COVID-19 Updates

The daily changes surrounding the COVID-19 virus have quickly turned the world upside down. Unfortunately, the situation has impacted the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival as well, causing us to postpone our March Musician-in-Residence, Monique Mead, and our April 12 Salon Concert with Nikki Chooi and Lisa Bergman. 

At this time, we still plan to present our May 10-12 Musician-in-Residence, Mak Grgic, but we will continue to follow recommendations and guidelines from public health officials and will update patrons about changes to our upcoming events through our website and email newsletters.  

OICMF is optimistically continuing to prepare for the August 7 – 22 Festival, as well as the Miró Quartet’s June 17 – 25 performances of Beethoven’s complete string quartet cycle. We understand that the ongoing changes to this public health situation make it difficult for our patrons to plan ahead, but we encourage you to purchase your Festival tickets when they are released. Your ticket purchases for all OICMF events this season are fully refundable for any concert or event that does not occur, or if your plans change and you are not able to attend. You may also choose to turn all or part of your ticket purchases into a contribution that supports the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival.

The health and safety of our patrons, artists, volunteers, and staff are our primary concerns, and we shall provide updates on our website, email newsletter, and local media sources as more information becomes available.

We wish you good health and look forward to seeing all of you as soon as possible!

Guitarist Mak Grgic Returns for Concerts May 10-12, 2020

Mak Grgic performed to enthusiastic audiences in concerts at the 2019 Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. Patrons will remember his exciting Macedonian pieces and Romanian folk dances, both solos and duos with LA Philharmonic concertmaster Martin Chalifour, and Festival volunteers will recall his post-Festival performance with violinist Chee-Yun at the Volunteer Celebration at OrcaSong Farm. Mak returns to Orcas May 10 as OICMF’s Musician-in-Residence for an action-packed three days of concerts and teaching moments on Orcas, Shaw, and Lopez Islands.

On May 10, Mak returns to OrcaSong Farm for a Community Concert in one of the farm’s event spaces. Tickets for the concert will be $10 for adults and tickets for youth 18 and younger are free. Tickets for the Community Concert will be available in April.Grgic-Mak-2020-oicmf-2

May 11 is a busy day for Mak, beginning with a casual “pop-up” on the 10:35 Inter-Island ferry, circumnavigating the ferry-served islands with a stop on Shaw Island to entertain and work with the students at the Shaw School, then on to Lopez Island for an afternoon Salon Concert at a beautiful home.

Mak is back on Orcas Island on May 12 for some daytime fun, very likely popping up and playing for customers at Eastsound businesses.

More information about Mak’s May residency will be coming soon, including ticketing information for the May 10 Community Concert and the May 11 Lopez Island Salon Concert.

POSTPONED – Nikki Chooi and Lisa Bergman Salon Concert April 12, 2020

Nikki-Chooi-2020Unfortunately, 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.

POSTPONED – Monique Mead March Events

Dear friends,


Violinist Monique Mead

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!

Miró Quartet Complete Beethoven String Quartets Concert Program Order for June 17 – 25, 2020


Photo credit to Naoya Ikegami for Suntory Hall

In honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, the Miró Quartet performs all 16 of the Beethoven string quartets in six concerts at 7:00 pm on June 17th, 18th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, and 25th. The quartets will be performed in the order in which Beethoven composed them. All concerts are at Orcas Center in Eastsound, Washington, and tickets are available beginning on January 31st at noon. For more information, click here.

Concert 1 June 17, 2020 – 7:00 pm

String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3

  • Allegro
  • Andante con moto
  • Allegro
  • Presto

String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2

  • Allegro
  • 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
  • Allegro

Concert 2 June 18, 2020 – 7:00 pm

String Quartet No. 5 in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5

  • Allegro
  • Menuetto
  • Andante cantabile – Variazioni 1-5 – Poco Adagio
  • Allegro

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

Concert 3 June 21, 2020 – 7:00 pm

String Quartet No. 7 in F Major, “Razumovsky” Op. 59, No. 1

  • Allegro
  • Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando
  • Adagio molto e mesto –
  • Thème Russe: Allegro


String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, “Razumovsky” Op. 59, No. 2

  • Allegro
  • 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

Concert 4 June 22, 2020 – 7:00 pm

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

Concert 5 June 24, 2020 – 7:00 pm

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
  • Presto
  • 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

Concert 6 June 25, 2020 – 7:00 pm

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

  • Allegretto
  • Vivace
  • 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)

Miró Quartet Performs the Complete Beethoven String Quartets June 17 – 25, 2020


Photo credit to Jeff Wilson

In honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is pleased to announce that the complete cycle of Beethoven String Quartets will be performed by the Miró Quartet in June of 2020. Beethoven’s 16 quartets will be performed over the course of six concerts at 7:00 pm on June 17th, 18th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, and 25th at Orcas Center in Eastsound, Washington.

When asked about this concert series, 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.” Beethoven wrote this series of quartets over a period of several years, and he revised many of them over time, sometimes replacing entire movements.

The Miró Quartet performs the pieces in the order in which Beethoven composed them, and each concert features two or three of these grand works. In 1799, Beethoven gave a friend a copy of Quartet no. 1, Opus 18 (his first group of six quartets), and soon after 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!” Each of Beethoven’s works 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. For a list of each concert’s works, 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

Tickets for Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s Beethoven Quartet Concerts with the Miró Quartet are available at the Orcas Center Box Office. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 360-376-2281, or in person at the box office. Tickets are $40 each for adults; package price for all six concerts is $200. Tickets for young people ages 6-18 are $10 each. Please note that there is a $2 per concert ticketing fee, and tickets are not refundable.


January/February Conducting Workshops with Adam Stern

Adam SternOver 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 or by phone at 360-376-6636.

Mark Your Calendars – the 2020 Festival Dates are Set!

The dates for Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s 23rd Season are Friday, August 7, through Saturday, August 22, 2020.

Artistic Director Aloysia Friedmann is creating a lineup of musicians with newcomers as well as returning performers from past Festivals. Among the many new artists to the summer Festival is the Montrose Trio, 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. The Festival also welcomes back Spanish clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester, violist Toby Hoffman from Portugal, and double-bassist David Grossman, plus Miró Quartet current and former violinists Sandy Yamamoto, Daniel Ching, and William Fedkenheuer.

Watch our website and monthly Scherzo newsletter for more information as we get closer to the August Festival!

Donors of $2,000 and up can purchase their tickets 4 weeks before tickets are available to the public, and ticket sales for donors of $600 and up begins 2 weeks before public ticket release.

Contact Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival at to be added to the Festival’s monthly newsletter, Scherzo, or to be added to our brochure mailing list.

Leaves of Gold Concert at 5:30 on Thursday,
December 19, 2019


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 for tickets and more concert information.

Save the Dates! Beethoven Quartets

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!

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