Composed ca. 1955. Three simple and wonderfully melodic yet modern pieces from Russia's most prolific composer.
Message from our Artistic Director
Welcome to concerts I've created to grab you, thrill you. You will watch artists of international stature, up close, crafting each note to perfection in an intimate setting.
Each year I watch hours of videos and talk to musicians I know and trust before inviting new artists into our merry band. Beyond playing exceptionally well, Methow artists must have charisma and the desire to both give and take in a musical setting. These qualities inspire their colleagues to make music with them on a personal level.
I've written before of my thoughts on the current fashion of thematic programs. It is certainly possible to come up with themes that can somehow tie a well-balanced program together, but more often than not, it seems that the musical selections suffer in order to satisfy the theme. Instead, I take the playwright's approach: the experience should touch on all the primary human emotions and it should have an arc.
That leaves me with other, perhaps more subtle ways of connecting the festival programs, at least in my own mind. On one occasion, only moments after I had been remarking on the popularity of the cello, a colleague of mine cruelly reminded me that the piano was far more popular than the cello. That got me thinking about the cello's lonely place at number three on the popularity scale, behind the piano and violin, and before you know it, I had invited twice the normal number of pianists and violinists to this year's Festival.
I've always loved the way piano sounds in our barn. This year's Festival features a lot of it, played by four unique and wonderful pianists, each with a vastly different voice, in ensembles both large and small.
And the violin! It appears this year in virtuosic solo format, in duos with another violin, viola, or cello, and, of course, sitting atop the traditional large mixed ensembles we all love.
I'm excited to present this years Festival! Thank you so much for allowing me to share this incredible music with you. Your encouragement keeps me going and your support makes the music happen.
—Kevin Krentz, Artistic Director
Festival at a Glance
- We have Free Events and Ticketed Events.
- 6:30 pm Pre-concert presentation by the Confluence Gallery
- 7:30 pm Centerstage Concert hosted by Verne Windham
- 10:00 pm Enjoy the stars with Dave Ward and his telescope
- 6:30 pm Fellowship Quartet at Confluence Gallery
- 3:00 pm Fellowship Quartet at Sun Mountain Lodge
- 6:30 pm Pre-concert presentation by Craig Sheppard
- 7:30 pm Centerstage Concert hosted by Verne Windham
- 6:30 pm Pre-concert presentation by Lynette Westendorf
- 7:30 pm Centerstage Concert hosted by Verne Windham
- 6:00 pm Fellowship Quartet at Freestone Inn
- 6:30 pm Pre-concert presentation
- 7:30 pm Centerstage Concert hosted by Dave Beck
- 5:00 pm Fellowship Quartet at Shafer Museum
- 6:30 pm Fellowship Quartet at Methow Valley Ciderhouse
All Centerstage Concert Days
- 9:30 am Open rehearsal
- 9:30 am Art exhibits open for public viewing at Signal Hill Ranch
- 6:00 pm Grounds open for evening activities at Signal Hill Ranch
- 6:30 pm Pre-concert presentation
- 7:30 pm Centerstage Concert
- 10:00 pm Meet-the-artists Afterglow party
THURSDAYsignal hill ranch 7/28
6:30 pm Pre-concert presentation by the Confluence Gallery
7:30 pm Centerstage Concert, hosted by Verne Windham; Festival Prologue read by Ki Gottberg
10:00 pm Enjoy the stars on a moonless evening with Dave Ward and his telescope
Three Duets for Two Violins and Piano, Op. 97D
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975)
Adagio and Rondo Concertante in F Major, D. 487
Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
- Adagio - Allegro Vivace
Fantaisie brillante on themes from Gounod's Faust, Op. 20 (arr. for violin and piano)
Henryk Weiniawski (1835–1880)
Duo for Violin and Cello, No. 1
Bohuslav Martinů (1890–1959)
- Preludium - adante moderato
- Rondo - allegro con brio
SATURDAYsignal hill ranch 7/30
Horn Quintet in E-flat, K. 407
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
- Rondo - allegro
Introduction and Polonaise Brilliant, for Cello and Piano, Op. 3
Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849)
- Introduction - lento
- Alla polacca - allegro con spirito
TUESDAYsignal hill ranch 8/2
Sonata for 2 Violins and Piano in G Minor, Op. 2, No.7
George Frederick Handel (1685–1759)
- Arioso - poco adagio
Barcarolle in F Major, Op. 108
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921)
American Popular Song Suite!
