On Saturday, Oct. 27, Emerald City Music invites you to the musical version of a Parisian café — warm and intimate. Café Music spotlights a group of 20th-century French composers known as “Les Six,” who hung out with other avant-garde artists at Paris’s celebrated Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit. It also showcases Emerald City’s mission to welcome devotees and novices alike to its series of chamber concerts. “Emerald City Music … is expanding the traditional notions of classical music, making concerts more intimate, eclectic and easily accessible for the first-time listener,” executive director Andrew Goldstein said in an email interview. “As if having a coffee with a friend, you get to know each of the musicians personally throughout the evening as they perform and tell stories about the music.”
Concert audiences will make the acquaintance of some top musicians, said artistic director Kristin Lee. “James Austin Smith is the leading oboist of our time,” Lee said in an email interview. Both Smith and Peter Kolkay, whom Lee described as “my absolute favorite bassoonist in existence,” are making their Emerald City Music debuts in a program designed to showcase woodwind instruments.
The program begins with Camille Saint-Saëns’ Sonata for Bassoon and Piano, moves on to works by two of “Les Six” (Francis Poulenc’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano and Darius Milhaud’s Sonatina for Oboe and Piano) and concludes with Paul Schoenfield’s Café Music, composed in 1986. Schoenfield has described the piece as “a kind of high-class dinner music — music which could be played at a restaurant but might also, just barely, find its way into a concert hall.”
Kenneth J Minnaert Center for the Arts,
South Puget Sound Community College,
2011 Mottman Rd. SW, Olympia
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27