I’m nearing the end of my week at the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, and it’s been a fantastic week on all counts. First of all, if you don’t know about the Methow Valley (prounouced MET-how), it is a scenic and bucolic river valley that spans a roughly southeast to northwest diagonal on the eastern side of the North Cascades National Park. If you’ve never been, you should definitely think about planning a visit sometime. In the summer, it’s a dry and warm place, with lots of places for road cycling, mountain biking, rafting, boating, hiking, and fishing. In the winter, it’s a mecca for Nordic skiing, with the largest network of Nordic ski trails in North America. There are two small towns in the middle portion of the valley – Winthrop, with its western-themed main street, and Twisp, its more utilitarian cousin.
When you’re asked to play a festival, most often you don’t have any idea what you’re in for. You can look at the bios of the other performers, and the repertoire, and photos of the venue(s), but that only gives you the barest notion of what the experience is going to be like. So when I showed up last Saturday evening and proceeded to the barn which housed the concert and rehearsal spaces, I was little prepared for what a wonderful operation the MVCMF would be. Continue reading “music from methow”