Olympic Music Festival
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Chamber Music in a barn; summer in the Pacific NW
Chamber Music in a barn--no, really, it's not a joke! Classical musicians really do perform in this barn on the Olympic Peninsula, For almost thirty years now, summers in the countryside across Puget Sound from Seattle have been synonymous with world-class music-making in a laid-back setting. Take one of the ferries, then drive through forest, and from late June to early September, a concert on a century-old farm at the foot of the mountains awaits... Pick a spot on the hilly lawn just outside the barn's open doors; speakers allow picnickers to hear the performance while lounging under arboreal shade...Or get a seat inside, first-come-first-served--either on regular chairs or on bales of hay stacked up in the loft. (No photos during performances.) The day we went, it was an all-Schubert program. Summer breeze, wildflowers waving outside, birdsong in the background as the pianist, clarinetist and soprano collaborated... There is a sobering historical note to this idyllic spot, though. The original owners of this farm were Japanese-Americans. They were sent to Internment camps during WWII. They never lived on their farm again...Decades later, after a string of different owners, the farm is purchased to be a summer home for the Philadelphia String Quartet. Years pass; an elderly Japanese-American man comes to visit the farm where he was born, happy to see that the barn that he and his father had built has been restored...as a concert hall.
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