Listening to this Valley, I’m beginning to hear a sort of resonance.
During June I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with musicians visiting here to perform with the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival. Specifically, I spoke with clarinetist Kevin Schempf, composer Jim Stephenson and pianist Wei-Han Wu.
The Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival returns for its eighth season June 4-27 with a full complement of stunning performers and outstanding works.
Walla Walla built its first opera house, at Second Avenue and Alder Street, in 1884. It was less than a decade after Bizet introduced his opera “Carmen” to a modest reception in Paris.
Like Newton and Einstein, Sergei Prokofiev made his most original contribution to the world when he was 26.
We Walla Wallans have some rich musical pickings coming up as the Walla Walla Symphony and Whitman College join to provide a festival called Music 360°. The subtitle is “Looking Back ... Reaching Forward.”
Not only do we now start to notice the days lengthening, but we also raise our Champagne glasses to toast.
December is a time of joyous musical celebration. This month I focus, as I have long wished, on a single composer.
The extraordinary David Kim, in his second year on the Whitman College faculty, will give November’s First Thursday lunchtime concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 323 Catherine St.
It’s not just the weather change; be happy with the coming of autumn also for the return of the concert season. Whitman College, Walla Walla University and the Walla Walla Symphony all have offerings for us.
The South African Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee wrote in 2001 of hearing, at 15, the music of Bach (from The “Well-Tempered Clavier”) being played on the harpsichord.
Usually I write about what’s coming up in the next month, especially in classical music in the Walla Walla Valley. But so far nothing has come across my radar for July, so instead I’ll talk about what’s coming up a little further out.
I remember from my very earliest years, at Green Park Elementary School, rejoicing in the beginning of June.
We celebrated Walla Walla’s sesquicentennial in 2012. The city was incorporated in 1862, but Fort Walla Walla came first, in 1818, and the Whitmans arrived in 1836.
In the 14th century, English poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote of “Aprille with his shoures soote,” linking, in the prologue to “The Canterbury Tales,” the month of April with nature’s abundance and the torrents of spring. If alive today and living in the Walla Walla Valley, Chaucer might well turn his pen to celebrating a month of musical abundance.
The month of birds returning from migrations brings to mind Walla Walla’s linkage with far-flung regions of the world. Musically, we get a month of exotica, of musical tourism.
This month brings heartfelt crossover music to the Walla Walla Valley.
January is now the month for the mid-winter Walla Walla Chamber Music Winter Festival, which takes place over a generously stretched Martin Luther King weekend, this year on Jan. 16-19.
Readers familiar with the Old Testament know that even ancient people held a close connection between music and the sacred.
By November we’ve settled into our school-year routines and are stacking up firewood. Time for some musical refreshment!