Chamber Music Northwest is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, and it still has a few tricks up its sleeves.
The summer festival is still offering the requisite big-name ensembles playing old masters in grand spaces. But they’re also adding a new twist: up-and-coming groups, like the Jasper Quartet, are bringing chamber music to spaces like Mississippi Studios, where concert-goers normally drink Pabst while rocking out to Northwest bands.
It’s not the first time CMNW has pushed chamber music past its traditional envelope. Last year, for example, they invited the neo-bluegrass virtuosi Punch Brothers, who mix old time music with Bach to extraordinary effect.
This year’s Protege Project is an even more concerted effort to widen the chamber music tent. The thinking seems to be that if young people aren’t coming to chamber music concerts — and if my experience is any guide, they’re not; I’m 34, and the people around me are often twice my age, if not older — why not bring chamber music to young people? So far it’s gotten good reviews, but will it translate to new audiences?
We’ll ask David Shifrin, who has been the artistic director for 30 years, and we’ll talk to J Freivogle, a twenty-something in the Jasper Quartet, about where he sees chamber music 30 years from now.
Have you been going to Chamber Music Northwest for a while? What keeps you coming?
Are you a youngish fan of chamber music? How would you hook your friends on a Haydn quartet, or a Shostakovich trio?
- David Shifrin: Artistic Director of Chamber Music Northwest, pre-eminent clarinetist, and professor at the Yale School of Music
- J Freivogel: First violinist of the Jasper String Quartet
Editor’s note: Here are some extra credit Art Beat links for your viewing and listening pleasure:
- A 2005 story about David Schiff’s “New York Nocturnes”
- A 2006 story about Chamber Music NW’s Young Artist Fellowships
- A recent video blog featuring the Jasper Quartet