OICMF Artistic Director Aloysia Friedmann, in consultation with Executive Director Anita Orne and Board President Sam Coleman, is thrilled to announce a major online initiative to feature the Miró Quartet performing the complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets, produced by the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival.
“It became clear that it is not possible to present an in-person festival in August,” said Aloysia, “and only musicians who are quarantined together can perform live chamber music online. I am incredibly grateful to the members of the Miró Quartet for being so accommodating with their personal schedules to make these online concerts possible.”
This subscription-based online concert series will occur in July and August and will take the place of both the originally planned in-person Miró Quartet performances, and the planned annual August Festival. The Miró Quartet will perform live from their hometown of Austin, Texas. These online concerts will be shorter in length, and feature opportunities for members of the Miró Quartet to answer viewer questions.
Aloysia commented, “I am not aware of another organization or string quartet of this caliber planning on presenting the complete Beethoven Cycle online. Given the special relationship between OICMF and the Miró Quartet, and this special Beethoven 250th Anniversary year, I am especially happy that we are able to present these concerts.” Following this concert series, Aloysia is planning an ‘encore weekend’ of online events: “I’ve been speaking to our guest artists about creative ways they can perform from their homes to yours.”
After speaking with Aloysia about the online performances, OICMF Board President Sam Coleman commented, “It’s exciting that there’s this wonderful opportunity in this new world we’re now living in, to still bring live music to all of you, and to an even broader audience.”
More details about this summer’s online offerings will be forthcoming, and Executive Director Anita Orne will be in touch soon with options for those who purchased tickets to the June Beethoven concerts. Updates will be posted at www.oicmf.org.
(Posted May 21, 2020)
As rapid changes surrounding the COVID-19 virus have taken over world news and our daily lives, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival continues to make plans for sharing music with our audiences in more diverse ways than ever during the 2020 season. Artistic Director Aloysia Friedmann has put together an extraordinary 23rd Festival, and we look forward to August 7 – 22, which will be filled with powerful and moving music performed by many familiar artists and several more who will make their first OICMF appearances.
While we remain optimistic about our summer Festival, world events may prevent us from bringing our series of concerts to theater audiences on Orcas Island in August, so Aloysia is working on novel and creative ways enable us to still present the Festival’s music for our patrons.
Due to the potential of the COVID-19 outbreak not being over soon enough, the decision has been made that the Miró Quartet’s June 17 – 25 performances of Beethoven’s complete string quartet cycle will not occur before live audiences on Orcas Island. Please don’t worry just yet about not hearing these concerts or getting a ticket refund, though! We are exploring a way for our Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival music lovers to attend these live Miró Quartet performances from the safety of your homes.
Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival understands that ongoing changes to the public health situation make it difficult for our patrons to make plans. However, we still encourage you to purchase your Festival tickets when they are released. Your ticket purchases for all OICMF events during the 2020 season are fully refundable for any concert or event that does not occur, or if you are unable to attend. You may instead choose to turn all or part of your ticket purchases into a contribution that supports ongoing productions of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival.
The health and safety of our patrons, artists, volunteers, and staff are our primary concerns. We will provide updates in the coming weeks on our website, email newsletter, and through local media sources should there be any changes to the Festival’s plans.
We wish you good health and look forward to seeing all of you as soon as possible!
(posted April 22, 2020)
Unfortunately, due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s April 12 Salon Concert with violinist Nikki Chooi and pianist Lisa Bergman is postponed to a future date. We look forward to hearing from Nikki when his schedule brings him back to the Northwest in the future.
Check the website and look for our Scherzo newsletter in your email for OICMF concert and Festival news.
(Posted Feb. 27, 2020)
The COVID-19 crisis has quickly turned the world upside down. Unfortunately, it has impacted the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival as well, and we are choosing to follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, causing us to postpone our Musician-in-Residence, violinist Monique Mead, March 16 – 18. This is a huge disappointment to all of us, but we’re sure this news doesn’t come as a surprise, given all of the cancellations, closings, and states of emergency we are hearing of in the daily news. We thank you in advance for your understanding, and we will let you know when we reschedule Monique’s visit.
At this time, we still plan to present our April 12 Nikki Chooi Salon Concert and May 10-12 Mak Grgic residency, but we will continue to follow recommendations and guidelines from public health officials, as our patrons’ health and safety are our primary concern. We shall provide updates on our website, email list, and local media sources as information becomes available.
We wish you good health and look forward to seeing all of you as soon as possible!
