Sublime Seattle Summer
by Stephen Stubbs
Here it is – almost August in this sublime Seattle summer (seeming determined to help us forget one of the dreariest winters ever here) and we at PMW are packing up to head off to Whidbey Island tomorrow morning (August 1st) to rehearse for concerts there on the weekend: August 4th and 6th our Spanish New World program entitled Missions and Mysteries, and August 5th a recital of spectacular baroque violin sonatas called Stylus Phantasticus featuring Tekla Cunningham. In fact, the whole Whidbey Island Music Festival, which happens every summer over two weekends, is altogether Tekla’s inspiration. As a way to bring together musicians who she enjoys working with to explore repertoire (often for the first time as is the case with our Spanish program) and simultaneously enjoy the delights of Whidbey Island in August, it’s a recipe that has sustained the festival for twelve seasons so far and seems poised to go on indefinitely. We then take the Missions program to Vancouver on August 10th as part of their Vancouver Bach Festival 2017.
After that, the preparations begin in earnest for our annual fundraiser, which this year will be held for the first time at the Bellevue venue called Resonance at Soma Towers. The space and the initiative there are very interesting – we will have an ongoing relationship with Resonance through Henry Lebedinsky’s Pacific MusicWorks Underground concerts throughout the season. Conceived as a multi-purpose venue (a concert hall, banquet and event hall etc.) it suits our purposes particularly well by allowing a concert stage and a 10-table banqueting hall to co-exist in a single space. We first learned about it from our colleague Tess Altiveros, who sang in a very special production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, conceived by Bellevue’s City Opera Balletfor the space.
One very exciting development over the past year is that our de facto Pacific MusicWorks House Band, can now be called into existence entirely from musicians who actually live in Seattle. The PMW House Band for our special banquet this year (Celebrating our 10 years of existence, on September 16, at 5 pm – mark your calendars!) will consist of Tekla Cunningham and Corey Pokorney baroque violins, Henry Lebedinsky, harpsichord, Maxine Eilander, baroque harp, and me, playing lute and baroque guitar, with our two vocal soloists, sopranos Tess Altiveros and Danielle Sampson. James Savage has again agreed to be the genial master of ceremonies and James and I have another exciting development to introduce at this event – a series of lunchtime concerts at a beautiful downtown venue which we will call Sanctuary in the City. Watch this space for more information about this new initiative, or better yet come join the fun on September 16 and hear all about it.