Maestro Michael Palmer Announces 2016 Festival Schedule and Programs

Mahler Fourth, Mozart Requiem Highlight 23rd season, July 1—17, 2016

Serkin, Harrell, Cho-Liang Lin, Kuok-Wai Lio are Guest Soloists

Resident Calidore Quartet Performs in Recital and Concerto

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Anne-Marie McDermott Appear in
Recital, April 1

Bellingham, WA, October 26, 2015—Performances of the Mozart Requiem and Mahler Fourth Symphony plus appearances by guest soloists Lynn Harrell, Cho-Liang Lin, Kuok-Wai Lio, Peter Serkin, and the resident Calidore String Quartet will highlight the 23th season of the Bellingham Festival of Music, July 1-17, 2016. The annual spring concert, April 1, will feature violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott. Details of the season were announced Friday at the Festival’s annual meeting by Artistic Director Michael Palmer.

Maestro Palmer will conduct the Festival Orchestra and Chorus in performances at Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center (WWU PAC). In addition, there will be chamber music performances by the Calidore Quartet at the WWU PAC (July 7) and by members of the festival orchestra in the annual Chamber Music by the Bay concert (July 10) at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven.

Season tickets for either the full series or the orchestral series go on sale in mid-January 2016. Individual tickets for all of the concerts go on sale in early February 2016. They will be available online at the Festival website or at the Western Washington University box office or 360-650-6146.

Complete programs and soloists are listed below:


July 1, 2016
Haydn                              Overture to L’infedeltà delusa, Hob.28:5

Schumann                        Cello Concerto in A Minor, Op. 129 (Lynn Harrell)

Beethoven                        Symphony #8 in F Major, Op. 93



July 5, 2016

Verdi                               La Traviata: Prelude

Mozart                            Violin Concerto #4 in D Major, K. 218 (Cho-Liang Lin)

Mendelssohn                   Symphony #3 in a-minor, Op. 56 “Scottish”



July 7, 2016                 Calidore String Quartet in recital

Mendelssohn                  Quartet in D Major, Op. 44, No. 1

Prokofiev                       Quartet # 2 in F Major, Op. 92

Tchaikovsky                   Quartet # 1 in D Major, Op. 11



July 9, 2016

Rossini                            Overture to William Tell

Juan Ramírez                  Suite Latina (2002) (Calidore String Quartet)

Schumann                      Symphony #1 in Bb Major, Op. 38 “Spring”



July 10, 2016                 Chamber Music by the Bay featuring musicians from the festival orchestra. Bellingham Cruise Terminal. Program to be announced.



July 13, 2016

Mussorgsky                      Dawn on the River Moskva (prelude to opera, Khovanshchina)

Mendelssohn                    Piano Concerto #1 in G Minor, Op. 25 (Kuok-Wai Lio)

Mahler                             Symphony #4 in G Major (Ilana Davidson, soprano)



July 17, 2016

Mozart                               Piano Concerto #24 in C Minor, K. 491 (Peter Serkin)

Mozart                               Requiem Mass in D Minor, K. 626 (Ilana Davidson, soprano; Rebecca Robinson, alto; Cullen Gandy, tenor; Thomas Dreeze, baritone. Bellingham Festival of Music Chorus)



For further information, check the Festival website at



Nestled between snow-capped mountains and island-studded bay, Bellingham, Washington’s spectacular natural beauty provides the ideal backdrop for the celebration of classical music. Since 1993, the Bellingham Festival of Music has enlivened the summer season with outstanding live orchestral performances and chamber music recitals for Northwest Washington audiences. Under the direction of co-founder and noted American conductor Michael Palmer, the festival orchestra is composed of some of the finest musicians in the United States and Canada, many of them principals in such illustrious orchestras as the New York Philharmonic and the Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta Symphonies. They are joined by eminent soloists who have included Garrick Ohlsson, Lynn Harrell, Arnaldo Cohen, Vadim Gluzman, Joshua Bell, Frederica von Stade, and Pepe Romero. In addition, the festival boasts a resident chamber ensemble, currently the Calidore String Quartet, which presents recitals as well as participating in community educational and engagement activities.

Of equal importance to its summer season are the Festival’s year-round outreach initiatives which extend the beauty of classical music to youngsters in the region. Among these programs are the Welcome Home Concerts in which young pre-professional musicians from the area are presented in recital; the Play it Forward Chamber Music and Beethoven in the Schools projects which bring music to K-12 classrooms; and the Fifth Grade Strings Program which supports the return of free music instruction to students in Bellingham schools.

The Festival’s artistic excellence has been recognized widely throughout the country and its concerts and recordings have been broadcast nationally, first by NPR and most recently by American Public Media on its Performance Today show. Among these recordings are the three-CD set of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos featuring Garrick Ohlsson with Michael Palmer conducting the Festival Orchestra. These performances were recorded live at the Festival on the Natural Soundfields label in 2000.

The recipient of grants from several entities, the Festival received National Endowment for the Arts grants in 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015—a resounding endorsement of the quality of its performances and the contribution it makes to regional and national cultural life.

For more information, contact: Ellen Pfeifer