As the last notes hung in the air, the listener James Garlick felt tears welling up in his eyes.
His friend and fellow musician Jeremy Denk had given the first of four concerts in 2021 Music on the Strait, the Garlick festival co-founded.
“I have to pinch myself,” said Garlick last Sunday.
All that live music felt almost too good to be true after such a long hiatus.
But it will happen again this weekend, in three concerts in two locations: Maier Performance Hall at Peninsula College in Port Angeles and Trillium Woods Farm in Quilcene.
Music on the last weekend of the strait also brings free live streams of Maier Hall events on Friday and Saturday evenings. Viewers can watch the concerts on the Music on the Strait Facebook page or on the festival’s YouTube channel, accessible via musiconthestrait.com.
Then comes the Sunday barn concert on the farm at 7360 Center Road. There the surrounding lawn and picnic tables offer enough space to spread out.
The musical line-up for these concerts includes Denk, a MacArthur Foundation “Genie” scholar, who worked with Garlick, a Port Angeles born and raised violinist, Richard O’Neill, a Grammy-winning violist from Sequim, and cellist Ani Aznavoorian, a member of the Californian Camerata Pacifica.
The performances include:
• On Friday at 7 pm, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C minor and String Trio G are in the spotlight when the quartet performs in Maier Hall;
• On Saturday at 7 pm the Brahms Piano Quartet in G minor, Hindemith’s Sonata for viola and piano and Jessie Montgomery’s Duo for violin and cello fill the Maier Hall in the Port Angeles finale of the festival;
• Sunday at 2 p.m. it’s “Barn-Branding Brahms”, because Denk, Garlick, Aznavoorian and O’Neill are giving the last Music on the Strait concert in 2021 in the barn in Quilcene.
Tickets to the Maier Hall performances are $ 40 for general admission or $ 10 for students over musiconthestrait.com.
The concerts in the barn are always free, but reservations are required below konzerteinthebarn.org. The website also provides information on his concerts with the Fulton Street Chamber Players from August 28-29.
All spectators in the Maier Hall and in the barn in Quilcene must prove a COVID-19 vaccination; Masks are required in both interiors.
Those who are not vaccinated or prefer to be outdoors can choose grass pitches outside the stable. Chairs, blankets and picnics are welcome on the farm, which has a flower garden and shady trees for a stroll before the concert.
The gates there open at 11 a.m. on Sundays, while the barn doors open at 1 p.m. Music on the Strait posters and t-shirts, local cider, wine and bottled water will be available.
Last weekend, O’Neill, who founded Music on the Strait with Garlick three years ago, performed with the Takács Quartet, the internationally renowned chamber ensemble to which he belongs.
On Sunday afternoon in the barn, he remembered a special summer day there.
In 1992, O’Neill was a teenage musician attending a youth camp on the farm. On July 3, he was sitting in the barn on a hay bale up in the attic and listening to a string ensemble playing Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden”.
“This music is so eternal, so strong,” he said.
O’Neill recalls thinking, wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could become a musician who can play it in front of an audience?
He held out his instrument and thanked Alan Iglitzin, founder of the Concerts in the Barn, not only for starting the music series, but also for providing this instrument, a 16th century Italian viola. O’Neill won his Grammy earlier this year for his recording of Christopher Theofanidis’ Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra.
Then he and the Takács Quartet – the violinists Harumi Rhodes and Edward Dusinberre, the cellist András Fejér – played a concert by Ravel, Haydn and, as the finale, “Death and the Maiden”.
Jefferson County’s Senior Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz is at 360-417-3509 or. to reach [email protected]