Sure On This Shining Night Moon River They Can't Take That Away From Me
Samuel Barber (1910–1981) Henry Mancini (1924–1994) George Gershwin (1898–1937)
Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975)
- Prelude - adagio
- Scherzo - allegro molto
THURSDAYsignal hill ranch 8/4
Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 16
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
- Grave - allegro ma non troppo
- Andante cantabile
- Rondo - allegro ma non troppo
Porgy and Bess (arr. J. Heifetz for violin and piano)
George Gershwin (1898–1937)
- My Man's Gone Now
- Bess, You is My Woman Now
- It Ain't Necessarily So
Paul Wiancko (1982– )
- Maniacal swing
SATURDAYsignal hill ranch 8/6
Three Madrigals, Duo No. 1 for Violin and Viola, H. 313
Bohuslav Martinů (1890–1959)
- Poco allegro
- Poco andante
Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
- Gavotte con due variazioni
- Menuetto e Finale
Four on the Floor
Judd Greenstein (1979– )
2016 Festival Artists
Thursday, July 28 to Saturday, August 6
Maurycy Banaszek, viola | Brittany Boulding, violin | Laura DeLuca, clarinet | Jeffery Fair, horn | Mara Gearman, viola | Kevin Krentz, cello | Caitlin Lynch, viola | Ryan MacEvoy McCullough, piano | Yuri Namkung, violin | Charles Noble, viola | Grace Park, violin | Tom Poster, piano | Mikhail Shmidt, violin | Craig Sheppard, piano | Elena Urioste, violin | Jing Wang, violin | Paul Wiancko, cello | Jasper Wood, violin | Matthew Zalkind, cello | Zhang Zuo, piano | Fellowship Quartet, University of Washington | Lynette Westendorf, lecturer | Dave Ward, stargazer | and your hosts, Dave Beck and Verne Windham, with Prologue readers Mark Johnson, Ki Gottberg, and Carolanne Steinebach.
Maurycy Banaszek, viola
Maurycy Banaszek was born in Warsaw, Poland. He has performed at the Marlboro, Seattle, Santa Fe, Aldeburgh, Moritzburg, Mozart, Kingston, Martha's Vineyard, and Warsaw Autumn festivals. Maurycy regularly tours with the Musicians from Marlboro and appears at the Bargemusic in New York. As a founding member of the Elsner String Quartet, Maurycy has played in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, and Gewandhaus in Leipzig.
In August 1998, Maurycy was invited by the members of the legendary Amadeus String Quartet to perform at their 50th Anniversary Gala Concert in London. He was recently invited to be the soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, with the New Jersey Lyric Orchestra at their Carnegie Hall debut performance and with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra at Jordan Hall in Boston. Maurycy was also chosen by Gidon Kremer to participate in the Chamber Music Connects the World festival in Kronberg, Germany, where he performed with the Guarneri String Quartet.
Maurycy is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music in New York, where he studied with Michael Tree. He is a principal violist of the New York Symphonic Ensemble, was principal viola with the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, and is a member of Sejong Soloists and the Metropolis Ensemble. Maurycy is also a founding member of ECCO, the new conductor-less chamber orchestra. In 2011 Maurycy joined the Concert Artist faculty at Kean University, in Union, NJ.
Maurycy plays a viola made by Hiroshi Iizuka in Philadelphia in 1997. | Back to Artists
Brittany Boulding, violin
Brittany Boulding currently resides in Seattle. Recent solo appearances include the New Haven Symphony, the Spoleto Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra. Brittany also performs regularly with the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera.
An avid chamber musician, Brittany has most recently performed in the Simple Measures, Second City, and Guemes Island chamber music festivals. During the summer season, she attends the Bellingham Festival of Music and has appeared as concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center, Banff Center, and Spoleto Festival USA orchestras.
Brittany studied with Kenneth Goldsmith and Robert Lipsett. Her violin career also extends beyond her experience as a classical musician – since the age of 6, Brittany has performed with her family, the internationally acclaimed Magical Strings, touring throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Ireland. Brittany has recorded on five of their sixteen albums and been a featured soloist at their annual Celtic Yuletide Concerts, a celebrated Northwest tradition. | Back to Artists
Laura DeLuca, clarinet
Laura will miss our Festival due to an illness in her family. Laura DeLuca joined the Seattle Symphony in 1986. She is a co-founding member of Seattle Chamber Players, a contemporary music ensemble formed in 1989, boasting nearly 100 commissioned works. Music has been her passport to the world, with opportunities to perform in historic concert halls in Europe, Russia, China and South America. Closer to home, Laura regularly performs with Music of Remembrance and the Icicle Creek series, and has soloed with the Seattle Symphony and the Seattle Youth, Cascade and Rainier symphonies. On February 11, 2011, a day of historic political uprising in Egypt (and her birthday), she premiered a newly commissioned concerto, Freedom, by Alissa Firsova, with the Northwest Sinfonietta. Laura has performed on over 100 recordings and has worked with distinguished composers and performers such as Jake Heggie, John Zorn, Paul Schoenfield and Artur Avanesov. | Back to Artists
Jeffrey Fair, horn
Jeffrey Fair has been the Principal Horn (The Charles Simonyi Chair) of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra since February 2013 and a member of the Orchestra since 2003. His playing has been described as “compelling,” “evocative” and “full of finesse and assertiveness.”
He also performs as Principal Horn of the Seattle Opera. Since 2004, he has appeared regularly at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival and recently presented world premieres by Gerard Schwarz and Lawrence Dillon. He is on the faculty at the University of Washington and is responsible for instruction of all horn students.
Jeffrey has served as Principal Horn and faculty member of the Eastern Music Festival and as Principal Horn of the Arizona Music Festival. Additionally, he appears throughout the Northwest as soloist, chamber musician, clinician, and teacher.
