Romantic Strings

Merc Playhouse | February 18 at 7:00 pm

Kevin Krentz, Artistic Director

2017 Valentine Concert Program

Sold out for the 3rd year in a row!

Kevin Krentz has something to say...

Did I just break the rules by programming two lush romantic pieces in one concert? No, I say! One piece is Slavic, by Dvořák, and the other is Russian, by Arensky.  Still not convinced?  Consider this: each piece presents a unique and deeply magical ensemble combination—one having two cellos and the other a bass!  

Besides, it's a Valentine concert, so what better time for a feast of romantic music! Especially when the Arensky features two couples performing together as a quartet. That has to count for something.

What I have done to balance your musical meal is give you a bright crisp apple salad with plenty of tart zing to go with your steak and potatoes. The Weichlein, a kind of "Baroque Schubert Quintet," will introduce to our stage the fabulous Ingrid Matthews, an internationally-known Baroque specialist. Although plenty of music during the Baroque period was played by small groups, the pieces were not written for specific set ensembles as they are today. Ingrid has arranged a gorgeous way for our ensemble to play this particular piece.

Come watch the courageous Ms. Matthews vault from the Baroque to the Romantic period for the Dvorak, joining all of us onstage for a terrific show.   

—Kevin Krentz, Artistic Director

SATURDAYMerc Playhouse 2/18/2017

6:15 pm   Doors open
7:00 pm   Valentine Concert, hosted by Verne Windham , with passion and poetry.

Prelude and Passacaglia

  Romanus Weichlein (1652–1706)
arr. Ingrid Matthews

String Quartet No.2, Op.35 (for violin, viola, and two cellos)

  Anton Arensky (1861-1906)

  • Moderato
  • (Variations sur un theme de P. Tschaikowsky) Moderato
  • Finale: Andante sostenuto


String Quintet (with Bass) No.2, Op.77, (B. 49)

 Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)

  • Allegro con fuoco
  • Scherzo: Allegro vivace
  • Poco andante
  • Finale: Allegro assai



Ervin Luka Sešek, violin | Ingrid Matthews, violin | Amber Archibald, viola | Kevin Krentz, cello | Haeyoon Shin, cello | Todd Larsen, bass


2017 Valentine Concert Artists

Saturday, February 18

Amber Archibald, viola | Kevin Krentz, cello | Todd Larsen, bass | Ingrid Matthews, violin | Ervin Luka Sešek, violin | Haeyoon Shin, cello | with host Verne Windham

Amber Archibald, violaAmber Archibald

Amber Archibald, viola

Amber Archibald has been praised for her bold and vivacious playing that matches her personality. ARTS! Houston Magazine exclaims that her technique is “seemingly effortless…precise,” and that she is “a natural in every sense.” As a soloist, her career highlights include performances at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany and with the Seattle Symphony. Her collaborative career has allowed her to perform at major venues and festivals throughout the United States and Europe such as Benaroya Hall, Kimmel Center, University of Washington World Series, Raleigh Chamber Music Guild Series, and our own Methow Valley Music Festival. Amber was a member of the Young Eight string octet, an all Afro heritage ensemble devoted to spreading a positive message through classical and hip-hop music to underserved communities. Keeping her career diverse, Amber regularly plays with the Seattle Modern Orchestra, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, and the Auburn Symphony.

Amber is married to violinist Ervin Luka Sešek and is the violist of the Burgos Ensemble. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, watching documentaries, and cheering for the Seattle Seahawks. | Back to Artists

Kevin Krentz, celloKevin Krentz

Kevin Krentz, cello, and
Artistic Director

Kevin Krentz enjoys a multi-faceted career as a performer, teacher, inventor, and artistic director of the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival since 2008.

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. | Back to Artists

Todd Larsen, bassTodd Larsen

Todd Larsen, bass

Todd Larsen, principal bassist for the Pacific Northwest Ballet orchestra, has performed as auditioned principal or assistant principal for many ensembles, including the Seattle Opera, NW Sinfonietta, Oregon Bach Festival, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Spokane Symphony, Whidbey Island Music Festival, and Seattle Symphony. This past December, Todd performed with the Canadian Pacific Baroque Orchestra on their J.S. Bach Christmas Magnificat tour, a Northwest Baroque Masterworks presentation arranged in collaboration with the Early Music Vancouver, Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Early Music Society of the Islands. Todd belongs to the Viola Da Gamba Society. | Back to Artists

Ingrid Matthews, violinIngrid Matthews

Ingrid Matthews, violin

Ingrid Matthews is well established as one of the premier baroque violinists of her generation. She won first prize in the Erwin Bodky International Competition for Early Music in 1989 and was a member of Toronto's Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra before founding the Seattle Baroque Orchestra with Byron Schenkman; she served as its Music Director from 1994 to 2013.

Ingrid has performed extensively around the world with many of today's leading early music ensembles, appearing as a soloist and/or guest director with groups including the New York Collegium, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Bach Sinfonia (Washington DC), Ars Lyrica (Houston), Musica Angelica (Los Angeles), New Trinity Baroque (Atlanta), and numerous others. She has won high critical acclaim for a discography ranging from the earliest Italian violin music through the Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach, "the finest complete set of these works," according to Third Ear's Classical Music Listening Companion. She has taught at Indiana University, the University of Toronto, Oberlin College, the University of Washington, the University of Southern California/Los Angeles, and the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Ingrid also plays jazz and swing styles and is active as a visual artist. | Back to Artists

Ervin Luka Sesek, violinErvin Luka Sešek

Ervin Luka Sešek, violin

Known for his rich and vibrant tone, violinist Ervin Luka Sešek brings passion, energy and a great sense of communication to his audience. Originally from Belgrade, Serbia, and raised in Slovenia, Luka has won several top prizes in international competitions including the Republic of Slovenia Competition for Young Musicians, the Petar Konjović Competition in Serbia, and others in Italy, Croatia and the Czech Republic.

Rising internationally as a soloist, Luka has performed with several orchestras in Eastern Europe including the St. George Orchestra in Serbia and the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra.  A sought after chamber musician, he recently collaborated with principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Robert deMaine. He was a fellowship student in chamber music from 2012 to 2014 at the Burgos International Summer Music Festival in Spain as well as the 2013 Summit Music Festival in Purchase, New York. | Back to Artists

Haeyoon Shin, celloHaeyoon Shin

Haeyoon Shin, cello

Haeyoon Shin is an active performer and teacher in Seattle, having returned home after receiving her Artist Diploma at Yale University School of Music as a part of the prestigious studio of Aldo Parisot. She was an avid chamber musician at Yale as an active member of several chamber groups. Her piano trio performed at the prestigious Vista Chamber Concert, after having been selected from several nominated groups throughout Yale. She has been invited to the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Great Mountains Chamber Music Festival, and was an inaugural member of the Birdfoot Chamber Music Festival. | Back to Artists

Verne Windham, host of the 2013 Methow Valley Chamber Music FestivalVerne Windham

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

2017 Board of Directors

  • Jane Orme, President
  • Dave Chantler, Vice President
  • Anne Peck, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Howard Johnson
  • Lynn Swan
  • Carolanne Steinebach
  • Robin Nelson Wicks
  • Kevin Krentz, Artistic Director
  • Liz Johnson, Executive Director

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