Free chamber music is returning to this classic venue.
The seventh season of the Concerts in the Barn series, set in the conic barn in Quilcene, opens this Saturday, July 29, bringing top artists each week through Sunday, Aug. 27.
Patrons have the option of sitting inside on comfortable church pews or hay bales in the loft or listening outside on the lawn, and are encouraged to arrive early (concerts begin at 2 p.m.) to enjoy a picnic lunch, stroll through the grounds and meet the farm animals.
This year, performances will take place both on weekends and midweek, volunteer director Leigh Hearon notes.
“We encourage patrons to consult our website (concertsinthebarn.org/summer-program) to make sure they don’t miss their favorite artists or repertoire,” she says. “This year, we have a lot of chamber music packed into five weeks on the
Trio Hava opens
The season kicks of on July 29 with festival favorite Trio Hava: violist Elisa Barston, cellist Amy Barston and pianist Paige Molloy. The concert opens with a “Fantasie” by composer Florence Price, the first Black American woman to have her work performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and closes with Beethoven’s noble Piano Trio in B flat major, known as “the Archduke.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 2-3, Kaimerata Concerts will regale the audience with two works by Robert Schumann, one of the great composers of the Romantic era. Each year, Kaimerata co-founders Kai Gleusteen and Catherine Ordronneau build concerts around a specific composer.
This year, Schumann takes the stage, and in addition to performing his works, Gleusteen and Ordronneau will provide a discourse on Schumann’s life — both personal and musical — to give the audience a better understanding of the man behind the music.
Kaimarate Concerts will perform this series in Barcelona as well as in British Columbia.
The following weekend, Aug. 5-6, Trio Hava returns to perform works by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Dvořák — and more fiddle tunes from Scotland.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 16-27, Concerts in the Barn presents the Aletheia Piano Trio for its third season in the barn. Formed in 2013 at the Julliard School, the Trio quickly rose to prominence with acclaimed performances at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center. Praised for its “dazzling energy and expressivity,” the Trio will perform in the barn for two midweek performances with works by Lili Boulanger, Andrea Casarrubios, Clara Schumann and Maurice Ravel.
The following weekend (Aug. 19-20), Concerts in the Barn welcomes back one of its hallmark ensembles: the Carpe Diem String Quartet. Though first violinist Charles Wetherbee succumbed to cancer earlier this year, the Quartet — at Charles’s insistence — is still making music, Hearon says. Guest violinist Sam Weisner joins the group this summer to perform two audience favorites: Mozart’s String Quartet No. 15 in D minor, and Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in F minor, Op. 80.
And, in keeping with the Quartet’s desire to share new chamber music with its audience, they are performing a work by Caroline Shaw, Blueprint for String Quartet, described by the composer as “a conversation with Beethoven and with the joys and malinconia of his Op. 18 No. 6.”
The festival concludes with performances by two star-studded performances. On Saturday, Aug. 26, musicians from Music on the Strait in Port Angeles will grace the barn with music that includes performances for violin and marimba and ends with Grieg’s string quartet. Grammy award winner violist Richard O’Neill, formerly of Sequim, opens the concert with solo repertoire, performed on the instrument once owned by festival founder Alan Iglitzin.
On Sunday, Aug. 27, the Fulton Street Chamber Players provide a rousing finish to the season, with works by Astor Piazzolla for four-hand piano, Felix Mendelssohn’s string quartet No. 2 in A minor, and Dvořák’s piano quintet in A minor. The six musicians who take the stage hail from Maine to Seattle.
Though all our concerts are free to the public, patrons are asked to reserve seating for each performance through TicketStripe, accessible on concerts’ website at ticketstripe.com/event-list/concerts-in-the-barn.
Attendees are encouraged to make donations of $20 for lawn seating and $30 for barn seating, but no one with a reservation will be turned away, organizers note.
“When we began Concerts in the Barn in 2016, our primary goal was to make chamber music as accessible as possible,” Hearon says. “We want everyone, particularly families with children and senior citizens on a budget, to experience this great music and didn’t want the price of a ticket to get in the way.
“At the same time, we firmly believe our artists should be paid at rates commensurate with other music festivals. With an all-volunteer staff, the donations we receive from private and business donors allows us to do that, while ensuring that anyone who wants to experience live chamber music has that opportunity.”
The farm has dozens of picnic tables set up for concertgoers. Non-alcoholic beverages, coffee, cookies and ice cream will be sold in the Milking Shed, but concertgoers are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunches. Everyone seated outside will be able to hear the music from the barn from amplifiers.
Concerts in the Barn will be selling wine from The Wine Seller and Finnriver cider in the wine garden in the orchard area. Bottled water is available without charge. Concertgoers also can purchase Festival Fashions inside the Milking Shed.
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 all mobility issues; alert the concerts office at 360-732-4000 in advance of arrival.
In addition to music, the farm is home to many different farm animals. Get a map at the festival office to learn where to meet horses, sheep, pygmy goats, chickens and rabbits.
To ensure the safety of musicians, staff and volunteers, no one will be allowed on the farm property except those invited by prior arrangement or with reserved seating.
Concerts in the Barn organizers encourage patrons to watch its website (concertsinthebarn.org) and social media for updates and to sign up on its mailing list to stay connected with the concert seasons.