Prior to moving to Seattle, Jeffrey was Principal Horn of the San Antonio Symphony for three seasons, appearing as soloist on several occasions. He completed a Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School as a student of Jerome Ashby. A native of Oklahoma, he received a Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Oklahoma as a student of Eldon Matlick. | Back to Artists
Mara Gearman, viola
Mara Gearman is an accomplished player with extensive experience in both orchestral and chamber music settings. She regularly performs with the chamber groups American String Project and Seattle Chamber Players, and has collaborated with such prestigious performers as Ani Kavafian, Peter Wiley, Vladimir Feltsman, and Dale Clevenger, the legendary Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mara is also a founding member of the Barston String Quartet and of Trio Tara, with pianist Oksana Ezhokina and clarinetist Laura DeLuca.
Mara has held or been awarded a number of orchestral appointments. She was Principal Viola (at age 20) under Maestro Rossen Milanov, Principal Viola of the Kansas City Symphony, and also of the Oregon Symphony under music director James DePreist. Currently Mara is the second-desk violist for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Ludovic Morlot.
As a solo performer, Mara has won awards at the Primrose and Tertis International viola competitions, performing viola solos by American composers Alan Shulman and Derek Bermel and by Hungarian composer Miklós Rózsa, among others.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Mara had as her primary teachers Roberto Díaz, Pinchas Zukerman, and Karen Tuttle. She pursued additional study in Canada, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland with Nobuko Imai, Barbara Westphal, and Gérard Caussé. | Back to Artists
Kevin Krentz, cello, and
Cellist Kevin Krentz enjoys a multi-faceted career as a performer, teacher, inventor, and artistic director.
A devoted chamber musician, Kevin has been a winner in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition with his trio In Flight 3 and a winner in the Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Verona, Italy, and the Greenlake National Chamber Music Competition with Finisterra Trio.
With Finisterra Trio, Kevin is devoted to performing contemporary works as well as the standard repertoire. The trio has commissioned new works by modern composers. Finisterra Trio are artists-in-residence at the Phoenix Series in New York.
Kevin's teachers have included Florian Kitt and Jontscho Bayrov in Vienna, and Gary Hardie, Owen Carman, and Toby Saks in the U.S. Master-class performances include Janos Starker, Matt Haimovitz, Paul Katz, and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. Chamber music studies include the Florestan Trio, Elsa Verdehr, Stephen Shipps, Ron Patterson, and Ralph Votapek.
Kevin is also founder of Krentz String Works, which primarily develops and sells his inventions, including the Krentz Modulator, which can be found in virtually every major symphony in the world since its launch in 2013. Other innovations involve aspects of instrument tone enhancement and designs for cases and other accessories. For more information, visit KrentzStringWorks.com. | Back to Artists
Caitlin Lynch, viola
Caitlin Lynch has been described as a performer for whom “the term gifted hardly does justice” (The Oregonian). An avid soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician, Caitlin has performed in fourteen countries on five continents. She has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, whose tours have featured her concerti performances across North America and Europe.
As a chamber musician, she performs as the violist of the New York-based Fidelio String Quartet. Additionally, Caitlin has had the honor of performing chamber music with Itzhak Perlman, members of the Tokyo, Cleveland, Juilliard, and Cavani String Quartets, the Weilerstein Trio, and ACME. She has held principal positions in the Charlotte Symphony and CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, in performances from Carnegie Hall to international tours. She has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, A Far Cry, Richmond Symphony, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and New World Symphony.
As an educator, she is the Chamber Music Teaching Assistant at the Perlman Music Program Summer Music School, has taught in the public schools of Harlem as a Morse Fellow at The Juilliard School, traveled to South America to teach masterclasses and orchestral sectionals for Ecuador’s Sinfonia por la Vida, taught students with Williams’ Syndrome at the Berkshire Hills Music Academy, was part of the Cleveland Chamber Music Society’s Educational Outreach Quartet, and completed a Visiting Artist teaching and performance residency at The College of William and Mary. Caitlin is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. | Back to Artists
Ryan MacEvoy McCullough, piano
Pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough has developed a diverse career as a soloist and collaborator, comfortable with music ranging from standard repertoire to electro-acoustic improvisation. He has appeared as concerto soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has performed alongside the Mark Morris Dance Group and contemporary ensemble eighth blackbird.
Ryan has performed at such festivals as the Tanglewood Music Center, Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota Festival, Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, and Nohant International Chopin Festival. In March 2015 he co-directed Environs Messiaen, a festival at Cornell University celebrating the naturalist aesthetic of French composer Olivier Messiaen.
Interested in new music from an early age, Ryan has worked closely with composers George Benjamin, John Harbison, Helen Grime, and Andrew McPherson, and has commissioned or been dedicatee of works by James Primosch, Carter Pann, John Liberatore, Jenny Beck, and Dante De Silva. In 2008, Ryan released a CD of solo piano music by 20th-century Polish-French composer Miłosz Magin on the Polish label Acte Prealable, and in January 2013 was featured on an Innova Records release of composer Andrew McPherson's Secrets of Antikythera for magnetic resonator piano.
