With this month’s 10-day Siletz Bay Music Festival concerts as different as Beethoven’s 9/10 double bill and 9/11 hip-hop medley, it’s no surprise that 9/4 Musical tapas sprung up from all over the musical map. Short performances by a dozen artists delivered 90 minutes of music, and with occasional changes in program order, “Tapas” relaxed into a variety show with a classical music accent at Lincoln City. Cultural Center on the Oregon Coast. The music was accompanied by edible tapas such as risotto stuffed peppers and tomato pies by caterers Hearth and Table.
The house was at capacity with 90 spectators, and year after year this program serves as a fundraiser for the three-decade-old festival. The artists did not hesitate to flatter the public, many of whom have become old acquaintances, with jokes and compliments. It wasn’t the Ed Sullivan variety show, nor a typical classical concert. Concerts at the festival are far from the neighborhood amateur kind, though operatic mezzo-soprano Erica Brookhyser, whose world-class voice and acting acumen came through in her witty “Alto’s Lament “, grew up in Newport, near Lincoln City. The level of talent is high, artists keep coming back and this talent attracts new talent.
Hosted by SBMF artistic director Yaacov Bergman (wearing a white jacket and dressed in Nike), the show was so laid back that the musicians stretched out on stage, perfectly comfortable on sofas and chairs, enjoying a glass of wine or two as they listened to their fellow artists. A newcomer to the festival, Peter Winograd, who plays a 1675 Giovanni Maria del Bussetto violin, held his instrument throughout the show (and for good reason!)
A member of the American String Quartet and professor at the Manhattan School of Music, Winograd performed a deliciously warm rendition of Jules Massenet’s “Meditation” from the opera Thais, and kicked off commentary on the play’s history at the Metropolitan Opera, where orchestra members call it the “medicine.”
Maurice Ravel’s Choleric Habanera shaped piece was performed by world-class violinist Mimi Yung and Dutch-Chinese collaborating pianist Michelle Chow, who accompanied several others on Sunday. William Wolfram, Tchaikovsky’s former medal-winning pianist, performed Franz Liszt liebestraumand violist/music teacher Miriam English Ward and Portland Chamber Orchestra principal cellist Katherine Schultz (a festival regular since 2009) had fun with Russian composer Witold Lutosławski Bucolics for viola and cello, as nervous as sweet. “I usually play a romantic cello/piano work, so the Lutosławski was a very different direction from mine,” said cellist Schultz.
Ward, who also performed the undulating song by Chinese-American composer Bright Sheng The flow is flowing earlier in the gig, “tends to be more off the beaten path with the lineup than I am,” Schultz said by post. “We had given a duet recital at the Old Church in Portland in the spring and these pieces were part of that concert, so we decided to take them back. They are interesting, quite accessible, and if someone doesn’t like it, it’s over very quickly!
If your tastes leaned toward jazz or cabaret, longtime SBMF cabaret stars and New York imports Steve Ross and Ron Spivak made selections from the American Songbook and their own originals. Spivak sang a world premiere of Michiru Oshimo’s Japanese opera based on the 1953 film Roman holidays with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, for which Spivak wrote the lyrics. A performer with the SBMF for five years, Spivak said “the festival gives me the opportunity to try out a lot of repertoire that I might not be able to do elsewhere.”
A number of artists, including Spivak, Schultz and Ross, return year after year to this multi-day festival held at various venues in Lincoln City. And many, including Schultz and Spivak, consider him family. “I love the festival audience, who are always generously enthusiastic, and the hosts and volunteers, whose hospitality has been overwhelming,” said Spivak, who sings, tells stories and writes, in addition to creating the logo. of the festival and as a theater historian, helps Bergman shape the Broadway portion of the festival.
Although an east coast resident, Bergman loves the northwest and, at other times of the year, conducts the innovative Portland Chamber Orchestra and Walla Walla Symphony. He is proud of the “consistently superb level of performance of eminent world-class musicians”, he said by email. He continues to expand the musical styles “which give our festival a unique flavor”.
This year, members of the Siletz tribes joined in the musical creation. Several will perform on 9/11’s “Sounds of America: Hip Hop, Jazz, Cabaret and Musical Theatre,” featuring Fish Martinez and Kunu Bearchum in The Oregonian’s “Rize,” “Water is Life,” and “Witchitai-To,” and Native Jim Pepper. .” Joining vocalists Ross, Spivak, Brookhyser and Karla Harris are Oregon’s top jazz musicians Randy Porter, John Stowell, Jason Palmer and Dave Captein. The second half of the program is a tribute to Stephen Sondheim. Expect diversity, program changes, variety, multiculturalism and spontaneity – all elements of the SBMF vibe.
During the second week of the festival, musicians presented free events for children from different schools in the Lincoln City area, including Maurice Ravel Beauty and the Beast from Mother Goose with storyteller Spivak and pianists Mei-Ting Sun and Michelle Chow. During the final weekend, September 10-12, children of all ages from Lincoln City and the Siletz Tribe are invited to attend the festival orchestra’s open rehearsals for the “All Beethoven” concert on September 10. and “Sounds of America.”
The full schedule and ticket information is available at siltzbaymusic.org.