Gloria Chien & Soovin Kim, CMNW Artistic Directors
In the twelve months since the COVID lockdown prohibited groups to attend live concerts, Chamber Music Northwest has continued to present outstanding performances by world-renowned artists by streaming concerts online. Last summer, when it became evident that we would not be able to present the 50th anniversary festival we had been planning, we quickly pivoted to create an entirely new Summer Festival, curated from archived performance tapes, plus five new performances that were produced specifically for CMNW.
Our new Co-Artistic Directors, Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim, assumed their leadership role in October, 2020, creating our very first season of online concerts. The 2020-21 season is bringing incredible performances that were recorded specifically for Chamber Music Northwest. We share each of these nine concerts for a seven-day period. The diverse season includes the Catalyst, Goldmund and Parker Quartets; Anthony McGill, clarinet, Alisa Weilerstein, cello, and Fleur Barron, mezzo soprano; pianists Gloria Chien Marc-André Hamelin and Julius Drake. Chien and Kim have also created thoughtful Musical Conversations, recording interviews with artists, composers, and experts in the chosen topic the illuminates and enhances the concert experience. Topics include “Diversity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Arts”, with Aaron Dworkin, founder of the Sphynx organization; “The Art of the Single Voice” with composer Joan Tower; and Musically Integrated” with composer/violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama. These Musical Conversations are all accessible on the cmnw.org website as a resource for everyone.
A wonderful as these programs are, and they are actually reaching a wider audience than our live concerts have done in the past, there is nothing that can truly replace the connection between artist and audience in a live performance. This summer, all indications are that small gatherings will be allowed, and we are excited to plan a four-week festival with concerts and education activities that will be available to both live and online audiences. so we are planning
Our proposed Summer Festival includes:
Week 1: East Coast Chamber Orchestra in residence, performing two diverse concert programs (2 performances of each), and a variety of education and community engagement activities, including a possible event at the Japanese Garden.
Week 2: A celebration of Artistic Director Emeritus David Shifrin, featuring him in several concerts performing his favorite works, including the world premiere of a new clarinet concerto, commissioned by CMNW from composer David Ludwig. The week will also feature our world premiere of a chamber opera by Marc Neikrug. “A Song by Mahler” traces the journey of a soprano and her spouse/accompanist as she battles with Alzheimer’s disease. The work was co-commissioned by CMNW with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, La Jolla Music Society for Summerfest, and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Week 3: Two world premieres! A piano quintet written and performed by Matan Porat (with the outstanding Dover Quartet), and a duet by Pierre Jalbert, performed by Branford Marsalis (saxophone) and Jason Vieaux (guitar). Other featured artists include pianists Marc-André Hamelin and Gloria Chien, violinist Soovin Kim and percussionists Ian Rosenbaum and Ayano Kataoka, performing works by Bartok, Schumann and Leo Ornstein.
Week 4: Our 2021-22 Artists-in-Residence, the Brentano Quartet, performing works by Schubert, Mozart, Kodaly, Bartok and Bruce Adolophe, and bass/baritone Davóne Tines performing Barber’s Dover Beach and his Recital #!: Mass, which weaves together European and African American traditions.
Concerts will be performed either in a socially-distanced indoor venue such as Kaul Auditorium (Reed College), and/or in an outdoor venue. Each concert will be recorded, to be streamed online to our rapidly growing internet audience. Additionally, we partner with All Classical radio to feature CMNW artists in live studio performances and in radio broadcasts of our concerts, reaching another estimated 75,000 people.
In addition to the concerts, CMNW will offer both in-person and online education programs, available for free to all. Activities will include
- Education and Community visits by musicians to student music camps, community centers, and youth service programs.Musicians will coach student ensembles, perform diverse interactive programs, and share stories of music in our lives, (student and professionals) and how the past year of the pandemic has changed the performing arts world.
- Family Concert: Narrated concert appropriate for children aged pre-school through middle school, and their families.
- Masterclasses: Artists offer masterclasses and coaching for young musicians. The masterclasses will be recorded and available for anyone to view on our website. Our goal is to build our online library of masterclasses so that instrumentalists can access instructional sessions based on instrument and specific pieces of repertoire.
- Open Rehearsals: Each week, we will invite audiences to observe the process of creating music.
- Conversation with the Composer: This summer we will have 4 composers present for the world premiere of their commissioned work. They will share their thoughts about their pieces and hold Q&A with audience members.
- Musical Conversations: Continuing in our new format, we will introduce each concert with a Musical Conversations, engaging experts in topics which illuminate and enhance understanding of the concert program they precede.
Your gift through GlobalGiving help make this music accessible to everyone, by underwriting the distribution of free tickets through our education and community partners to those members of our community who most needed this assistance. Thank you!
Branford Marsalis, saxophone