Ryan holds his BA from Humboldt State University and M.Mus. from the University of Southern California, as well an Artist Diplomas from the Colburn Conservatory and The Glenn Gould School. He has studied primarily with Deborah Clasquin, David Louie, and John Perry, in addition to influential work with Stephen Drury, Leon Fleisher, and Peter Serkin. Ryan is currently a DMA candidate in Contemporary Performance Practice at Cornell University, where he works with Xak Bjerken.
Yuri Namkung, violin
An active chamber musician, Yuri has performed in many of the country's major halls and series such as Boston's Jordan Hall, the Gardner Museum, the Kennedy Center, Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Series, the New School's Schneider Concert Series, MoMA, 92nd Street Y, Virginia Arts Festival, Music@Menlo, the Ravinia Festival's Steans Institute, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
The Moët Trio, of which Yuri is a founding member, is described by Strad Magazine as "technically and interpretatively astounding." A frequent guest teacher in Venezuela, Panama, and Colombia, she has been the Director of the Classical Music Program for the Panama Jazz Festival since 2009. From 2009–2010, she took a one-year appointment on faculty at the University of Alabama and at the Interlochen Arts Academy as Instructor of Violin from 2010–2013.
Yuri received her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and her Master of Music from the Juilliard School as a participant in the Columbia Juilliard Joint Program. She received a Graduate Diploma in Chamber Music as part of New England Conservatory's Professional Piano Trio Program where she studied with Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried. Born in Seattle, Washington, Yuri Namkung began asking for violin lessons from her mother before the age of three. She made her first solo appearance at the age of nine with the Northwest Chamber Orchestra and shortly thereafter with the Seattle Symphony. At the age of twelve, Yuri began her studies with Dorothy DeLay at Juilliard PreCollege while performing widely across the United States as guest soloist and recitalist. The Greenville Times said of her, "This young artist from Seattle displayed solid technique, attractive tone, and obvious devotion to her art." She is the 2001 Gold Prize winner of the Stulberg International Competition and has since performed in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
Major solo guest appearances have included performances with the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra in Switzerland at the invitation and direction of conductor David Zinman, Orchestra of St. Luke's at Alice Tully Hall, the Seattle Symphony, and throughout Colombia and Brazil with the Filarmonica Joven de Colombia. She has performed with jazz pianist and UNESCO and UNICEF Artist for Peace Danilo Perez in Panama on several occasions at the Biodiversity Museum designed by Frank Gehry, the 2012 Presidential Awards Gala Ceremony in the National Theatre of Panama, and the Latin Presidential Ibero American Summit Conference in 2014.
Yuri plays on a 2002 violin made by Todd Goldenberg. | Back to Artists
Charles Noble, viola
Charles Noble has been Assistant Principal Violist of the Oregon Symphony since 1995. He has appeared as soloist with the Oregon Symphony and the Cascade and Sunriver Music Festivals.
Prizes and awards include the C.D. Jackson Award at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Israel Dorman String Prize at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and first prize at the Seattle Ladies Musical Club Competition. He holds degrees from the University of Puget Sound, the University of Maryland, and the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, where his primary teachers were Joyce Ramée, Joseph DePasquale, Michael Tree, and Roberto Díaz.
He has been the Principal Violist with the Ernest Bloch and Cascade Music Festivals, and is currently the Principal Violist of the Sunriver Music Festival. Charles was a featured performing artist at the 2002, 2004 and 2006 International Viola Congresses. He is a founding member of the Ethos and Arnica String Quartets. At the start of the 2014-2015 season, Charles became the viola instructor at the University of Portland.
Grace Park, violin
Grace Park is a dynamic violinist, dedicated chamber musician, and passionate pedagogue. Her diverse career has carried her from the world’s foremost concert halls to inner-city schools as a soloist, collaborator, coach, and multi-disciplinary educator. Currently in residence at Carnegie Hall as part of The Academy–Carnegie Juilliard Weill program, Grace pairs her elite musicianship with a fervent commitment to community engagement.As a soloist, Grace has been the featured artist at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Jordan Hall in Boston, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Rudolfinum in Prague, and Glinka Hall in St. Petersburg. She is a laureate of the National Symphony Orchestra's Young Soloist Competition.
Grace has performed with chamber ensembles around the world. She performed the world premiere of Samuel Carl Adams’ String Sextet and a Carnegie Hall–commissioned work by Andy Akiho. Grace has been recognized for her work in the Vitas Quartet, her chamber collaborations at Trinity Wall Street’s “Concerts at One,” and for performances at the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Music@Menlo, IMS Prussia Cove, and the Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop.
While pursuing her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Donald Weilerstein and Miriam Fried, Grace achieved the unprecedented honor of sweeping both of the school’s violin concerto competitions in the same year. She represented the Conservatory in an inaugural series of house concerts and in a live performance on WGBH television. | Back to Artists
Tom Poster, piano
Tom Poster is internationally recognized as a pianist of outstanding artistry and versatility, equally in demand as soloist and chamber musician across an unusually extensive repertoire. He has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as possessing “velvet-tipped sonority” (Gramophone) and “great authority and astounding virtuosity” (Est Républicain). Tom studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at King’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a Double First in Music. He won First Prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition 2007 and the keyboard sections of the Royal Over-Seas League and BBC Young Musician of the Year Competitions in 2000.
