Be sure to tune your radio dial to FM 98.1, go online http://www.king.org, or launch your app (http://bit.ly/listento981) on October 10 at 9 p.m. and listen to Bellingham Festival of Music’s concert featuring the Vivaldi Guitar Concerto in D Major with Pablo Villegas along with the Brahms Symphony No. 4 in e Minor, Op. 98. This was the Festival’s final concert last year and we are honored to be part of KING FM’s broadcast. The performance by Pablo Villegas was magical and the power and virtuosity of the orchestra is fully evident in the Brahms. This broadcast will give you a sense of what to expect next year, for we are finalizing the season.
Arnaldo Cohen, always a favorite in Bellingham, returns to perform as soloist in the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1, in d, Op. 15. This towering work had its first public performance in 1859 actually began as a symphony, but Brahms could not get away from the virtuosic piano writing that was the result of his compositional practice of composing at the piano.
Another work in the same minor key, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in d, Op. 35, makes its first festival appearance along with the soloist Vadim Gluzman. This Israel violinist performs throughout the world to critical acclaim and the Tchaikovsky promises to be a perfect bookend to the Brahms piano concerto. Written in 1878 (the same year that Brahms was working on his Violin concerto, Op. 77!), but not first performed until 1881 in part due to the difficulty of the work. We are often amazed at the majestic opening and “vivacissimo” finale, but the beauty and warmth of the middle “Canzonetta” movement is for many the heart and soul of the composer.
It is the performance of Haydn’s Creation (Die Schöpfung) that promises to make a very special 22nd season. This work, written as an elderly independent composer of 66 years (although still receiving a stipend from aristocracy) is one of his crowning achievements. After an initial semi-private performance in 1798, it received its public premier in Vienna in 1799 that in all likelihood was attended by Beethoven and had such a great affect and influence on the latter composer. We look forward to the soloists, orchestra, and of course our own Festival Chorus.
Finally, we have the opportunity to again here a recital by the Calidore Quartet, a spring recital by Joshua Roman (on April 24, 2015), and bring back this time as soloist Alex Hanna. We especially look forward to Alex, Principal Double Bass with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for he was earlier the Principal with our own Festival Orchestra.
The Festival season opens with our annual meeting and reception held at the Lairmont Manor on November 5, 2014. Starting around 7 p.m. we will have short performances by young talented musicians, an introduction of the festival’s Board of Directors, and an early look at the upcoming season. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be provided. We welcome everyone who can attend.