Performance venue moves to Community Center
Tickets for the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival go on sale this week, for four performances in June by some of the most dynamic string players and pianists on the global music scene.
Artistic Director Kevin Krentz has programmed a mix of chamber music masterworks and selections by contemporary composers. There will be four concerts over two weeks, with a unique program each night and a different roster of musicians each week.
Audiences will enjoy a string quartet by Mozart, a piano trio by Claude Debussy, and a piano quartet by Brahms. Also on the program are a dynamic composition for solo violin and strings by Astor Piazzolla, a 20th-century Argentinian composer known for blending classical music, tango and jazz.
In last year’s festival, Krentz also featured less familiar composers whose compelling music forms an instant connection with audiences. “I got so many comments on the lesser-known composers and works I programmed last year. They were everyone’s favorites, and I’ll be dipping into some of those same wells again,” he said.
Among the composers who will be featured again this year are Giovanni Sollima, a virtuoso cellist known for his commitment to blending genres such as classical, rock and jazz, and ethnic music.
Krentz has also programmed traditional tunes by the Danish String Quartet, an ensemble that arranges Scandinavian folk music for string quartet.
The audience will have a rare opportunity to hear the sumptuous “Sonata for Violin and Cello” by Maurice Ravel. The Ravel duo is especially challenging and therefore wouldn’t normally be on the festival program because of rehearsal time is limited. But with the veteran festival violinist Grace Park and her partner, cellist Brook Speltz, both featured this year, the Methow audience will get to hear the piece.
Concerts will be in the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp. When looking at potential concert venues, Krentz and festival staff and board members were struck by the first-rate acoustics and lushness of the sound there.
The auditorium will be transformed with illuminated aspen trees that surround the audience, creating an intimate setting for the music. Wine, beer, cider and sweet and savory items will be available for purchase. Concerts will include an art exhibit and a pre-concert lecture.
There will be many opportunities to hear music for free, including open rehearsals in the community center, plus one scheduled at Sun Mountain Lodge and one at the Mazama Public House. People can also hear selections from the concerts at the farmers market in Twisp on June 17 and 24.
Tickets go on sale April 1 at methowmusicfestival.org, where there will also be details about the performers and program. Ticket prices are $40 per ticket; a discounted season ticket to all four concerts is $150.