Tom has performed more than 40 concertos ranging from Bach to Ligeti with the Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, China National Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St. Petersburg State Capella Philharmonic, under conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, James Loughran, En Shao, Robin Ticciati and Yan Pascal Tortelier. Tom features regularly on BBC radio and television and has made multiple appearances at the BBC Proms. He has given solo recitals at the Brighton, City of London, Edinburgh, Presteigne and Spoleto Festivals, as well as in Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. As pianist of the Aronowitz Ensemble (former BBC New Generation Artists), he has appeared at the Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall and the Aldeburgh, Bath and Cheltenham Festivals. Tom’s chamber music collaborators include Alison Balsom, Ian Bostridge, Steven Isserlis, Guy Johnston and Elena Urioste, and he has performed piano quintets with the Brodsky, Carducci, Danish, Elias, Endellion, Heath, Martinu, Medici, Navarra, Sacconi, Skampa and Tippett Quartets.
Tom has recorded for Champs Hill Records, Chandos, Decca Classics, EMI, Sonimage and Warner Classics, and has recently been signed to Edition Classics for a series of solo albums. He is also a successful composer and arranger. | Back to Artists
Mikhail Shmidt, violinMikhail Shmidt was born in Moscow. He began his musical education at the age of five and at fourteen became the winner of the International Chamber Music Competition "Concertino Prague." He graduated cum laude from Gnessin Institute of Music in 1987. His major teachers were Halida Akhtiamova and Valentin Berlinsky of the celebrated Borodin Quartet. While still at college, Mikhail participated in the Gnessin String Quartet, winner of several national competitions. He also played in the State Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Radio String Quartet and was concertmaster of "Camerata Boccherini" Baroque Orchestra. One of the highlights of Mikhail's Russian career was collaborating with the illustrious composer Alfred Schnittke.
Since immigrating to the United States in 1989, Mikhail has established himself as a leading chamber musician. He was a founding member of the Bridge Ensemble which recorded and toured successfully in the U.S. and Europe. As a guest violinist of the Moscow Piano Quartet, he tours Europe annually, and his "remarkable musicianship" was hailed by Lisbon newspaper Tempo. Among the highlights of Mikhail's chamber music activities are his collaborations with such diverse and distinguished composers and musicians as Steve Reich, John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Giya Kancheli, Paul Schoenfield, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Vadim Repin, and many others. Mikhail has recorded on Melodia, Delos, ECM, Tzadik, Six Degrees and Inova labels. | Back to Artists
Craig Sheppard, piano
Pianist Craig Sheppard has had a commanding presence on the international scene for the past 40-plus years. A graduate of both the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and the Juilliard School in New York, Craig won the Silver Medal of the 1972 Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, moved to London the following year, and spent the next 20 years performing on multiple occasions with all the British orchestras, many in both the U.S. (Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, etc.) and on the European continent (including the Berlin Philharmonic and La Scala), and with many of the leading conductors of the day, including Erich Leinsdorf, Sir Georg Solti, James Levine, Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin, Arthur Fiedler, Aaron Copland, Yehudi Menuhin, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kurt Sanderling, and David Zinman.
Craig's devotion to collaborative work shows in the many artists of previous and present generations with whom he has performed, including Victoria de los Angeles, José Carerras, Ida Handel, James Ehnes, Augustin Hadelich, among others.
Craig possesses an eclectic repertoire from the Baroque to the present, having performed the 24 Preludes and Fugues of Shostakovich, Op. 87, in Houston, San Francisco, Oberlin, Shanghai, and Beijing. His recital of the Shostakovich in Seattle's Meany Theater was recorded on the Romeo label and released in September 2015.
Since 1993, Craig has been Professor of Piano at the School of Music of the University of Washington in Seattle. With colleague Dr. Robin McCabe, he hosts the annual Seattle Piano Institute in July, dedicated to the growth of the well-rounded musician in today's demanding world. His website is www.craigsheppard.net. | Back to Artists
Elena Urioste, violin
Elena Urioste, recently selected as a BBC New Generation Artist, has been hailed by critics and audiences for her rich tone, nuanced lyricism, and commanding stage presence. Since making her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 13, she has appeared with major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, including the London and New York Philharmonics; the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, and National Orchestra of Wales; the Cleveland Orchestra; the Boston Pops; and the Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and National Symphony Orchestras.
Elena has collaborated with acclaimed conductors Sir Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Keith Lockhart, and Robert Spano; pianists Mitsuko Uchida, Dénes Várjon, and Christopher O’Riley; cellists Peter Wiley, Colin Carr, and Carter Brey; violists Kim Kashkashian and Michael Tree; and violinists Joseph Silverstein, Shlomo Mintz, and Cho-Liang Lin. She has been a featured artist at the Marlboro, Ravinia, and La Jolla Music Festivals, among others.
