February 2017 Newsletter

As Chair, I take every opportunity to trumpet how extraordinary the Bellingham Festival of Music truly is. The recent National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant awarded to the Festival gives me just such an opportunity. This prestigious grant attests to the outstanding artistry of our work and the importance of the Festival to the Northwest community.

We are enormously honored and proud of the continued support for and recognition of the Bellingham Festival of Music by the National Endowment for the Arts.

NEA’s $10,000 Art Works: Music grant will help support the programming and community engagement activities of the Festival’s 24th season, July 1-21, 2017.

The in-depth NEA application process requires the submission of several prior-season music samples selected by Michael Palmer, Artistic Director. The NEA weights the artistic excellence of these music samples heavily, with the NEA panels consistently ranking our music submissions very highly. Unlike most organizations with paid grant writers, the Festival’s multiple successes in earning these prestigious grants are the result of the dedicated work of the Festival’s
all-volunteer board.

Karen Berry, Chair

Mark Your Calendar

Russian Pianist
Ilya Yakushev
Special Recital at
March 19, 2017 3-5 PM


Tickets now on sale: 360-650-6146

On March 19, Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev will return to the Bellingham Festival of Music for a solo recital following his brilliant Festival debut in July 2016. His program in March will be the Haydn Sonata in D Major HOB XVI: 37; Tchaikovsky Sentimental Waltz Op. 51, #6; Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue; and Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition.

The Festival recently interviewed Yakushev via phone in his home in Russia.
The pianist currently divides his time between an apartment in New Jersey and one in ST Petersburg. To read this special interview on our website, click here.

Attend A Very Special Masterclass: Ilya Yakushev will be giving a masterclass to four highly talented local piano students on March 18th, 2pm at the Congregational Church on Cornwall Avenue. Don’t miss this opportunity to see an extraordinary pianist teach the next generation.

6th Annual Play It Forward Recital
Colburn School of Music’s Viano Quartet

March 17, 2017, 7:30 PM

The Viano Quartet

Play It Forward is a collaboration between the Bellingham Festival of Music and the Whatcom Symphony to help create music awareness among middle and high school students. Each year a group of young performers from the Colburn School of Music arrive in Bellingham for a week-long residency, during which time they visit area schools to perform for local students and to spark in them an interest in classical music. The 7:30 PM public recital will be held in the auditorium of Bellingham High School and is free for students; suggested donation for adults is $15, to benefit the festival’s music-in-the-schools programs.

The Viano Quartet, with members Lucy Wang, Hao Zhou, Johanna Nowik and Tate Zawadiuk, was formed at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles during the autumn of 2015. This month, the quartet will be performing Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nactmusik on National Public Radio host Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great concert series at Cerritos Center, as well as Santa Monica Conservatory’s Expo Line concert series with Paul Coletti. The Viano Quartet has also performed at Colburn’s Gibson Dunn Rush Hour concert series and have each performed in Colburn Chamber Music Society concerts with artists, including Martin Beaver, Roberto Diaz and Ida Kavafian. As one of the 10 string quartets selected from worldwide, the Viano Quartet will compete in Japan at the 9th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in May. The quartet is coached regularly by Clive Greensmith, as well as other members of the Colburn School faculty. They have received additional guidance from artists such as Arnold Steinhardt, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Gary Hoffman, as well as members of the Emerson String Quartet, Opus One and the Caildore String Quartet.

The Box Office Is Open For BFM’s
24th Summer Festival Season
July 1-July 21, 2017

The 24th season of the Bellingham Festival of Music will be highlighted by an all-Bernstein concert celebrating the 100th birthday of the protean composer-conductor-educator; two world premieres by composers Ben Taylor and Lorenzo Palomo; the return of popular pianist Jeremy Denk; two concerts featuring charismatic guitarist Pablo Villegas; a recital by the Calidore String Quartet, BFM’s ensemble in residence; and concerto performances featuring members of the BFM Orchestra.

Festival concerts take place at the Western Washington University Performing Arts Center (WWU-PAC), except for the popular Bellingham Cruise Terminal chamber music program. The WWU-PAC now boasts air conditioning provided through a collaborative initiative between the Festival and Western Washington University in 2016. Bellingham Festival of Music tickets can be purchased at the WWU Box Office: 360-650-6146. Season performances and ticket prices can be found by visiting http://bellinghamfestival.org/festival-events/season-schedule/ and http://bellinghamfestival.org/tickets/.

Stay in Bellingham/Whatcom County

Bellingham Marina

Bellingham Festival of Music and Local Hotels Partner for Festival’s 24th Season

Coming from out of town to enjoy the Festival this summer? Then consider taking time to enjoy the beauty of our region and stay in one of the Festival’s partner hotels. From enjoying the Festival’s world-class concerts in the evenings to kayaking on the Bellingham Bay or strolling through the Historic Fairhaven District during the day, these hotels will ensure you have a perfect stay. The three hotels we are partnering with this summer are the Fairhaven Village Inn, Four Points by Sheraton and the new Holiday Inn and Suites at the Bellingham International Airport. The Fairhaven Village Inn is offering beautifully renovated rooms with 2 Festival concert tickets and other amenities. The Four Points by Sheraton and the Holiday Inn and Suites will also be offering special rates and amenities, with guests purchasing their own tickets through the WWU Box Office. Hotel package details are now being finalized and will soon be posted on the BFM website. For a complete listing of other places to stay, restaurants to enjoy and exciting things to do in our beautiful community, visit http://www.bellingham.org/

Save the Date: Puttin’ on the Ritz
Annual Benefit Auction, May 6, 2017
Four Points by Sheraton Hotel

Invitations coming in March

Bellingham Festival of Music Auction and Dinner

We hope you will put on your Top Hat and join us for this Gala Benefit Auction. Auction items will be listed on the BFM website in April. Donating artists’ will be featured in the April BFM newsletter.

Ellen PfeiferSandy Rood Wolf

Get To Know Your Board –
Sandy Rood Wolf

Sandy Rood Wolf grew up in Bellingham, relishing participation in high school musicals, band, and choir. Although she became a medical technologist and worked along side her physician husband, traveling the Alaskan bush and then serving as a hematologist in a Fairbanks lab, she never recovered from her infatuation with the performing arts. Once their four daughters were of school age, she returned to university life to earn degrees in Theatre and an MFA in Playwriting. Eventually hired by the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), she taught Theatre and English while participating in local productions as a performer, stage director, and writer. She also administered UAF Theatre Division’s Summer Fine Arts Camp, which drew over 400 kids from around the country. Twenty five years ago, she and her husband moved to Whatcom County where Sandy served on the BFM board until taking an extended leave to found the Jazz Festival in Blaine (now the Drayton Harbor Music Festival). After her husband’s death, she moved to Bellingham to be near grandkids. These days, she divides her time between family and writing. Her original, historically based musical, MARINA, was produced in May 2015 by Bellingham TheatreWorks at the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham. Her current involvement with BFM includes preliminary efforts to grace the 2018 Fourth of July celebration at Peace Arch Park with a BFM orchestral performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

For up-to-date info about the Festival visit our website
Bellingham Bay Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Crooks Photography