FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Bellingham, WA – Bellingham, WA – September 30, 2011. Violinist Joshua Bell will join the Bellingham Festival of Music as a guest artist during the 2012 season, said Festival Artistic Director Michael Palmer. He made the announcement at the annual meeting of the Festival of Music at the Lairmont Manor in Bellingham on September 30. Bell will play Barber’s Violin Concerto, Op. 14 with the Festival Orchestra on July 9 at the Mt. Baker Theatre.
Also featured this season is renowned cellist Lynn Harrell, whose work throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia has placed him in the highest echelon of today’s performing artists. He will make his Festival debut on July 14 with Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85. The performance will take place at Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center, where most Festival concerts are held.
Under Maestro Palmer’s direction the orchestra will also perform works by Dvorak, Debussy, Haydn, Ravel, Respighi, and Sibelius, but the season emphasis will be on the orchestral music of Mozart. The opening and closing concerts feature all Mozart programs. “2012 is a stellar season centered around masterpieces by one of the greatest musical minds and spirits of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,” said Maestro Palmer. “Our programming juxtaposes some of Mozart’s most beloved works with repertoire of contrasting color and style, all featuring the Festival Orchestra and a stellar line up of world renowned guest artists.”
After an electrifying performance of the Liszt Concerto #1 in Eb Major at his Festival debut last year, virtuoso pianist Jeremy Denk returns for a second year to play the Mozart Piano Concerto #21 in C Major at the opening concert on July 6. Guitarist Pablo Villegas and popular harpist Rita Costanzi will share the program on July 18. Sáinz Villegas will perform Rodrigo’s Fantasia para un Gentilhombre, and Costanzi will play Rodrigo’s Concierto serenata for Harp and Orchestra. The final concert on July 22 will feature the Festival Chorus singing the Mozart Mass in C Minor.
In addition to the orchestral programs, Festival performers will present a chamber music concert on July 15 at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal and perform at community outreach events at various venues in Whatcom county.
The Bellingham Festival of Music is one of America’s premier virtuoso orchestra festivals. Members of the orchestra all hold artistically prestigious positions elsewhere, and many of them are principal players in major North American symphony orchestras. Now in its 19th season, the Festival recently received two consecutive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about the Bellingham Festival of Music, visit www.BellinghamFestival.org.