Winner of Switzerland’s Sion-Valais International Violin Competition, a London Music Masters Award, a Salon di Virtuosi career grant, and the inaugural Sphinx Medal of Excellence, Elena has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, Telemundo, Performance Today, From the Top, and the Emmy award–winning documentary Breaking the Sound Barrier. Chosen by Latina Magazine as one of the “Future Fifteen,” she was featured in the magazine’s 15th-anniversary issue.
Elena is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, and Ida Kavafian. She completed graduate studies with Joel Smirnoff at The Juilliard School. | Back to Artists
Jing Wang, violin
Born in Guilin, China, Jing Wang began playing violin at the age of three; he made his first public appearance three years later in Marseille, France and his concerto debut aged nine with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Canada. Subsequent engagements have taken him across North America and Europe and include concerto appearances with the Czech Radio Philharmonic, Moscow State Symphony, Montreal Symphony and Metropolitan Orchestra of Montreal. Jing has given solo recitals and chamber music performances at prestigious venues including the National Arts Center in Ottawa and throughout Canada where his performances are frequently broadcast on CBC Radio-Canada.
Jing has been the recipient of numerous competition prizes including the Irving M. Klein International Competition (First Prize – 2007), Concertino Praga (First Prize – 2000), Montreal Symphony Competition (First Prize – 1998) and the Canadian Music Competition (First Prize – 1997). In addition he was awarded the "Young Soloist of the Year" (2003) by Les Radios Francophones Publiques, a broadcast network of four countries including France, Canada, Switzerland and Belgium. This award sponsored the release of his first CD album including works by Beethoven, Ravel and Gershwin.
Beginning with the 2010/11 concert season Jing held the position of Concertmaster for the Dallas Opera for three years. Active on the Dallas music scene, he co-founded Ensemble75, a chamber music series featuring Young Texas Artists at Steinway Hall in Dallas. Other commitments included Concertmaster for the Dallas Chamber Symphony, Guest Concertmaster for the Kansas City and the San Antonio Symphony Orchestras as well as Fort Worth Opera, and regular invitations to play with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Jing studied at the Juilliard School as a Joseph Fuchs Scholar and completed post-graduate studies at the Shepherd School of Music (Rice University). He studied violin and chamber music and participated in masterclasses held by Zakar Bron, Zvi Zeitlin and Pinchas Zukerman. In September 2013 Jing took up the position of Concertmaster with the Hong Kong Philharmonic at the invitation of Maestro Jaap van Zweden. He plays a 1700 violin by Giovanni Tononi on loan from the Canada Council of Arts Rare Strings International Collection. | Back to Artists
Paul Wiancko, cello
Cellist and composer Paul Wiancko has performed extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, South America, Japan, and South Africa. In addition to solo performances with orchestras around the world, Paul has collaborated with artists from all walks of life, including Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, the Guarneri Quartet, Etta James, Dave Stewart, Joe Cocker, and Stanley Clarke.
Paul has composed works for the Grammy-winning Parker Quartet, cellist Judith Serkin, violist Ayane Kozasa, this Festival, and Barge Music in Brooklyn. His studio productions, which range from experimental orchestral arrangements to gospel funk tunes, can be heard on numerous albums, commercials and films. Recent highlights include scoring the new prison-drama feature film Heartlock, as well as a new Mars-exploration-based work for solo piano commissioned by Peter Smith, the principal investigator for NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission. Paul is currently the resident composer for the Twickenham Festival and is Caramoor's commissioned composer for the summer of 2016.
Wiancko has toured regularly with Chick Corea, ECCO, and Musicians from Marlboro, and is a member of the Brooklyn-based electro-acoustic chamber ensemble Bright Wave. He spends his spare time woodworking, fly-fishing, and practicing guitar, bass, harmonica, berimbau, shamisen, and theremin.| Back to Artists
Jasper Wood, violin
Canadian violinist Jasper Wood has performed with many of North America’s finest orchestras, in cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Buffalo, and throughout Europe. He has performed under the batons of Gregory Novak, George Cleve, Georg Tintner, Bramwell Tovey, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Jasper has also garnered acclaim for his performances as a recitalist and chamber musician, which have taken him to major cities worldwide in performances at the Dame Myra Hess concerts (Chicago), Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall (New York), and the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts. Jasper has been equally committed to performing in Canada’s smaller communities, such as the Northwest Territories and other parts of northern Canada.
Jasper performs with guitarist Daniel Bolshoy in Duo Rendezvous, and with pianist David Jalbert and cellist Yegor Dyachkov in the piano trio Triple Forte. He also performs frequently with pianist David Riley, with whom he has performed for twenty years and collaborated on multiple recordings.
The Halifax Chronicle Herald wrote the following about Jasper’s musicianship: “As an added gift, violinist Jasper Wood played… with a gorgeous sound and brilliant control of his instrument. Wood sounded like an entire violin section unto himself.”
In 2013, Jasper's CD project included a recording of the works of American composer Mathew Fuerst. Education and outreach have always been important to Jasper, and as such he regularly gives master classes in local schools.
