March 2017 Newsletter

Classical Music Welcomes Spring
As the vernal equinox nears and the snow and ice give way to spring, it is no secret that many composers have written music as a response to the coming of this special season.  That includes some of the composers whose works we will enjoy during this year’s Festival. One of the most recognized spring-inspired works is Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5, Spring.  Others include Sergei Rachmaninov’s Spring Waters, Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Robert Schumann’s Spring Symphony, Felix Mendelssohn’s Spring Song, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, plus many more that make us feel like spring. Regardless of composer or title, I am sure we all have a favorite composition that embodies spring for us. Whatever it might be, let’s celebrate the arrival of this inspiring season with its longer days, sunshine and warmer temperatures.

Spring also brings us closer to the July 1, 2017 opening of this year’s Festival. Over the next several months, the newsletter will be featuring the season’s extraordinary guest artists, starting this month with Marc-André Hamelin, piano, and the Calidore String Quartet. We look forward to seeing you during this summer’s exciting Festival!

Karen Berry, Chair

2017 Guest Artists:

Marc-André Hamelin, Piano
performing July 1, 2017
Rachmaninoff: Variations on a Theme by Paganini

Opening the Festival will be pianist Marc-André Hamelin, who is ranked among the elect of world pianists for his unrivalled blend of musicianship and virtuosity in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the rarities of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries – in concert and on disc. He will be performing Rachmaninoff: Variations on a Theme by Paganini. To read Marc-André Hamelin’s full biography select Hamelin.

Calidore String Quartet
performing July 1 & 2, 2017

•  Jeffrey Myers, violin
•  Ryan Meehan, violin
•  Jeremy Berry, viola
•  Estelle Choi, cello

Described as “the epitome of confidence and finesse” (Gramophone Magazine) and “a miracle of unified thought” (La Presse, Montreal), the Calidore String Quartet has established an international reputation for its informed, polished, and passionate performances. The ensemble were recently named Visiting Guest Artists at the University of Delaware and will serve as Visiting Artists-in-Residence at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance.  They were also appointed to the prestigious roster of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two for the 2016-2019 seasons. To read the Calidore String Quartet’s full biography, select Calidore.

Russian Pianist Ilya Yakushev Returns for
Spring Recital

Ilya Yakushev concert announcement poster


Welcome To IY-Records
Ilya Yakushev, with many awards and honors to his credit, will be signing a collection of his recordings the afternoon of his performance. CD’s will be offered at $15, the DVD at $20, and all three titles at $40. For additional information on IY-Records visit Yakushev’s discography


J.S. Bach Partitas (CD)
Featuring J.S. Bach’s No. 1, 2, & 3 – CD

Prokofiev by Yakushev (CD)
Featuring Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Sonatas No. 3, 6, & 7.

Ilya Yakushev Live in Concert (DVD)
Recorded live at the Smolny Concert Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia, in January 2008. Works by Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Bach/Busoni, and Mussorgsky.

Attend a Very Special Masterclass

Ilya Yakushev will be leading a masterclass for four highly talented local piano students on March 18th, 2 PM at the First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA. Don’t miss this opportunity to see an extraordinary pianist teach the next generation of inspired musicians. The masterclass is free and open to the public.

6th Annual Play It Forward Recital
Colburn School of Music’s Viano Quartet
March 17, 2017, 7:30 PM

Play It Forward concert poster

Save the Date

Bellingham Festival of Music Auction and Dinner


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