Stunning 20th Anniversary concert for Lopez

By Micki Ryan, Lopez Concert Coordinator Orcas Island Music Festival

Special to the Weekly

On Friday, Aug. 18, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival will bring a stunning array of musicians, composers and musical selections to Lopez Center, in celebration of the festival’s 20th anniversary.

Featured that evening will be the world premiere of a piece composed by Jake Heggie, commissioned for the 20th anniversary season by the Anders Foundation. The piece is “Earthrise” for saw and string quartet, and will be performed by Anita Orne with the Miró Quartet. Also on the program are more traditional classical works by Johannes Brahms, Béla Bartók, Franz Schubert, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. In addition to the musicians of the Miró Quartet, performers include violinists Benjamin Beilman, Martin Chalifour and Chee-Yun; cellists Oliver Aldort and Desmond Hoebig; violists Aloysia Friedmann and David Harding; clarinetist José Franch-Ballester; and pianists Jeffrey Kahane and Jon Kimura Parker.

The earthrise concert takes its name from the iconic photograph taken from Apollo 8 of the jeweled ball of earth rising in the blackness of space as the astronauts emerged from behind the moon. Heggie’s composition captures the breathtaking moment the amazing sight was revealed to the three astronauts, among them photographer William Anders. Sawyer Anita Orne first heard Heggie’s composition played by the Miró Quartet minus the essential sound of the musical saw. “This is a clearly beautiful and other-worldly ethereal work. I am so overwhelmed and honored to be part of it,” she remarked. “I play on an instrument purchased at a local hardware store; so I find it stunningly brave and creative of Artistic Director Aloysia Friedmann to bring me on stage playing this piece by a brilliant composer, with a brilliant quartet.” Lopez Islanders were fortunate to see and hear the Miró Quartet in Grace Church, at the first festival concert on Lopez in 2012. Ticket prices for the Lopez Center evening concert are $25 for adults, $10 for youth 18 and under, from, Paper Scissors, Lopez Bookshop and Lopez Farmers Market.

In addition to the 5:30 p.m. concert on Aug. 18, a delightful “Know the Score” music lovers seminar will be presented at Port Stanley Schoolhouse at 10:30 a.m.. Seattle music critic, author, teacher and musician Melinda Bargreen will present musical insights and preview samples of the evening concert, accompanied by a hearty brunch. Ticket prices for the morning seminar and brunch are $25 Adults; youth 18 and under free with a courtesy ticket. Tickets available at Paper Scissors, Lopez Bookshop and Lopez Farmers Market.

Other opportunities for Lopezians to hear some amazing music during this 20th Anniversary Festival are a free Open Rehearsal for Seniors at Orcas Center on Friday, Aug. 11, at 1 p.m., featuring music to be played at the concert later that evening. Lopez Seniors will be picked up at Woodmen Hall by bus and taken on the 10 AM ferry to lunch at the Orcas Senior Center, and from there to Orcas Center for the open rehearsal, and back to Lopez. The round trip with lunch is $10; contact Karin Gandini at Lopez Seniors Lunch Wednesdays and Fridays, or call 360-468-3926. And, on Sunday, Aug. 13, there is a free concert on the Village Green in Eastsound at 2 p.m. featuring Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and two Vivaldi pieces for cellos and violins, as well as the group Off The Score, featuring Jon Kimura Parker and iconic rock drummer Stewart Copeland. Bring a chair and a picnic, and dress for the weather.

All these events coming right here to the islands, not just to New York and London and Berlin and Tokyo, reinforce Aloysia’s conviction that “Music brings us together, music takes us to places we can only dream of, music creates emotions inside of us that aren’t always possible to express outwardly. Music can make us smile and can comfort us when smiling is difficult.” Come smile with us Aug. 18 and long after.

photo by Ellen Appel                                Composer Jake Heggie

photo by Ellen Appel Composer Jake Heggie