By Zachary C. Person
TACOMA, Wash. – The Northwest Sinfonietta under the direction of artistic partner David Lockington presents “Violet Sunrise” March 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the historic Rialto Theater in Tacoma (310 S. 9th St.) and on March 6 at 2:00 p.m. at the Pioneer Park Pavilion in Puyallup (330 S. Meridian).
Tickets $25-55. Student, military and group discounts available. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: www.northwestsinfonietta.org.
These performances mark the last of Lockington’s tenure with the Northwest Sinfonietta. In 2015, the Northwest Sinfonietta became one of the few orchestras in the world to move to an “artistic partner” model of operations, allowing the musicians of the ensemble to take a larger role in the artistic decisions and vision for the orchestra. Lockington was one of three inaugural artistic partners that season and in 2018 was named principal artistic partner.
“Violet Sunrise” features three brilliant works for small orchestra. Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 6 in D Major “Le Matin” opens the program. Composed in 1761 by a youthful Haydn who had just joined the Esterházy court, “Le Matin” (“Morning”) was not written as an explicitly programmatic work, though the opening adagio introduction clearly depicts a sunrise.
Two movements from W.A. Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C Major, K. 314 follow, featuring Northwest Sinfonietta Youth Concerto Competition winner Sebastian Kelzenberg. Now considered a popular and successful concerto for oboe, somehow K.314 was lost during Mozart’s lifetime and was “rediscovered” in the 1920’s in Salzburg, Austria by Mozart scholar Alfred Einstein. The second movement, in typical Mozartian fashion, is expressive and operatic in nature with delicately balanced phrases; the playful third movement features a theme later reused by Mozart in his opera “Abduction from the Seraglio.”
Kelzenberg is an award-winning young oboist from Washington state. He was winner of the Music Teachers National Association woodwind competition in 2019, a Merit Award recipient from the YoungArts Foundation, and was grand prize winner of the 2020 King FM/Seattle Chamber Music Society Young Artist Awards.
David Lockington’s “Violet Viola Concerto” featuring soloist Libor Ondras closes the program. The concerto is named after Lockington’s first granddaughter, Violet, who was born while he was composing the piece. Two days after her birth, a lullaby appeared to Lockington, which he wrote down and took to Ondras to play; that lullaby became the focus of the concerto’s second movement. The first movement, an “appassionata,” evokes a feeling the composer associated with Eastern European expression. The third and final movement, which Lockington describes as a “stomping type of dance” evokes a sense of travel. The concerto was premiered in 2019 by the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra (Grand Rapids, Michigan) and composed for soloist Libor Ondras.
Soloist Libor Ondras is a viola recitalist, conductor and educator. He began his studies with the famed violist Yuri Bashmet at the Moscow Conservatory as a recipient of a Slovak Ministry of Culture fellowship. Ondras continued his studies at the Academy of Music Arts in Prague and holds a doctorate from the University of Houston (Texas). He is currently associate professor, string specialist and director of orchestras at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Northwest Sinfonietta 2021-2022 season continues April 29 and May 1 with “Archipelago” featuring Cuban cross-over pianist Aldo López-Gavilán and concludes on May 21-22 with “In Place and Time” featuring flute soloist Demarre McGill and conductor Mei-Ann Chen in a program of works by Esmail, Rodrigo and Mozart.
About the Northwest Sinfonietta: The Northwest Sinfonietta was founded in 1991 by harpsichordist Kathryn Habedank and conductor Christophe Chagnard. The 35-member ensemble is the premiere chamber orchestra in the Puget Sound region and blends the intimacy of chamber music with the power of a full orchestra. In 2015, the Northwest Sinfonietta became one of the few orchestras in the world to move to an Artistic Partner model of operations, giving the musicians of the ensemble a larger role in the programming and vision for the ensemble. Learn more about the orchestra at: www.northwestsinfonietta.org.
– Northwest Sinfonietta