(Posted Feb. 28, 2020)
(edited April 22, 2020)
The Miró Quartet performs all 16 of the Beethoven string quartets in honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. The quartets will be performed in the order in which Beethoven composed them in a series of concerts. For more information about Orcas Island Chamber Music’s presentation of the Beethoven quartets, click here.
Miró Quartet Concert Order for Beethoven’s String Quartets
String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3
- Andante con moto
String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2
- Adagio cantabile – Allegro
- Scherzo: Allegro
- Allegro molto, quasi Presto
String Quartet No. 1 in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1
- Allegro con brio
- Adagio Affettuoso ed appassionato
- Scherzo: Allegro molto
String Quartet No. 5 in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5
- Andante cantabile – Variazioni 1-5 – Poco Adagio
String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
- Allegro ma non tanto
- Scherzo: Andante scherzoso quasi Allegretto
- Menuetto: Allegretto
- Allegro – Prestissimo
String Quartet No. 6 in B-flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6
- Allegro con brio
- Adagio ma non troppo
- Scherzo: Allegro
- La Malinconia: (Questo pezzo si deve trattare colla più gran delicatezza.)
- Adagio – Allegretto Quasi Allegro
String Quartet No. 7 in F Major, “Razumovsky” Op. 59, No. 1
- Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando
- Adagio molto e mesto –
- Thème Russe: Allegro
String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, “Razumovsky” Op. 59, No. 2
- Molto adagio (Si tratta questo pezzo con molto di sentimento.)
- Allegretto; Maggiore (Thème Russe)
- Finale: Presto
String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, “Razumovsky” Op. 59, No. 3
- Introduzione: Andante con moto – Allegro vivace
- Andante con moto quasi Allegretto
- Menuetto (Grazioso) –
- Allegro molto
String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major, Op. 74, “Harp”
- Poco Adagio – Allegro
- Adagio ma non troppo
- Presto – Più presto quasi Prestissimo –
- Allegretto con Variazioni
String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95, “Serioso”
- Allegro con brio
- Allegretto ma non troppo –
- Allegro assai vivace ma serioso
- Larghetto espressivo – Allegretto agitato
String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat Major, Op. 127
- Maestoso – Allegro
- Adagio, ma non troppo e molto cantabile –
- Andante con moto – Adagio molto espressivo
- Scherzando vivace – Presto
- Finale – Allegro con moto
String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132
- Assai sostenuto – Allegro
- Allegro ma non tanto
- Molto Adagio (Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart.) – Andante (Neue Kraft fühlend.)
- Alla Marcia, assai vivace –
- Allegro appassionato
String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Major, Op. 130 (and 133)
- Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro
- Andante con moto ma non troppo: Poco scherzoso
- Alla danza tedesca: Allegro assai
- Cavatina: Adagio molto espressivo
Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 (in B-flat Major)
- Overtura: Allegro – Meno mosso e moderato – Allegro – Fuga – Meno mosso e moderato – Allegro molto e con brio
String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131
(All movements performed without pause)
- No. 1: Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo
- No. 2: Allegro molto vivace
- No. 3: Allegro moderato – Adagio
- No. 4: Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile
- No. 5: Presto
- No. 6: Adagio quasi un poco andante
- No. 7: Allegro
String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, Op. 135
- Lento assai, cantante e tranquillo
- Der schwer gefasste Entschluss (The conclusion grasped with difficulty):
Grave, ma non troppo tratto (Muss es sein?/Must it be?) –
Allegro (Es muss sein!/It must be!)
String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130
- Finale: Allegro (Substitute finale)
COVID-19 Update (April 2, 2020)
In honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is exploring options to move forward with the Miró Quartet’s performances of the Beethoven string quartets in June of 2020. Because of the worldwide COVID-19 virus, the Miró Quartet will not travel to Orcas Island for the concerts in June, as originally planned. Instead, OICMF and the Miró Quartet are working with leaders in the concert broadcasting industry to bring the complete cycle of Beethoven’s string concerts to our audiences remotely from the Miró Quartet’s home city of Austin, Texas. At this point, we don’t know whether the Beethoven quartets will be presented as scheduled or if there will be a different schedule of the performances. Updates will be posted here and in our Scherzo newsletter as more information becomes available.
If you have already purchased tickets for the Beethoven concerts, we encourage you to hold onto them for the time being. We anticipate creating a way to transfer your tickets from our Orcas Center ticket vendor to a streaming platform; we will let all Miró-Beethoven ticket holders know when this is in place. Because of the uncertainty around the COVID-19 virus, Beethoven concert tickets are fully refundable, but we hope you will be able to join the Miró Quartet for the concerts from the comfort of your own home!
