Can you believe it? We've been going for 20 years! If you want to make your own Festival, we say, "Don't try this at home. Get expert help." This article explains how.Good people make good Festivals. (photo by Dave Chantler)
How to make a terrific Festival
Start with one musician, a really experienced one. Make sure they have a big rolodex full of other musician's phone numbers and an unstoppable personality. In our case, we got John Konigsmark, pictured on the right above. John plays violin. He moved to the Mazama area in 1996.
Acquire a vivid inspiration. We were lucky. John came with that, too. Struck by the awesome natural beauty of the Goat Wall, he woke up one morning determined to create a series of classical music events that married spectacular outdoor scenery with fine music. Can't beat that for inspiration.
Get good people involved. Dick Gode and Herbert Wimberger (above), plus Gerry Sparling (not pictured), joined with John to formalize the Festival structure, hire a professional administrator, and generally turn the Festival into an ongoing concern. Their generosity, perseverance, and good friendship kept the Festival going through times both thick and thin. You may never know what it takes to make a Festival happen, but know this: if ever there were four dudes that deserve to go to heaven, it's our founders.
How It Evolvedphoto provided by Herbert Wimberger
John arranged the first performances in 1996, set in a beautiful meadow near Mazama. His early performances established a clear public interest in concept of outdoor classical music. John brought former students and colleagues from all over the country to share in the fun of making music for a growing audience.
With the motto "Classical Chamber Music in the Barns and Meadows of the Methow Valley," his concerts linked art and nature. Early audiences loved the natural environment of the concerts that, on one occasion, included the unique sound of tree frogs accompanying a Mozart sonata.
Our 20th Seasonphoto credit: Mike Real
Today, as we approach our 20th season, the Festival proudly honors the vision of our original founders, hosting performances in a purpose-built facility at Signal Hill Ranch, a dramatic setting one mile above the Methow Valley floor halfway between Winthrop and Twisp. The new facility features a professionally-designed, semi-outdoor acoustic listening environment surrounded by breathtaking views. It also includes an inviting lawn where guests can arrive early to enjoy a gourmet tasting menu with locally-made beer and wine, and a fire pit for those who want to stay late after the show.
Each summer the Festival puts on 10 days worth of events incorporating top-notch professional musicians from around the world. We make a special effort to share our music with the community, offering free presentations by our Fellowship Quartet at local restaurants and public spaces, and special events designed to inspire young musicians.
See you there!