Pianist to join chamber orchestra for concerts in Sequim, Port Angeles

In her first-ever performance as featured soloist with the Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra, pianist Lisa Lanza will play some rarely performed music.

Francis Poulenc’s “Aubade,” which Lanza calls “a delight,” is on the program for two 7 p.m. concerts: this Friday, May 17 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave., Port Angeles, and Saturday, May 18, at Sequim’s Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave.

Music director Jonathan Pasternack will conduct these last performances of the orchestra’s 2018-2019 season.

Also part of the evening: Johannes Brahms’ popular Serenade No. 2 in A major and Gaetano Donizetti’s Sinfonia for Winds. These will be nights to hear clarinets, flutes, oboes, bassoons and horns — along with the piano, Lanza’s chosen instrument for the past 50 years.

“It was really challenging to learn this piece. It’s not in my usual style,” which is Romantic and classical, she said of “Aubade.” The title is a French word for dawn serenade, while the music is unusual in that it doesn’t call for any violins.

It’s written for piano and 18 instruments: winds, horns, timbales, contrabasses, violas and cellos.

“The instrumentation is really interesting,” said Lanza, a longtime Port Townsend resident who plays piano with numerous local ensembles, from the Port Townsend Community Orchestra to the Community Chorus.

Friends have heard she’s about to perform Poulenc. Will it be dissonant, they ask?

On the contrary, Lanza replies.

“Oh, man, it’s charming. These are certainly more modern harmonies,” she said.

“Aubade” is “about the mystical goddess Diana, goddess of the woods,” said Lanza, “and you can hear the forest.

“It’s really a cool piece.”

Tickets to the Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra concerts are $15 for adults, while youths 16 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.

Tickets are sold at the Joyful Noise Music Center, 112 W. Washington St., Sequim, and Port Book and News, 104 E. First St., Port Angeles.

For more details, phone the Port Angeles Symphony office at 360-457-5579 and visit PortAngelesSymphony.org.

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