Visitors will enjoy five concerts plus free performances over 10-day event

An international array of renowned musicians will headline the 21st annual Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, set for July 28–Aug. 6 at Signal Hill Ranch between Winthrop and Twisp.

Classical musicians from Hong Kong, China, London and Canada will perform. Jing Wang, concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, returns to the center stage for his sixth appearance. Jing will be joined by pianist Zhang Zuo, winner of the first International Piano Concerto competition in China, and nearly two dozen other artists, for five center stage concerts.

“We present live, energetic, virtuosic, extravagant music,” Artistic Director Kevin Krentz said in a press release.

The year’s program features works from Beethoven and Chopin, and modern composers like Gershwin and Mancini. “There’s something for everyone, even those who have never heard chamber music before,” Krentz said.

In addition to the concerts at the ranch, there will be opportunities to hear free classical music at several spots around the valley.

The concerts at the ranch are on July 28 and 30, and Aug. 2, 4, and 6. A pre-concert presentation begins at 6:30 p.m., with the main concert following at 7:30 p.m. Local food, wine and beer will be available. After the concert, patrons are invited to stay for an “afterglow” party to meet the artists and gaze at the stars. The July 28 event will feature local astronomer Dave Ward, who will provide telescopes for viewing the stars.

Concertgoers can also visit the Piano Garden, a sculptural installation of a dozen pianos planted in the ground; the visual Wall of Art, featuring works from local artists; and new in 2016, a display of the lifetime art collection of the late Drs. Gerald and Virginia Sparling (see accompanying article).

On all concert days, the Spring Hill Ranch grounds are open to watch performers’ rehearsals and view the public art, at no charge, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Free performances by the Fellowship Quartet are at 6:30 p.m. on July 29 at Confluence Gallery in Twisp; on July 30 at 3 p.m. at Sun Mountain Lodge; at 6 p.m. on Aug. 3 at Freestone Inn near Mazama; at 5 p.m. on Aug. 5 at the Shafer Museum in Winthrop; and at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 5 at the Methow Valley Ciderhouse on Highway 20 in Winthrop.

Tickets are $25 for each concert or $125 for a season pass. For complete information visit www.methowmusicfestival.org or call 997-5000.