In this concert series, the Miró Quartet performs the pieces in the order in which Beethoven composed them. In 1799, Beethoven gave a friend a copy of Quartet no. 1 from Opus 18 (his first series of six quartets). Soon after, he wrote to his friend, telling him to “show no one this quartet, as I am currently revising it, now that finally I know how to write quartets!” Beethoven wrote this series of quartets over a period of several years, and he revised many of them over time, sometimes replacing entire movements. Each of Beethoven’s quartets expresses his physical and emotional state over the time he was writing it; anxiety over his increasing deafness and the cultural changes in Vienna and the Western world were great influences on his compositions.
When asked about these concerts, Aloysia Friedmann, Artistic Director of Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, stated, “String quartets are considered to be the pinnacle of a composer’s art, and the Beethoven cycle of quartets are universally acknowledged to be the greatest of them all.” For a list of the quartets, in the order they will be performed, click here.
The Miró Quartet, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s Quartet-in-Residence, performs regularly at the August festival on Orcas, as well as on many of the world’s most prestigious stages, and in 2005 became the first ensemble ever to be awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Deeply committed to music education, the Miró Quartet members, violinists Daniel Ching and William Fedkenheuer, violist John Largess, and cellist Joshua Gindele, have served as the Faculty String Quartet-in-Residence at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin since 2003. Visit the Miró Quartet at miroquartet.com.
Over the course of four Sunday evening interactive video sessions, Adam Stern will teach the rudiments of conducting and share his own experiences as a conductor, imparting information from the purely technical to the highly personal and anecdotal, which will provide a broad understanding of one of music’s most elusive and misunderstood facets. Particular attention will be paid to the dangers and delights of interpretation – how to come as close to a composer’s wishes as possible without abusing the power of the podium. Attendees will be encouraged to ask questions at the conclusion of each session, whether about composers and conductors, the physical actions that everyone sees, or the very private communing with scores that is at the heart of the conductor’s art. Be warned: Stern’s no-holds-barred approach to his subject may just make you think twice about certain conductors from here on in!
Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival presents these four Zoom interactive video workshops on a large screen at Orcas Island Public Library at 7:00 pm on four Sundays, January 19th and 26th and February 2nd and 9th. All who are interested in gaining insights into the art of conducting are welcome to attend, from conductors of instrumental and choral groups, to musicians who want to learn more about this aspect of performing, to music lovers and appreciators. People who would like to participate but won’t be on Orcas for the workshops can join remotely via the internet.
Through a generous grant from the Gould Family Foundation, these live video sessions are free. To preregister for any or all of the four Conducting Workshop sessions, or to learn how to participate remotely, contact Tracy at Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 360-376-6636.
The dates for Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s 23rd Season are Friday, August 7, through Saturday, August 22, 2020, and with great optimism during the worldwide COVID-19 crisis, Artistic Director Aloysia Friedmann continues to make plans for sharing music with our audiences during this unusual season. In the event that it is not possible for OICMF to present our live concerts on Orcas Island by August, Aloysia is working with leaders in the music technology industry on novel and creative ways that will enable us to bring the Festival’s artists and music to our patrons in their homes via live streaming. Please continue to check this website and our Scherzo newsletter for Festival updates.
Now – more than ever – the arts are essential to our lives, and our 2020 Festival will be filled with powerful and moving music to lift up and warm our hearts and souls. Aloysia Friedmann has gathered a stellar ensemble of familiar artists and several more who will make their first OICMF appearances this season. Among the many new artists to our summer Festival is the Montrose Trio, violinist Martin Beaver, cellist Clive Greensmith, and pianist (and our Artistic Advisor) Jon Kimura Parker), but many audience members will recognize the group from the Festival’s lovely 2015 Leaves of Gold Concert in the Music Room at Rosario Resort. Other first-time Festival guests are LA Chamber Orchestra flutist Sandy Hughes, San Diego Symphony principal violinist Jeff Thayer, Seattle Symphony bassoonist Dana Jackson, Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra hornist Rodger Burnett, Minnesota Symphony violinist Cecilia Belcher, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra cellist Richard Belcher. Patrons who were here for the 2016 Festival will recognize returning cellist Lachezar Kostov and pianist Viktor Valkov, and, while the Miró Quartet won’t be here as an ensemble this August, current and former Miró Quartet violinists Sandy Yamamoto, Daniel Ching, and William Fedkenheuer join the Festival as individual artists. OICMF also welcomes back recent Festival performers Toby Hoffman, violist from Portugal, Spanish clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester, and New York Philharmonic double-bassist David Grossman. The full roster of 2020 Season artists and the concert repertoire will appear on this website very soon!
