chamber music music seattle summer festivals


This week I’m up in Kenmore, Washington teaching and performing at the Max Aronoff Viola Institute, which I helped to found 18 years ago.  The facility that we use is Bastyr University, which has all the classrooms and the lovely Chapel which is acoustically renowned (and used for a lot of movie scoring work during the year) – and not air-conditioned. 

Yep, we’ve been sweatin’ to the oldies up here in the normally temperate city by the shores of Lake Washington.  Our dorm rooms are on the top floor, and it takes some time, despite exhaustion, to get to sleep most nights.  The chapel, however, is a giant masonry sweat-box, which makes performing a true test of mind over matter.  The brain cells grow listless and despondent, and the fingerboard grows either sticky or slippery depending upon the propensity of one’s fingers to sweating, and one’s well-chosen concert outfit begins to look like an outdoor shower has been taken.

But, it’s a fun time for all of us on the faculty to play chamber music together, catch up on what’s happened since last year’s camp, and hear some new repertoire that we don’t know.  It also provides a great opportunity for us to share our experience and artistry with a collection of violists, cellists, and violinists from several generations, and that feels awfully good after a long season in the orchestra.

By Charles Noble

I'm the Assistant principal violist of the Oregon Symphony.

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