Orcas Chamber Music Festival enters its 21st year

Aloysia Friedmann has just sent out a 19-page rehearsal schedule for the Orcas Chamber Music Festival. It’s a step in the planning process that always signals it’s “go time.”

“Last year was a monumental year – we celebrated our 20th season – and it’s funny how every year has a completely different feel,” said Friedmann, the artistic director.

The 2018 event will run from Aug. 3-18 with 10 major performances, a Concerto Chat™, lecture series, children’s concert, a clarinet Masterclass and an open rehearsal for seniors. Most events are held at the Orcas Center, and tickets are available at or 360-376-2281.

“I am very happy with all the artists who are coming, many of whom have not been to orcas before – plus all the returning artists,” Friedmann said.

“Music Among Friends”

Friday, Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 4, 5:30 p.m.

The evening opens with the greatest work written for piano four hands and finish with the Brahms G Major viola quintet, in which Friedmann surrounds herself with musical friends. Mozart and Turina round out this program. This will also be performed on Aug. 5 at Lopez Center at 5:30 p.m. Prior to that, the Lopez music education program “Know the Score” lecture will be held at 1 p.m. at the Port Stanley Schoolhouse.

“Channel Crossing”

Tuesday, Aug. 7, 7:30 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 8, 5:30 p.m.

The European Union waves to the United Kingdom in this program, beginning with a classic Haydn Quartet and the Czech flavors of the Dvořák String sextet and culminating with the burnished and quintessentially British sensibilities of the Elgar Piano Quintet. The festival welcomes mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and pianist Laurana Mitchelmore in a tribute to Mitchelmore’s late husband, Charles, who passed away last year. They will perform works by Jake Heggie, Gabriel Fauré and Francis Poulenc.

“I feel honored they chose to play at our Chamber Music Festival,” Friedmann said.

Orcas~trations: The Brandenburg Concertos

Friday, Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 11, 5:30 p.m.

Johann Sebastian Bach takes center stage in a program that Friedmann has wanted to present for two decades: the complete Brandenburg Concertos. They are considered amongst the greatest achievements of the Baroque era. She has built the program around the string group Miró Quartet and WindSync, a quintet based in Houston.

“It takes two and a half hours to perform all six of the concertos, and they are often played in one concert setting,” Friedmann said. “Jeffrey Kahane is playing harpsichord and leading the ensemble.”

“A Windy Day in Paris”

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 7:30 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 15, 5:30 p.m.

The festival takes a trip to France and features a cavalcade of wind instruments playing music filled with color and imagery.

WindSync will perform French music as well as arrangements taken from the “Voyager Golden Records,” two phonograph records with sounds and images that were aboard the Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. It was considered a time capsule of that time on Earth for intelligent extraterrestrial life. While members of the group perform, images from the golden records will be projected.

Dvořák Finale

Friday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m.

The final concert is a program filled with contrasts. You’ll experience the lightness and joy of Haydn, the intensity and darkness of Loeffler, and the brilliance and romance of Dvorak.

Clarinet Masterclass with Julian Hernandez of WindSync

Thursday, Aug. 9, 1:30-3:00 p.m. at Orcas Center

This event is free; contact to register.

Concerto Chat™ with Jon Kimura Parker

Thursday, Aug. 9 at St. Francis Catholic Church

Jon Kimura Parker expands on his YouTube Concerto Chat™ series with anecdotes and examples from across the piano concerto literature.

Children’s concert

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 1 p.m.

Members of WindSync will perform “Peter and the Wolf” and other bits of musical enthrallment for children of all ages. Free; courtesy ticket required.

Open rehearsal for seniors

Friday, Aug. 17, 1 p.m.

This season’s open rehearsal for seniors is at Orcas Center. It will feature festival musicians preparing for the closing concert “Dvořák Finale.” The audience will be treated to a selection of music from the evening’s program, which includes works by Haydn, Charles Loeffler and Dvořák. Listeners may hear violin, viola, cello, oboe and piano. The concert is free for adults 65 and over, but tickets must be reserved in advance.

Lopez seniors are also invited. Sign up at the senior lunch at the Lopez Senior Center to make arrangements for group transportation to Orcas and back to Lopez, including lunch with the Orcas seniors and free rehearsal seating.

Know the Score Lectures

Comprehensive in scope, these in-depth seminars feature highly regarded lecturers who represent unique aspects of the classical music world.

• Music Among Friends with Jonathan Pasternack on Friday, Aug. 3, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Channel Crossing with John Largess on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Orcas~trations: The Brandenburg Concertos with Roger Sherman on Friday, Aug. 10, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• A Windy Day in Paris with lecturer Lisa Bergman on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Dvořák Finale! with Svend Rønning on Friday, Aug. 17, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


(c) Lieberman Photography (VSD 0034)
                                Frederica von Stade

(c) Lieberman Photography (VSD 0034) Frederica von Stade