Because of COVID-19 safety issues for our staff and ticket vendors, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival tickets will be released later than usual this season, most likely late spring or early summer. Ticket sales will open for donors of $2,000 and up 4 weeks before tickets are available to the public, and ticket sales for donors of $600 and up begin 2 weeks before box-office ticket release. Our season brochure will be mailed out at least a month before box office sales are open; contact Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival at email@example.com to be added to our mailing list.
Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival understands that ongoing changes to the public health situation make it difficult for our patrons to make plans. However, we still encourage you to purchase your Festival tickets when they are released. Your ticket purchases for all OICMF events during the 2020 season are fully refundable for any concert or event that does not occur or that you are unable to attend. You may instead choose to turn all or part of your ticket purchases into a contribution that supports ongoing productions of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival.
Mark your calendars! At 5:30 pm on Thursday, December 19, the Music Room in the mansion at Rosario Resort will again be the setting for the 2019 Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival Leaves of Gold Concert. OICMF Artistic Director Aloysia Friedmann, violin, and Artistic Advisor and pianist Jon Kimura Parker will be joined by horn player William VerMeulen and violinist Sylvia VerMeulen, who have been enthusiastically received by past Festival audiences.
The concert will include works by J.S. Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann, Paul Basler, and John Williams, along with familiar holiday tunes. You won’t want to miss this early evening concert, which is followed by a lavish buffet dinner in the Mansion Dining Room. Rosario goes all out to set a warm, festive holiday atmosphere in the Mansion with twinkling lights and festoons of decorations amid the many colorful holiday trees.
Aloysia Friedmann founded Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival in 1998 with a one-weekend concert series. The Festival has grown into a two-plus-week series of summer concerts and outreach activities in the San Juan Islands, along with educational events and concerts throughout the year. Since 2016, Ms. Friedmann has sat on the board of Chamber Music America, and in 2018 she was named a Musical America Top Professional of the Year. She serves as Associate Concertmaster for the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and performs with the Houston Grand Opera. She also performs in numerous chamber music festivals, including Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, Napa Valley’s Music in the Vineyards, the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Northwest, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
A true Canadian ambassador of music, Jon Kimura Parker has given command performances for Queen Elizabeth II, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Prime Ministers of Canada and Japan. He is an Officer of The Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian honor, and he was recently appointed Artistic Director of the Honens International Competition and Festival in Calgary, Alberta. Beginning in 2020, he will be the Creative Partner for Summer Programming at the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, where he will host, perform in, and help design its summer shows. Mr. Parker’s concerto performances are in high demand among the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonie, and London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. A committed educator, Jon Kimura Parker is Professor of Piano at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.
Sylvia VerMeulen has been a member of the first violin sections of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet orchestras for more than 20 years. She is a leading freelance player in Houston and has recorded with the Houston and Columbus symphonies. She has also been a first violinist with the Sun Valley Music Festival for the past 22 years, and as a chamber musician, she has collaborated in many prestigious chamber music festivals. Ms. VerMeulen made her concerto debut at the age of seventeen with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra after winning First Prize in the Dallas Symphony Young Artist Competition, and she received her advanced training at Indiana University with Paul Biss, Joseph Gingold, and Henryk Kowalski.
Hailed as “one of today’s superstars of the international brass scene,” William VerMeulen leads a varied musical life as a soloist, orchestral principal, chamber musician, master teacher, and music publisher. Mr. VerMeulen has been Principal Horn of the Houston Symphony since 1990 and is a performer and on faculty with several music festivals and chamber music presenters, including Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music @ Menlo, Banff, Tanglewood, Santa Fe, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, where he also serves as Principal Horn. Mr. VerMeulen is Professor of Horn at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and Brass Artist-in-Residence at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School.
Tickets for the Leaves of Gold Concert and post-concert dinner are $150, $75 of which is tax-deductible to the extent allowable by the IRS. Contact the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival office at (360) 376-6636 or firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets and more concert information.
In honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770; actual birth date assumed to be one or two days before), Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is pleased to announce that the complete Beethoven String Quartet Cycle, performed by the Miró Quartet, will return in June of 2020. The Cycle will consist of six concerts on June 17th, 18th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, and 25th, all performed at Orcas Center in Eastsound, Washington. Tickets for the Beethoven Quartet Cycle concerts will be available beginning January 31, 2019 – for now, save the dates!
(posted Aug. 22, 2019)