Guest artist to tango with the ensemble

This is a pairing loaded with passion.

“Piazzolla is a tango composer. And that’s a pretty fun, joyous form of expression,” said Denise Dillenbeck, the guest artist who will soon bring Astor Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” to the concert stage.

“It’s a virtuoso piece for the violin,” added Jonathan Pasternack, music director of the Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He pairs it with Dillenbeck, a violinist who’s performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony and other ensembles across the world.

The 19-player Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra, along with Dillenbeck, will present the Piazzolla in a duo of concerts: Friday, Jan. 19, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave., Port Angeles; then Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Sequim Worship Center, 640 N. Sequim Ave., Sequim.

Both begin at 7 p.m. with adult tickets at $12; youngsters 16 and under and accompanied by an adult are admitted free.

“Four Seasons of Buenos Aires,” Piazzolla’s response to Antonio Vivaldi’s famed “The Four Seasons” concerti, forms the finale of these performances. Pasternack, in choosing music to enliven the long winter month of January, warms the audience with two other favorites of his: Giacomo Puccini’s “Chrysanthemums” and Leos Janacek’s “Idylla” Suite.

“The Puccini piece — I love it. It’s a novelty, but it’s really pretty. I think people will love it” as well, he said.

For Dillenbeck, these evenings are all about extending a hand to the audience, including those who don’t ordinarily go to classical concerts.

“I feel like this kind of music can have a layer of something between it and the modern world,” she said, “so people don’t necessarily feel welcomed and invited in.

“I try to make the experience as alive and relevant to the audience as possible. I like to make sure they really feel welcome.”

One of the great things about a chamber orchestra, she said, is that the chamber ensemble is light on its feet, so “we can turn on a dime together.”

Piazzolla’s music “invites a lot of freedom and color … I love the idea of being able to cut loose.

“I look forward to seeing how the orchestra and I can dance together.”

“Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” is one challenging piece, said Pasternack. That makes it perfect for Dillenbeck, whose playing he’s admired since they performed together in the Oregon Symphony. Pasternack was assistant conductor of the Portland orchestra some 15 years ago.

From Oregon Dillenbeck moved east to perform and serve as a teaching artist with the Philadelphia Orchestra; she then married fellow musician Mark Goodenberger, who brought her out to his home state of Washington.

She’s since served as concertmaster of the Yakima Symphony, the Siletz Bay, Ore., Music Festival Orchestra, the Lake Chelan Bach Festival Orchestra and the Northwest Sinfonietta.

Dillenbeck performs still more chamber music in Sage Rendezvous, an ensemble that gives cabaret-style concerts; in addition, she and Goodenberger play music for violin and percussion in DuoDG.

Also busy as a teaching artist, Dillenbeck will serve as a judge in the Young Artist Competition on Saturday, Jan. 20. The Port Angeles Symphony hosts this event — open to the public — from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Dillenbeck’s performances in Port Angeles and Sequim are part of the Port Angeles Symphony’s 85th season of concerts.

For information about events, tickets and guest artists coming in February, March, April and May, visit www.PortAngelesSymphony.org and call the symphony office at 360-457-5579.

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