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As part of its Winter and Summer Festivals, Seattle Chamber Music Society presents informal, in-depth discussions with Classical KING FM 98.1 host Dave Beck and Festival musicians. These Classical Conversation Podcast interviews give an inside look at the Chamber Music repertoire performed during the Festivals with world-class performers’ insight. Classical KING FM and Seattle Chamber Music Society, Producers. Bill Levey, Recording Engineer and Technical Production.
 
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show series
 
In Part 1 of our conversation with violist and SCMS Festival Artist Jonathan Vinocour, principal of the San Francisco Symphony, tells the story of how he came to the viola after false starts as a cellist and drummer. From the vantage point of a viola in the middle of the symphony orchestra, the violist basks in the glorious melodies, harmonies, and…
 
As a young violist just out of the New England Conservatory, Jonathan Vinocour was recruited to play a short stint as first chair viola for one of the world’s legendary orchestras, the Leipzig Gewandhaus. After an awkward misunderstanding at the first rehearsal, he went on to lead the Leipzig viola section, discovering as he did so, how this revere…
 
The conclusion of our conversation with violist Jonathan Vinocour begins by asking the question: what difference does the design of backstage area make to musicians and ensembles? Reflecting on the playing he’s done around the world, Vinocour ponders how backstage design affects the interaction and even bonding among members of a symphony orchestra…
 
Violinist and SCMS Festival Artist Jennifer Frautschi, talks about the pandemic's impact on her personal priorities and her musical practice. The demands of raising a young daughter have taken on a new urgency. Meanwhile, playing fewer concerts allows her to think in greater detail than ever before, about every note she plays, and to ponder the dee…
 
Part 2 of our conversation with violinist and SCMS Festival Artist Jennifer Frautschi continues with a discussion of her teaching. She speaks about her priorities when working with students, and her belief that non-musicians and those outside of the classical world have important insights about approaching the classical tradition with fresh perspec…
 
The final part of our conversation with SCMS Festival Artist and violinist Jennifer Frautschi focuses on performing contemporary music. She believes performing new works helps "keep music alive." In addition, you cannot ask Beethoven questions about tempo, articulation, and interpretation, whereas modern composers are readily available for consult …
 
Seattle Chamber Music Society artist Jun Iwasaki, violin, first visited Seattle as a toddler when his father, cellist Ko Iwasaki, played in the early years of SCMS Summer Festivals in the 1980s. In 2021, Jun and his wife welcomed their second child just days before Jun came to Seattle to play in the SCMS 2021 Online Winter Festival. In Part 1 of ou…
 
Violinist Jun Iwasaki is the concertmaster of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and held the same position in the Oregon Symphony prior to that. In Part 2 of our conversation, Jun talks about the importance of physical presence and body language in the role of concertmaster. It’s a skill that is especially useful in the era of pandemic concerts. Mas…
 
Time with his wife and two young children, learning to bake bread, and discovering audio and video production skills, have been pandemic projects of Seattle Chamber Music Society violinist Jun Iwasaki. In Part 3 of our podcast conversation, Jun talks about the positive impact that time with family has had during the global pandemic. He discusses ho…
 
Part 1 of our conversation with cellist Ani Aznavoorian, recorded at the new SCMS Center for Chamber Music in downtown Seattle. Ani talks about how her father left an unsatisfying job as a chemist to retrain for a career as a string instrument builder. She performs on a cello he built for her. Ani also shares stories of her mother’s dedication as a…
 
Ani Aznavoorian began playing the cello at age 3 with one of America’s most beloved teachers in the Suzuki Method of musical instruction. In part 2 of our conversation with her, Ani talks about how Gilda Barston created an atmosphere of joyful engagement and community among her young students in Chicago. Ani learned through her own experience as a …
 
In part 3 of our conversation, cellist Ani Aznavoorian talks about the despair she felt when the pandemic forced cancellation of so many performances, and how playing solo Bach on the patio of her Santa Barbara, California apartment was a profoundly healing experience. Ani shares how her embrace of new technologies is part of her new resolve to mak…
 
