Chamber Orchestra returns to live concerts

For the first time in three years, the Port Angeles Symphony will this week present a pair of live, in-person chamber orchestra concerts, on Friday, Jan. 20, in Port Angeles and Saturday, Jan. 21, in Sequim.

The 19-member orchestra plus two guest soloists, horn player Allison Tutton and tenor Eric Rieger, will offer evenings of Mozart, Grieg and Butterworth, with Benjamin Britten’s “Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings” as the centerpiece.

The chamber orchestra concerts start at 7 p.m.: at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave., Port Angeles, on Friday and at Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave., Sequim, on Saturday.

Tickets are available at and will also be sold at the door; for more information, phone the Symphony office at 360-457-5579.

General admission is $15 while youngsters 18 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed patron.

“These works will transport the listener,” said Jonathan Pasternack, the orchestra’s music director and conductor. He’s chosen Edvard Grieg’s Two Elegiac Melodies, George Butterworth’s Romance for Horn and Strings and Mozart’s Divertimento in B flat Major.

The Britten Serenade, a song cycle of poetry by Tennyson, Charles Cotton, Ben Jonson, William Blake and John Keats, “is haunting and very beautiful,” Pasternack added. Britten, known for his precocious ability, was something of an English Mozart, who brought 19th century Romantic music into the modern era.

He’s also a 20th century composer who chose the path of melody and beauty of sound.

These two concerts highlight a “hometown hero,” Pasternack noted. Tutton grew up in Clallam County, and has performed with ensembles here including the Peninsula Singers. An alumna of the Boston Conservatory and Chicago College of Performing Arts, she’s now a member of the New Mexico Philharmonic and Santa Fe Orchestra.

Rieger, by contrast, is making his Olympic Peninsula debut. The singer, who teaches at Florida State University in Tallahassee, has performed all over the world, from Carnegie Hall to the Royal Opera House at London’s Covent Garden.

The Britten Serenade “is one of my all-time favorite pieces,” Rieger said. In its music and poetry, it explores innocence, growing up, and where humans find solace.

“It’s such an interesting combination of tenor and strings,” he added; “one I adore.”

Also playing in the chamber orchestra is Seattle-based cellist Michael Center. He was the featured soloist three Januaries ago, the last time before now that Pasternack led the ensemble in concerts in both Port Angeles and Sequim.