Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival

A recent Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival performance at Trailhead Pizza in Coffee Creek. The annual music festival continues this weekend with three performances, the final one at Trailhead Pizza on Sunday.

Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” come to the mountains ... this week, the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival will offer three public concerts built around Antonio Vivaldi’s legendary concertos, called “The Four Seasons.” The program will also feature quartets by the Romantic Italian composer Respighi, as well as American-folk inspired music, such as the “Hoe Down” from Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo” and the bluegrass-infused “Wrong-Mountain Stomp” by John Mackey. Also featured will be beautiful “Antique Airs and Dances” by the Romantic Italian composer Respighi, and the energetic minimalist quartet “Middleground” by Shelley Washington.

“Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ are one of the the original rock ‘n’ roll hits,” says festival director Ian Scarfe. “They are packed with extreme virtuosity, high energy, and wildly imaginative writing.”  Written as traditional violin concertos, with a solo violin accompanied by a small orchestra of strings and harpsichord, each of the “Four Seasons” paints a scene of village life during different times of the year    — the blooming greenery of nature in “Spring,” the sweltering heat and sudden thunderstorms of “Summer,” the harvest festivals and ensuing drunkenness in “Autumn,” and the frigid cold and delicate snowflakes of “Winter.”

The festival violinists will take turns playing the solo parts for each of the four concertos. Performing “Spring” will be Ellen McGehee, the festival co-founder and host of the retreat in Hyampom. “Summer” will be handled by violinist Ellen Flanagan, “Autumn” by Charith Premawardhana, and “Winter” by Tingting Gu. Scarfe will be in the accompanying band, playing the harpsichord, an antique precursor to the modern piano.

“Playing the harpsichord in a baroque ensemble makes me feel like the drummer in a rock band,” says Scarfe, “I am sitting between the bass and cello sections, and completely responsible for driving the rhythm forward. It is so much fun.”

The first concert will be at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at the Hyampom Community Hall.

On Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m., the festival will offer a concert at the beautiful China Creek Amphitheater, just east of Willow Creek. A shady outdoor stage built into the hillside pine forest, this is a favorite venue for all styles of music.

The final concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, will be at Trailhead Pizza Cafe in Coffee Creek. A longtime partner of the Chamber Music Festival, Trailhead Pizza offers outdoor concert seating as well as a full-service restaurant. Guests are encouraged to arrive early if they plan to order food that evening.

All concerts are free and open to the public, with audiences encouraged to make a donation to help support the festival.

More information can always be found on the website www.TrinityAlpsCMF.org.

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