Part 1 of our conversation with pianist Orion Weiss was recorded at the new SCMS Center for Chamber Music in downtown Seattle. Orion talks about how an international concert artist like himself adjusts to life during a global pandemic and how he has used the time away from the concert circuit to learn new works including Bach's “Goldberg Variations…
 
During the regular concert season pianist Orion Weiss plays concertos with major orchestras. In part 2 of our conversation, he talks about the different “colors of adrenaline” he experienced early in his career when he was called on short notice to perform in place of prominent orchestral soloists who had taken ill. Orion also discusses how working…
 
In the final part of our conversation with pianist Orion Weiss, he discusses an upcoming album featuring pieces dealing with grief and loss. Ravel honored friends lost in World War I in “Le Tombeau De Couperin.” Shostakovich reflects on a teacher lost in the wake of the Siege of Leningrad” and Brahms captures his mentor Robert Schumann’s fragile ps…
 
In the final part of our conversation with cellist Ronald Thomas, he talks about his “quarantine project” in the months since COVID 19 interrupted concert life around the world. Ron has recently composed his own second cello part to accompany the six solo cello suites of JS Bach. He explains how this second voice provides a powerful teaching tool f…
 
In Part 2 of our conversation with cellist Ronald Thomas, we speak about the 4 decades that he has performed at SCMS, and how he has touched audiences with his beautifully refined sound on the cello. He speaks about a lifelong fascination with sound production, stemming from his close listening and analysis of symphonic recordings.…
 
In our first ever podcast from the new SCMS Center for Chamber Music in downtown Seattle, Ronald Thomas remembers his friend Toby Saks, fellow cellist and founder of the SCMS festival in the early 1980s. Her legacy is felt strongly throughout the new facility.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
Violinist Andrew Wan plays concertmaster in one of North America’s most admired ensembles, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. In Part 3 of our latest Classical Conversation Podcast from the SCMS Winter Festival 2020, Andrew talks about how learning to follow the beat pattern of the orchestra’s conductor was a humbling experience.…
 
In Part 2 of our discussion with violinist Andrew Wan, he talks about mastering the delicate art of “pushing back.” Andrew performs with the renowned New Orford String Quartet. The members of the Canadian quartet are like family, but they are also first chair players of great orchestras, each accustomed to getting his own way.…
 
Part 1 of our discussion with violinist Andrew Wan is focused on Beethoven. For the 250th Anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Andrew Wan is recording all of the composer’s violin sonatas. Andrew describes how meticulous attention to detail in preparing Beethoven results in performances of astonishing freedom and spontaneity.…
 
In the final part of our conversation, violinist Erin Keefe talks about how playing Brahms’ chamber music led to her appointment as concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, and we hear that performance of Brahms. Erin also shares one of her favorite concertmaster solos, a passage from the Richard Strauss “Four Last Songs.”…
 
Part 2 of our conversation with violinist Erin Keefe includes her shocking admission that she “detests practicing.” But Erin explains that the social aspect of music, and the friendships and collegiality of chamber music in particular, fuel her passion for perfecting her craft.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
In part 1 of our discussion with violinist Erin Keefe, she shares a recording of music by Jean Sibelius and talks about how she’s come to a deeper understanding of that great Finnish composer through her travels and performances with her Finnish husband, conductor and composer Osmo Vänskä.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
The final part of our chat with tenor Nicholas Phan, we learn about his founding of the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago to promote opportunities for art song performance. We hear a delightful song by Hugo Wolf and 'An Die Musik' by Franz Schubert. Nicholas also speaks warmly of his former vocal teacher Rosemary Russell.…
 
Part 2 of our conversation with tenor Nicholas Phan, the unique and special aspects of art song and vocal chamber music, which is a particular focus for Phan. A song about witches by Felix Mendelssohn is heard and discussed, as well as the how the vocal music of Mendelssohn and other composers is under-performed.…
 
