Clara Schumann: Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17: I. Allegro moderto, Icicle Creek Piano Trio

  • Stephen Foster: Beautiful Dreamer, Evan Drachman, cello; Lisa Bergman, piano

  • Pelecis: Flowering Jasmine, Natasha Bazhanov, Stephen Bryant and Artur Girsky, violins, Allison Farkas, viola, Page Smith, cello, Joseph Kaufman, double bass, Michael A. Werner, vibraphone

  • Michio Miyagi: Haru no umi/The Sea in Springtime, Icicle Creek Chamber Players: Jennifer Rhyne, flute; Catherine Barrett, harp.

Classical News Feed

  • Met Chooses Yannick Nezet-Seguin as its Next Music Director. The Metropolitan Opera has chosen music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and V-neck enthusiast Yannick Nezet-Seguin to become their music director and principal conductor, stepping into the massive, un-fillable shoes of James Levine. Levine retired (for real) in April, leaving a towering artistic legacy that spans 40 years, a storied tenure that was nearly the age of his 41-year-old successor. Our consensus? Get our more in depth news here.
  • The Most Embarassing Tweets from the Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony during the NBA Finals. Starting Thursday, June 2, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors met in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row. The Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony took to Twitter, the natural home of every great rivalry, unleashing a fusillade of aggressive pun-filled trash talk. Here are the worst of the groaners.
  • Composer and Visual Artist Create Immersive Electropop Experience from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. “It’s not a mashup or a mix. We’re not trying to make Vivaldi super ‘down with the kids’ or anything,” says Anna Meredith, a diversely talented composer of contemporary classical and electronic music. She’s speaking about Anno, a multi-sensory experience inspired by Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” Details here.

Stretch Your Donations Even Further
Do you work for an employer who matches gifts? As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, KING FM makes you eligible to double the impact of your gift. After you become a member, check to see if your company matches gifts. If so, let your human resources department know how much you contributed. That’s it! Most matching gift companies match dollar for dollar, but some even double or triple the amount of your contribution. Find out more about our matching gift program here.

 Geoffrey in Prague

KING FM Producer and Host Geoffrey Larson is currently on short-term leave from the station to serve as Assistant Conductor of the “Prague Summer Nights Young Artists Music Festival.” We are happy to support Geoffrey as part of KING FM’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of classical music lovers, and to share his journey with you.

Geoffrey will be sharing this experience with the KING FM family. Like us on Facebook to catch all of the fun and exciting insights while he’s in Prague.

Arts Picks 

  • The 5th Ave Theatre presents Paint Your Wagon on June 2-25.
    • Enjoy 25% off tickets to the June 16 performances of 5th Ave’s Paint Your Wagon when you use the code “KINGFM” at checkout! KING FM’S Marta Zekan will be hosting a FREE Show Talk before the June 16 performances at 7pm in Studio E. Click here for more information
  • LET’S PLAY BALL! Join ArtsFund and KING FM for Arts Night at Safeco Field on Tuesday, June 28 as the Seattle Mariners host the Pittsburgh Pirates. Enjoy performances at the gates, a special Arts Zone ni the main concourse featuring KING FM, and arts on the field pre-game! For tickets and more information, visit
  • The Seattle Symphony presents the Tuning Up! Festival: Two Weeks of American Musical Creativity running June 17-July 2.
  • ACT Theatre presents The Mystery of Love and Sex, running now through June 26.

Check the KING FM Arts Calendar at for literally hundreds of upcoming NW arts events and concerts.

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