Festival to turn Valley into a chamber of music

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WALLA WALLA — If a chamber music event were ever to have the suffix “-palooza” attached to its name, the upcoming Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival would be it.

From June 6 through June 29, the annual festival’s more than 20 accomplished local, national and international classical musicians will perform works of the masters, as well as throw in a few curves at venues ranging from Walla Walla to Waitsburg to Dayton to Milton-Freewater.

Four main events, collectively called the Festival Series, will be held at Gesa Power House Theatre in Walla Walla. A number of venues also will host special events: Portrait of an Artist, Tasting Music, Collage and Kreutzer Sonata. Many free events — concerts for children, open rehearsals and outreach concerts — will be spread throughout the Valley.

A complete, interactive look at the artists and performances, as well as backstories on what will be performed, is online at wwcmf.org. Tickets, prices and ways to contribute to the festival also are available on the website.

Following is a schedule extracted from the website that highlights events throughout the festival:

FESTIVAL SERIES

All events begin at 7:30 p.m. at GESA Power House Theater, North Sixth Avenue and West Rose Street. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

June 11 — Bohemian dance rhythms of Dvorak; Czech dances, such as the Dumka and Furiant; Beethoven’s “Harp” string quartet. This season marks the sixth year of festival’s tradition of opening the series with a specially commissioned work. The featured composer is Ching-chu Hu, whose new String Sextet was commissioned for the 2013 festival and has its world premiere at this event.

June 15 — Beethoven’s “Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Opus 47, Kreutzer,” performed by violinist Andrew Jennings and pianist Oksana Ezhokina. Soprano Jennifer Goltz-Taylor performs Shostakovich’s “Seven Songs, Opus 127.” Performances of works by German-American composer Charles Martin Loeffler will round out the evening.

June 22 — The evening explores music by composers one does not encounter every day: Dan Welcher, Joan Tower and Anton Arensky. Welcher’s “Dante Dances” offer a wild virtuosity, while Arensky’s work pays tribute to Tchaikovsky. “Petroushskates,” by living American composer Joan Tower, borrows inspiration from Stravinsky and Petroushka.

June 29 — The “Concerto for Violin, Piano and String quartet in D,” by Ernest Chausson, is a late 19th century masterpiece that demands virtuosity from all six players. Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence” features two violins, two violas and two cellos. At times, the piece is made of three duos, or a pair of trios or a soloist with an accompanying quintet.

PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST

The new Portrait of an Artist series offers a window into the lives and experiences of four performers who will play during the festival. Series events start at 6 p.m., with the following musicians and venues.

June 6 — Stephen Miahky, violin. Garrison Creek Cellars, 4153 Hood Road.

June 13 — Felix Wang, cello. Waterbrook Winery, 10518 West Highway 12.

June 20 — Sarah Brady, flute. Sinclair Estate Vineyard, 109-B E. Main St.

June 27 — Winston Choi, piano. Sinclair Estate Vineyard, 109-B E. Main St.

TASTING MUSIC

All events begin at 6 p.m. This series is a pairing of wine and sound as Tim Christie, festival artistic director, provides secrets behind the featured works to be performed.

June 10 — “String Quartet in E-flat major, Opus 74, Harp,” by Ludwig Van Beethoven. Canoe Ridge Vineyard, 1102 W. Cherry St.

June 14 — “String Quintet in One Movement,” by Charles Martin Loeffler. Walla Walla Vintners, 225 Vineyard Lane.

June 21 — “String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Opus 35,” by Anton Arensky. Rasa Vineyards, 4122 Powerline Road.

June 28 — “Souvenir de Florence, for String Sextet in D, Opus 70,” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. TERO Estates, 52015 Seven Hills Road, Milton-Freewater.

COLLAGE

June 18, 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., at Charles Smith Wines, 35 S. Spokane St., Walla Walla.

One flute, one clarinet, one soprano, one viola, three cellos, five violins. Music from five stages, four on the floor and one above. Non-stop

Musical collage is when varied musical styles are performed without pause from multiple locations in and around the audience. Once it begins there is no stop until the intermission. Pieces will include works by Tallis, Debussy, Tan Dun, Beethoven, Carter and, yes, Pink Floyd.

KREUTZER SONATA

June 25, 7:30 p.m., at jimgermanbar, 119 Main St., Waitsburg.

“War and Peace” author Leo Tolstoy also published a novella, “The Kreutzer Sonata,” in 1889. It was banned in Russia. Czech composer Leoš Janáček wrote his string quartet of the same name in 1923. The two works, both examples of what can happen if exposed to the music of Beethoven, wrestle with issues of morality, feminism and marriage. Whitman College philosophy professor Julia Ireland and festival artistic director Timothy Christie will collaborate in this nexus of music and the printed word.

FREE EVENTS

Sounds Like Fun! concerts for kids.

June 7, 3:30 p.m. — Columbia County Library, 111 S. Third St., Dayton

June 19, 6 p.m. — Walla Walla Public Library, 238 E. Alder St.

June 20, 10 a.m. — Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 N.E. Myra Rd.

June 24, 3 p.m. — YWCA, 213 S. First Ave.

OPEN REHEARSALS

All events begin at 10 a.m. and end at about noon.

June 8, Salumiere Cesario, 12 E. Main St. — Beethoven, “String Quartet Opus 74.”

June 10, First Presbyterian Church, 325 S. First Ave. — Dvorak, “Piano Quintet.”

June 12, Chief Springs Fire & Iron Brewpub, 148 E. Main St., Dayton — Loeffler, “String Quintet in One Movement.”

June 13, Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 N.E. Myra Road — Golijov, “How Slow the Wind.”

June 18, Amo Art, 117 Main St., Waitsburg — Mixed repertoire.

June 20, Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 N.E. Myra Road — Arensky, “Quartet in A Minor Opus 35.”

June 21, Kirkman House Museum, 214 N. Colville St. — Janáček, “String Quartet No. 1.”

June 24, Columbia REA, 2929 Melrose St. — Beethoven/Janáček, “Kreutzer” sonatas.

June 25, First Presbyterian Church, 325 S. First Ave. — Chausson, “Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet.”

June 27, Whitehouse Crawford Restaurant, 55 W. Cherry St. — Tchaikovsky, “Souvenir de Florence.”

OUTREACH CONCERTS

June 6, Noon — Rotary Concert, Marcus Whitman Hotel.

June 7, 10 a.m. — Senior Concert, YMCA, 340 S. Park St.

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