A concert, cuisine on tap for Sept. 16

Romance, music and a “makeover”: All three come together in a season-opening party called Concert & Cuisine set for 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16.

This event is a benefit for the Port Angeles Symphony at C’est si Bon, the traditional French restaurant at 23 Cedar Park Drive, Port Angeles.

Lauren Rankin of Port Angeles, 17, and Adlai Erickson of Port Townsend, 11, are two in the trio of accomplished musicians who will appear. The pair tied for first place in the Young Artist Competition hosted by the Port Angeles Symphony earlier this year and have since been booked for their performances at Concert & Cuisine.

Rankin, a violinist with the Port Angeles Symphony, will offer “Légende,” a showpiece by the Polish virtuoso Henryk Wieniawski. This piece reportedly helped secure Wieniawski’s engagement to his beloved, Isabella Hampton. Her folks, the story goes, were not so crazy about their daughter marrying that musician. But after they heard “Légende,” they gave the youngsters their blessing.

Just as this is no ordinary violin solo, nor is Rankin the usual player.

She credits her orchestra teacher at Port Angeles High School, the now-retired Ron Jones, as well as Symphony maestro Jonathan Pasternack for inspiring her to play. She became a violinist 12 years ago and is in her third year with the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra.

In an interview, Rankin quickly spoke for her fellow Concert & Cuisine performer.

“(Adlai) is fantastic,” she said of the cellist.

Erickson tied with Rankin as winner of the 2017 Young Artist Competition. He also has received seals of outstanding achievement at the Seattle Young Artist Music Festival and won second place at the Seattle Music Teachers Association Simon-Fiset Competition this year.

At Concert & Cuisine, he’ll play David Popper’s “Hungarian Rhapsody.” He also will have Seattle-based, Juilliard-trained pianist Lisa Bergman beside him. Bergman is a Gracie Award-winning announcer on Classic KING-FM of Seattle.

In addition to playing the Rhapsody with Erickson and “Légende” with Rankin, Bergman will offer a set of her own piece she calls “Great Composers Get a Makeover.” This is, Bergman promised, “samplings of beloved classics with a new twist.”

Pasternack said Bergman is quite an entertainer who brought her to Port Angeles in the last year to narrate Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait” with the Symphony.

As is tradition, C’est si Bon’s Michele Juhasz will prepare dinner: a choice of beef bourguignon, salmon in parchment or vegetarian ratatouille with appetizers, salad, Camaraderie Cellars wines and a French dessert.

Tickets are $75 per person with proceeds supporting the Port Angeles Symphony’s 85th season, which begins with two Pops & Picnic concerts: one in Port Angeles on Sept. 29 and the other in Sequim on Sept. 30.

Concert & Cuisine also is a key event for music lovers as it features a preview of the 10 guest soloists who will come to perform with the Port Angeles Symphony this fall, winter and spring. Patrons will have a chance to choose soloists they want to support with a partial sponsorship.

Concert & Cuisine sold out in 2016 and 2015, so patrons are encouraged to make reservations soon. To do that, phone the Symphony office at 457-5579 or email portangelessymphony@gmail.com.

Seattle’s Lisa Bergman, a KING-FM announcer and classical pianist, will host the Sept. 16 Concert & Cuisine event in Port Angeles. Submitted photo

Seattle’s Lisa Bergman, a KING-FM announcer and classical pianist, will host the Sept. 16 Concert & Cuisine event in Port Angeles. Submitted photo