Jasper resides in Vancouver with his wife, Grace, and two children. He is Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at the University of British Columbia. Jasper plays a 1914 Stefano Scarampella violin. See more about Jasper at www.jasperwood.net/en. | Back to Artists
Matthew Zalkind, cello
Praised for his "impressive refinement, eloquent phrasing, and singing tone" by The New York Times, American cellist Matthew Zalkind has performed throughout the United States and abroad as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician.
Matthew was awarded First Prize in the Washington International Competition, as well as top prizes in the Beijing International Cello Competition, Korea's Isang Yun Gyeongnam International Competition and the Juilliard School Competition. He also won distinction as the top-ranked American and one of the final eight concerto semi-finalists in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
As a soloist, Matthew has performed concerti with such organizations as the Moscow Chamber Players, the Albany Symphony, the Hongzhou Philharmonic, the Utah Symphony, the Tongyeong International Music Festival Orchestra, the Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra and the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with conductors Ludovic Morlot, Thierry Fischer, Giancarlo Guerrero, David Alan Miller and several others. He has given recitals at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the University of Michigan, Gardner Hall in Salt Lake City, the Moscow Conservatory, The Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago, The Juilliard School, the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater in Washington, DC and the Beijing Concert Hall.
An active chamber musician, Matthew has participated in numerous music festivals, including Marlboro and "Musicians from Marlboro" tours, Music from Angel Fire, Olympic Music Festival, Innsbrook Institute, Twickenham Festival, and Ravinia's Steans Music Institute. He has performed chamber music at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, Alice Tully Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a member of the internationally-acclaimed Harlem String Quartet, he toured with jazz legends Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and Gary Burton.
Matthew has a strong interest in teaching and outreach. He was awarded a Gluck Community Service Fellowship at The Juilliard School for four years, performing concerts at treatment facilities throughout the five boroughs of New York City. He is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music.
A Salt Lake City native, Matthew's primary mentors included Richard Hoyt, Pegsoon Whang, Timothy Eddy, Richard Aaron, and Hans Jørgen Jensen. He has Bachelors and Masters degrees from Juilliard, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan. Matthew plays on a rare Italian cello made by Florentine Maker Luigi Piatellini in 1760. | Back to Artists
Zhang Zuo, piano
An imaginative and electrifying performer, Zhang Zuo ("Zee Zee") has appeared with the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Belgium National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, among others. She has worked with leading conductors including Paavo Jarvi, Marin Alsop and Yan Pascal Tortelier and has appeared at some of the world's top festivals, such as the BBC Proms, the Ravinia Festival, and the Beethoven Festival in Poland.
Zee Zee has also had success with a series of solo recitals at notable halls around the world, including the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Lincoln Center, London's Wigmore Hall and De Doelen in Rotterdam.
For the upcoming season, Zee Zee looks forward to her debut at the Beijing Music Festival, her return to Warsaw with the Warsaw Philharmonic and Maestro Long Yu, as well as performances with the BBC Symphony and Andrew Litton and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
2015-16 also marks the final season of Zee Zee's two-year residency with the BBC's flagship New Generation Artists program. During her residency, she has given a number of orchestral concerts and recitals in London and around Great Britain. As an NGA artist, she has appeared with the BBC Philharmonic and BBC Ulster Orchestra with whom she performed a live, televised concert for the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall.
Zee Zee began her musical training in Germany at the age of five. Upon returning to her native China, she became one of the most sought after young artists in the nation, collaborating with leading Chinese orchestras, including the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic and Beijing Symphony Orchestra.
Having completed her piano studies with Dan Zhao Yi at the Shenzhen Arts School, Zee Zee was invited to continue her artistic development under the mentorship of Nelita True at the Eastman School of Music and Yoheved Kaplinsky and Robert McDonald at The Juilliard School, where she won the coveted Petschek Piano Award. Zee Zee was awarded first prizes at China's 1st International Piano Concerto Competition, the Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition in America, and the Krainev International Piano Competition in Ukraine; she was also a prizewinner at the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Competition. She currently studies at the Peabody Institute with Leon Fleisher and is honored to receive musical guidance from Alfred Brendel.
Zee Zee has been described as "full of enthusiasm and glamour, radiating the vigor of youth" (Chinese Gramophone). Her interpretations and communicative abilities have been praised as "taking us to another reality…bright, expressive and moving to the extreme" (Belgischer Rundfunk) while her creative maturity has been hailed as "a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry" (Los Angeles Times). | Back to Artists2015 Fellowship Quartet
Each summer the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival selects members of the Fellowship Quartet, a scholarship program made possible through a generous grant from the Betti Foundation. The quartet members are college students who are majoring in instrumental performance and planning to become professional musicians. Participating in the Festival gives these students opportunities to perform, teach, hone their skills and learn the technical aspects of concert production. For the two weeks of the Festival, the Fellowship Quartet perform free concerts at local venues around the Methow Valley, serving as the Festival's outreach ensemble. The students take lessons from the Festival's professional musicians and work backstage during the Centerstage concerts. They also practice their own instructional skills by working with string students at the Pipestone Summer Music Camp.
