Concerts in the Barn hosts its sixth season of free chamber music concerts in its iconic barn in Quilcene, beginning Saturday, July 9, and continuing through Sunday, Sept. 4.
Concerts take place in the barn in accordance with current Jefferson County and state COVID-19 guidelines. Concerts start at 2 p.m. All guest artists who perform in the barn and all volunteers have been fully vaccinated. Patrons will be asked to mask up while inside the barn and milking shed but not on the outdoor grounds.
The season begins with a distinct festival favorite: the Carpe Diem String Quartet. Several members of the Quartet are familiar to audiences from performances in the barn over the past twenty years. George Lopez, artist-in-residence at Bowdoin College, will join the quartet opening weekend to perform the passionate and lyrical Brahms piano quintet in F minor.
The following weekend, the Carpe Diem String Quartet performs works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Emilie Mayer, the most prolific German female composer of the Romantic period, whose works are an essential part of the quartet genre.
The Carpe Diem String Quartet is internationally known as a “boundary-breaking” ensemble that embraces both traditional and avantgarde repertoire. The quartet will arrive at the farm on the heels of performances at the Ávila International Music Festival in Spain, and concerts in Amsterdam with soprano Laura Bohn, who will perform for the Fundraising Gala later in the concerts’ season.
Lopez, Bowdoin College’s Robert Beckwith Artist-in-Residence, is a “dedicated and dynamic performer, educator, and lecturer,” series organizers note. Lopez performs music ranging from standard chamber music repertoire to jazz, ragtime and contemporary styles of improvisation.
On July 23-24, the Jasper String Quartet and pianist Amy Yang will perform works by Schubert, Bartók and Florence Price, the first African American female composer to have her work performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933.
The Jasper String Quartet has been hailed as “sonically delightful and expressively compelling” (The Strad), and described by Gramophone as “flawless in ensemble and intonation, expressively assured and beautifully balanced.” The New York Times named their album, “Unbound,” as one of the 25 Best Classical Recordings in 2017.
The Hava Trio — violinist Elisa Barston, cellist Amy Barston and pianist Jessica Choe — returns to Concerts in the Barn on July 30-31 and Aug. 6-7 with programs that include works by Beethoven, Amy Beach, Nadia Boulanger, Mozart, Brahms and more.
Both Barstons have performed many times in the barn, and their energy and enthusiasm for music can only be called irrepressible. Elisa is principal second violin for the Seattle Symphony and known for her “glowing sound” and “technical aplomb” (The Strad). Cellist Amy Barston has performed as a soloist and chamber musician on stages all over the world, earning praise as “passionate and elegant” by The New York Times.
The Barstons will be joined by Korean American pianist Choe, who has performed in the Chamber Music Series of the Seattle Symphony, as well as at Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood and Wolf Trap.
On Wednesday, Aug. 10, soprano Laura Bohn and pianist Hadley McConnell will perform at the second Fundraising Gala. The two internationally acclaimed artists describe their program as “an invitation to experience the perils and thrills of love through some of the most enticing and personal song repertoire ever composed — from the luscious music of Debussy and the spiritual and esoteric world of Poulenc to the real-world grittiness of Kurt Weill. Be prepared to be swept away by the power of these brilliant composers who still speak to us today of the lasting nature of love and loss.”
The following Wednesday, Aug. 17, Concerts in the Barn welcomes back the Aletheia Trio, who performed here in 2017. The trio, comprised of pianist Fei-Fei, violinist Francesca DePasquale, and cellist Juliette Herlin, was formed in 2013 at the Julliard School and soon after gave debut performances at the Rose Studio and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center. The trio has been praised for its “dazzling energy and expressivity” (Reading Eagle) and as an “outstanding ensemble” with “confidence and understanding of musicians beyond their years” (Palm Beach Daily News).
(Note: There are no Concert in the Barn performances the weekends of Aug. 13-14 and Aug. 20-21; the grounds will be used for private functions.)
On Aug. 27-28, the Fulton Street Players, joined by pianist Aglika Angilova, violinist Christo Kasmetski, bassist Jon Green, and clarinetist Sammy Lesnick will perform two blockbuster works: Brahms’ clarinet quintet in B minor and Schubert’s beloved piano quintet, informally known as “the Trout.”
Fulton Street Chamber Players members include cellist Walter Gray, a founding member of the Kronos Quartet, violinist Cordula Merks, concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and violist Rachel Swerdlow, a member of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Angilova performed regularly at the Olympic Music Festival from 1998-2006 until moving to Chicago. She now performs in European venues from her new home in Hamburg.
Kasmetski also performs as soloist and chamber player throughout Europe and is principal second violist for the Gärtnerplatz Theatre Orchestra.
Lesnick, who debuted at the Olympic Music Festival in 2012, was described by critic Bernard Jacobson as “a musician of phenomenal skill and artistry” who performed at a “breathtakingly high level of accomplishment.”
Green, who recently retired as bass player with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, continues to perform concerts and videos for Music of Remembrance, and recently played in the orchestra for an Eagles concert and for a concert with Andrea Boccelli at the Climate Pledge Arena. He and his wife were kind enough to hold a soiree at their home this past winter to benefit Concerts in the Barn.
The 2022 season ends on September 3-4, with a unique combination of artists: two pianists and two violinists. Aglika Angelova and Christo Kasmetski are joined by pianist Catherine Ordronneau, whom critic Pierre Petit of Le Figaro described as “Une pianist pas comme les autres” (a pianist like no other), and violinist Kai Gleusteen, founder of Kaimerata Concerts, which takes place in both Spain and Denman Island. Kai has the great fortune to play on a violin made by J.B. Guadagnini, “El Tigre,” made in 1781. Members of the ensemble will be playing four-hand music by Rachmaninoff, and works by Khachaturian, Respighi, and Milhaud.
Attending the concerts
All patrons must reserve seating for each performance through TicketStripe. Select “Reserve your Seating” on the home page of concertsinthebarn.org or find “Concert Reservations” under the “Programs” tab.
Though all performances are free except for the Fundraising Gala, this year attendees are encouraged to make contributions of $20 for lawn seating and $30 for barn seating. No one with a reservation will be turned away.
Patrons are asked to put on masks if sitting in the barn or strolling through the milking shed. All barn doors and windows will remain open to maximize air flow.
Concertgoers are welcome to sit on the lawn; there have dozens of picnic tables on the grounds use. Non-alcoholic beverages, coffee, cookies, and ice cream will be sold in the milking shed, but concertgoers are welcome to bring their own picnic lunches. Everyone seated outside will be able to hear music from the barn from well-spaced amplifiers.
Concerts in the Barn will be selling wine from The Wine Seller and Finnriver cider in its wine garden in the orchard area. Bottled water is available at no charge.
The farm will open to concertgoers at noon each concert day. Volunteers will direct attendees to the Check-In Table, where programs are available. Concerts in the Barn is wheelchair accessible and accommodates people with mobility issues; please alert the Concerts office in advance of arrival (360-732-0732).
All Concerts in the Barn performance dates, programs and artist information is available at concertsinthebarn.org.
“We’re so happy to be able to open our grounds to the public again and want to make sure the farm is accessible to as many people as possible,” volunteer director Leigh Hearon said. “The musical lineup this year is absolutely outstanding, and we hope everyone in our community has a chance to hear a concert or two.”