You could feel a collective, welcoming sigh from audiences as the quiet notes of the traditional “Prologue” composition opened six Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival concerts following a two-year Covid hiatus and change of venues.
Festival organizers proclaimed the two-week event, June 16-25, an overall success. Beth and Eric Blank at Twisp Terrace Lodge provided both an elegant setting and savory cuisine for pre-concert picnic dinners. As in years past, Artistic Director Kevin Kretz, Seattle, gathered virtuoso performers to present a range of compositions from familiar classics to transformational contemporary.
Most audience members were seated inside a performance space that combined mountain views with ideal acoustics. In addition, the festival launched an outdoor alternative, providing concert-quality earphones and a large screen for viewing before the dramatic background of the North Cascades — at a lower ticket price. Audience response to both options was highly favorable.
The musicians also performed informally at various venues throughout the Valley and welcomed audiences to “open” rehearsals. While Krentz recruits acclaimed musicians from around the world, festival organizers emphasize that local volunteers and support of Valley businesses have always been essential to the festival’s success. Plans are already underway for 2023.