The 2016 Fellowship Quartet members are students at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, OH. Founded in 1865, Oberlin is the oldest continually operating music conservatory in the United States. This year's members are Asher Wulfman, violin; Delaney Meyers, violin; Stephen Hart, viola; and Miriam Liske-Doorandish, cello. | Back to Artists
Lynette Westendorf, lecturer
Emmy-award winning composer Dr. Lynette Westendorf has been composing and performing her original works in creative jazz and modern classical music for over forty years. She has five CDs of original works to her credit, and her experience has encompassed works for the recital stage, modern dance, theater, sound installation, documentary film, and audio recordings. From her earliest compositions, she has embraced multiple musical styles—from traditional folk, avant-garde jazz, modern classical, free improvisation, popular and eclectic styles. She designed and made a xylophone out of hub caps. Collaborating with the late sculptor Bernard Hosey, she recorded extensively, playing a 300-foot long aeolian harp. She often combines atypical styles into her unique artistic voice and readily seeks out creative collaborators. A successful composition, to Lynette, is one that cannot be described according to established norms.
Among her works are two orchestra commissions—her award-winning first symphony was premiered in Idaho in 1984, and the second was commissioned in 2009. Since that time, she has composed many works for choir, voice, piano, chamber ensembles of various instrumentation, and many jazz pieces in smaller form. Her works have been performed throughout the U.S., in England, Spain, Germany, and British Columbia. Throughout her life, Lynette has been a dedicated music teacher. She has maintained a private piano studio since the 1970s—in Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, and Washington. She has taught college level theory, as well as music theory and fundamentals on a community level, and she has coached ensembles in many styles of music. She has presented numerous pre-concert lecture/demos pertaining to modern music and is a sought-after accompanist.
Lynette is an outdoor enthusiast, rock collector, and a quilter. | Back to Artists
Dave Ward, star-gazer
David Ward has been looking at the stars for over 60 years. Inspired by a family tradition spanning many generations, his interest in astronomy has become a life-long pursuit. For the past 10 years, he has written a column about astronomy for the Methow Valley News. One of his favorite pastimes is sharing the wonders of the night sky with others. | Back to Artists
Dave Beck, host
Dave Beck is an award-winning host and producer at KING-FM radio in Seattle. Before joining KING-FM, Dave got his start in 1985 at KUOW, as classical music host and music director. In 1993 Dave was promoted to co-host and interviewer on the KUOW programs The Beat, Weekday, and KUOW Presents.
Dave's national and regional broadcast honors include the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) Award for Best Interview, and the Society of Professional Journalists Northwest Regional Excellence Award. Dave is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Classical Music Journalism.
An active musician (cellist) as well as broadcaster, Dave is a member of the Auburn Symphony Orchestra, and he has played as Principal Cellist of the Bellevue Philharmonic and Seattle Philharmonic orchestras. He is currently a member of the Simple Measures board of directors. Dave has served as board president of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras and performed in the Seattle-based chamber music society Klassikon and in the Bravura String Quartet. | Back to Artists
Verne Windham, host
Verne Windham came to Spokane in 1971 to become Principal Horn of the Spokane Symphony, having played in the orchestra while in high school in the 1960s. At the same time he became French horn instructor at Washington State University.
While in the symphony, Verne founded many music groups, which played everything from baroque to modern music. Two highlights were RSVP, a trio that played classical music in Henny's bar, and the Spokane Falls Brass Band, famous for ragtime and other American music.
In the 1980s Verne began announcing for the fledgling public radio station KPBX, becoming its music director in the early 1990s and, more recently, its program director.
In 1996 Verne found his dream job, as conductor of the freshest, most exciting and second-best orchestra in the region, the Spokane Youth Orchestra. Verne had previously conducted the Spokane Symphony on educational tours and at the Festival at Sandpoint. He has also conducted for Spokane Opera and Spokane Ballet.
Verne is married to the soprano Susan Windham. Their children sing and play drums and tuba. | Back to Artists
Ki Gottberg, reader
Ki (rhymes with "hi") is an accomplished director, actor, playwright, and 25-year professor at Seattle University. Her work has been produced in theaters in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. She is extremely well-respected in the U.S. theater community and is currently artistic director of the Merc Playhouse in Twisp. She and her husband, Marty Cole, own a home in Mazama. | Back to Artists
Mark Johnson, reader
Mark is a talented musician, educator, and composer residing in the Methow Valley. His career has led him from the Midwest throughout the country to his current position as music teacher for the Methow Valley Elementary School. | Back to Artists
Carolanne Steinebach, reader
Carolanne’s performance career spans seven decades. At the age of four, she appeared on stage at Carnegie Hall as the tiniest cherub in a Christmas pageant. After a short career as a dancer, she retired, only to return to the stage as an actor and director. With her husband she founded the Merc Playhouse in Twisp, while embarking on a new phase of her artist’s life by studying violin, an endeavor she pursues to this day. "How does one go from Carnegie Hall to the stage at Signal Hill?" says Carolanne. "Practice, practice, practice!" | Back to Artists