Expect to be star-struck when you hear music played with passion at the third-annual Valentine concert of the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival. This intimate performance has become a winter tradition, connecting audiences with consummate musicianship and artistry.
This year’s concert, “Romantic Strings”, features an all-string program, where the standard string quartet – two violins, viola, and cello – will be even more sonorous with the addition of another cello and bass.
In this concert Artistic Director Kevin Krentz to bring an invigorating approach to familiar music, with exciting and unexpected selections. Krentz has programmed a string quintet by Antonin Dvorak for two violins, viola, cello, and bass that emphasizes the rich bass lines. Written by the composer when he was just 34, the quintet highlights Dvorak’s talent for embellishing short phrases that evolve into ever-changing and captivating themes.
Also on the program is a string quartet by the late-19th-century Russian composer and virtuoso pianist Anton Arensky. Arensky’s quartet is scored for an unusual combination – violin, viola, and two cellos.
The concert will introduce local audiences to violinist Ingrid Matthews, a master of baroque artistry, and to a piece by the little-known 17th-century Austrian composer and violinist Romanus Weichlein that Matthews arranged for strings. Weichlein’s “Prelude and Passacaglia” features unusual dance rhythms that float above the bass line.
In addition to Matthews, cellist Haeyoon Shin will be making her first appearance at the Chamber Music Festival. The concert also features returning festival musicians Luka Sešek on violin and Amber Archibald on viola, Krentz on cello, and Travis Gore on bass.
The musicians are a diverse group whose talents stretch beyond classical music, encompassing other genres and other art forms. Sešek is an award-winning Serbian violinist. Archibald has a particular interest in music by African-American, Afro-Latino, and Spanish composers. A leading baroque violinist, Matthews founded the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. She is also a painter with a particular interest in abstraction and color. Shin has been passionate about chamber music since she was a girl. She has performed with chamber ensembles around the country and coaches young musicians. Gore holds a position with the Seattle Symphony, and is active in the worlds of indie rock and pop.
DATE: Sat, Feb 18, at the Merc Playhouse in Twisp. TICKETS/CONTACT: $30 and up, online at www.methowmusicfestival.org.