In the final part of our conversation, violist David Harding speaks about an SCMS-Commissioned work by Jeffrey Cotton as well as the powerful chamber music of composer Johannes Brahms. We also learn about his instrument - an 18th-century viola.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
The final part of our conversation with violinist Tessa Lark. She speaks about attending renowned fiddler Mark O'Connor and his summer music camp she attended as a young player. Tessa also speaks about the music of Eugene Ysaye, and an upcoming recording of Bach with bassist Michael Thurber.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
In Part 2 of this special episode of our podcast, we interview Piano Technician Charles Ball, who talks about maintaining exceptional concert pianos. We hear an excerpt of a live performance of Brahms on the SCMS piano by Adam Neiman, and Charles discusses the SCMS piano and its characteristics.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
In part 3 of our conversation with violinist Tessa Lark, she speaks about performing John Corigliano's piece "Stomp," and her interest in and performances of bluegrass and fiddle music. She expounds on the differences in technique in performing classical violin and folk violin.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
In this special episode of our podcast, we interview Piano Technician Charles Ball, who is the Head Technician for the Butler School of Music at University of Texas-Austin. He has decades of experience caring for these complex instruments, and discusses the mechanical, tuning, and voicing aspects of piano upkeep.…
 
Part 2 of our conversation with violinist Tessa Lark, she speaks about the similarities between styles of music she loves, including baroque, bluegrass, and contemporary classical. We experience the versatility of the violin and of her playing in particular, hearing some of her bluegrass recordings.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
Part 2 of our conversation with violinist Scott St. John focuses on his family, performing music by Bohuslav Martinu, and his role performing as part of the St. Lawrence String Quartet from 2006-2013. Scott also speaks about the influence of his teacher and Guarneri String Quartet founder Arnold Steinhardt.…
 
Part 1 of our conversation with violinist Tessa Lark focuses on her bluegrass roots and her early musical studies, and how that made her interested in the relationship between folk music and classical. We hear an excerpt from Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
In Part 1 of our conversation with violinist Scott St. John, he discusses SCMS Founder Toby Saks and how he got involved in the Festival. He also talks about his recordings of Dvorak and Mozart and his musical relationship with his sister, violinist Lara St. John, and his wife, violist Sharon Wei.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
This second half of a 2-part Festival Preview episode features SCMS Artistic Director James Ehnes talking about some of the musicians making their SCMS debut during the Winter Festival and the works that will be heard in Free Pre-Concert Recitals prior to every concert of the Festival.저자 Seattle Chamber Music Society
 
SCMS Artistic Director and violinist James Ehnes gives a preview of the 2019 Winter Festival of chamber music. This first half of a 2-part Festival Preview contains discussion of the Ehnes String Quartet, how he programs a festival of chamber music with a variety of musicians and repertoire. He talks about why the Festival contains a 20th-Century p…
 
The final part of our conversation with pianist Jeewon Park talks about playing Chopin on a historic 1880s era Steinway grand piano at the Clark Art Institute in Western Massachusetts. She also talks about her daughter Lilly taking cello lessons and the family dog “Sancho Panza,” who has a special story.…
 
The final part of our conversation with violinist Nurit Bar-Josef talks about learning the demanding and cinematic chamber music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold. She also talks about discovering the joys of playing in an orchestra while performing Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” as a student at the Curtis Institute. That initial experience led Nurit to le…
 
The final part of our conversation with pianist Inon Barnatan includes the excitement and challenges of his new role as artistic director of the La Jolla Music Society in San Diego; he speaks about how ideas from literature, painting, and the collections of great international museums shape the way he thinks about presenting and programming music. …
 
Part 3 of our conversation with pianist Jeewon Park begins with the story of how she met her husband, SCMS Festival Artist Edward Arron. She reflects on their musical chemistry and their recent recording of all Beethoven's works for cello and piano. We hear the recording of couple playing Beethoven’s 3rd Cello Sonata in A Major.…
 
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