As fall approaches, we see also the arrival of Emerald City Music’s third season, which runs through May of 2019. Continuing the company’s mission of staging classical and chamber-music performances that appeal to both aficionados and newcomers to the genres, ECM programmed a season brimming with bold and approachable shows. In keeping with ECM’s quest for accessibility, this season retains the format of two performances for each show, one in Seattle and one in Olympia.
“Top-flight musicians from every corner of the globe are making their premiere, including Denmark’s The Dreamers’ Circus ensemble, New York City-based oboist James Austin Smith and Argentinian bandoneon player JP Jofre, just to name a few,” says ECM executive director Andrew Goldstein. The first Olympia show is called Four Seasons. “Our opening night features a few really well-known works like Tartini’s Devil’s Trill Sonata, famously composed after Tartini awoke from a dream where he battled the devil with his fiddle — as well as music that folks might not have discovered themselves, like Paul Wiancko’s American Haiku, performed by the composer himself.”
One of ECM’s greatest strengths is its ability to strip away any exclusivity associated with the worlds of chamber and classical music. Take a look at events like October 27’s Café Music, which affects a warm, casual setting to explore the works of 20th-century American and French composers. Or how about a December 1 performance by the Daedalus Quartet, which incorporates a narrator to help interpret masters like Beethoven and Janáček? There’s a relaxed celebration of all corners of musical expression in ECM’s season, and that should thrill beginners and experts alike.
“At our core, Emerald City Music believes that great performances are diverse, beautiful and artistically risky,” says Goldstein. “As we enter our third season, we’re continuing this artistic brand by presenting some of the most timeless and groundbreaking music in a way that truly allows anyone — and really, truly, anyone, no matter what experience you may or may not have with classical music — to dive right in. It’s very rare to see Steve Reich and Johann Sebastian Bach on the same season, with some Danish folk music in between.”
ECM’s third season includes a residency at The Kenneth J Minnaert Center for the Arts, and it still gives Olympia students free tickets to its shows.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15
Kenneth J Minnaert Center for the Arts, SPSCC,
2011 Mottman Rd. SW, Olympia