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June 20 + 21 , 2024


Portrait of an Artist 3

Thursday, June 20, 2024 | 6:00 PM 7:00 PM

Foundry Vineyards

Artists: Kevin Schempf, clarinet; Xiaohui Yang, piano

“…I seem to associate Walla Walla with various forms of Brahms.”

— Kevin Schempf

Kevin is not wrong in his musings about WWCMF and Brahms. So, it is only fitting that he brings us the first Festival performance of a Brahms clarinet sonata movement. At WWCMF, we love nice fun frilly endings. Kevin makes his return to WWCMF after a season’s absence filled with solo sea voyages and much more. This evening’s performance provides a window into one of WWCMF’s most beloved performers.

All works will be announced from the stage.

Tasting Music 3 — Mozart

Friday, June 21, 2024 | 6:00 PM 7:00 PM

Foundry Vineyards

Artists: Timothy Christie, viola; Norbert Lewandowski, cello; Vanessa Moss, violin; Maria Sampen, violin; Kevin Schempf, clarinet

Tonight’s Tasting Music performance features one of Mozart’s great chamber works. The legacy of this work is not just the invention of a musical form, the clarinet quintet, but perhaps the establishment of the clarinet itself as an indispensable part of the corps of classical instruments. The sonority of late Mozart leans into the clarinet, even displacing the more standard pair of oboes in the orchestra of the time. And behind this epiphany on Mozart’s part was one man, Anton Stadler. Stadler was a virtuoso of the instrument whose playing inspired Mozart to compose both this quintet and ultimately his final completed work, the Clarinet Concerto, K. 622. Oh, and that famous incomplete final piece? The Requiem is scored for two clarinets and no oboes. OK, ok… you know your history. Technically, the clarinets of the Concerto and the Requiem are basset horns, a variant of the clarinet with access to additional low notes. But it was Stadler who figured prominently in the invention and perfection of the basset horn, too. Tonight, our Stadler is named Schempf.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1765-1791)

Quintet in A for Clarinet and Strings, K. 581

I. Allegro

II. Larghetto

III. Menuetto

IV. Allegretto con variazioni


Founded in 2007, the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival (WWCMF) now presents more than 40 public performances annually in the vibrant agricultural community of Walla Walla, WA. The goal of the Festival is to deepen the understanding and appreciation of classical chamber music while forging connections between musicians, audiences, venues and the greater community. To accomplish this goal, WWCMF emphasizes the process of making music over the product of musical performance. As a result, Festival events appeal to the seasoned chamber-music aficionado and newbie alike.

More than half of WWCMF’s programming is presented free of admission. Almost daily Open Rehearsals take place in a variety of public venues like downtown shops, cultural institutions and community centers. Children’s concerts under the title, Sounds Like Fun!, are presented in a variety of locations such as the public library or local YMCA. Finally, targeted Outreach performances bring chamber music to parts of the community who might not otherwise have access such as veterans and patients at the Jonathan M. Wainwright VA Medical Center.

WWCMF’s suite of ticketed performances builds on the groundwork laid by the free community events. The Portrait of an Artist series focuses on the individual musician, who they are, where they are from, in essence, what makes them tick. The Tasting Music series devotes its attention to a single musical work, taking it apart and playing musical examples to provide a deeper context for listening. The Festival Series is the centerpiece of WWCMF. Open Rehearsals, Portraits, Tastings and the journey of musical process find fulfillment on the concert stage, contrasting the newest musical trends with great works of the past.

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