While two Music on the Strait festival events have already sold out, tickets remain available for the Sept. 1 community concert finale, organizers said.
That concert brings together Richard Yongjae O’Neill, the internationally touring violist from Sequim; his friend and MacArthur “genius” fellowship recipient Jeremy Denk on piano; Seattle Symphony violinist Elisa Barston; cellist Ani Aznavoorian of Camerata Pacifica, and James Garlick, the Minnesota Orchestra violinist originally from Port Angeles.
The ensemble, formed especially for this new chamber music festival, will play a program of Ravel, Dvorak, Ives and Beethoven at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave.
Admission to the 5 p.m. concert is pay-what-you-wish. Reservations are available at MusicontheStrait.com, along with information about supporting the festival. Donations are accepted on the site and at the door; the event is a collaboration with the nonprofit Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra.
Garlick and O’Neill are the artistic directors of Music on the Strait. They wanted a festival for the rural county where, as boys, they first discovered classical music.
Music on the Strait’s first two events feature O’Neill performing Rebecca Clarke’s viola sonata on Aug. 30 and Denk in a rare solo recital on Aug. 31, both in Maier Hall at Peninsula College. Tickets went on sale June 15; they sold out within weeks.
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Holy Trinity Lutheran, the venue for the Sept. 1 community concert, is more than twice the size of Maier Hall, so there’s a good supply of tickets available, Garlick said earlier this week.
All three performances feature an opening talk by Lisa Bergman, a pianist and classical music host on KING-FM of Seattle. In a lighthearted discussion, she’ll offer insights into each evening’s music.
Local talent in the spotlight
Bergman, Garlick and O’Neill have all appeared as guest soloists with the Port Angeles Symphony. It was after the two men’s performances with the Symphony last year that they dreamed up the idea for Music on the Strait.
O’Neill, 40, spent his musically formative years in Sequim, studying with Deborah Morgan-Ellis and Phil Morgan-Ellis, now the director of the Sequim Community Orchestra. He’s won an Emmy, been nominated twice for Grammy awards and received the Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School in New York City. He’s performed with philharmonic orchestras from London to Los Angeles to Seoul, Korea, and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Korean Red Cross, the Special Olympics, OXFAM and UNICEF.
Both O’Neill and Garlick are impressed by their home county’s love for live music and its openness to a brand-new festival on Labor Day weekend.
“We’ve seen a huge outpouring of support from the community,” Garlick said, adding that while a few donors are from Seattle, most are local.
“We want to start thinking about next year,” he said, “and whether to remain this size or grow into two weeks in August.”