High praise from Voix Étouffées attendee

Ladies Musical Club’s performers Johanna Mastenbrook, Adrianna Hulscher, Malya Muth and Katie Hochman gave a great concert at Haller Lake Music Series on May 27 – so great that one attendee sent in an extra $100 donation because he was so moved and got so much more than what he had paid for. Who is this mystery man? None other than Opera Plus’s Norm Hollingshead (who gives excellent pre-opera previews in public libraries), who wrote: “The whole concert knocked me out. The works selected to be performed were wonderful and every performer was at the top of her game. I practically levitated when those two charming sopranos sang the 4 Weill songs at the end of the show. I will surely return for future concerts.”

Well, I hope all you readers will come to many of these concerts too! Haller Lake Music Series is getting noticed – witness Sean MacLean’s Northwest Focus Live KING FM radio program (archived at https://soundcloud.com/user-70149162/sets/bach-in-the-subways-founder) and Seattle Times’ reporter Tom Keogh’s feature article on May 26, 2016: http://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/classical-music/concert-restores-to-their-rightful-place-composers-persecuted-by-the-nazis/

Play On!

Play On! Chamber Ensemble will perform a concert of instrumental and vocal music of Bach, Lehar, Bozza, Josef Strauss, and will feature Apparitions, a song cycle by one of the Northwest’s finest composers, John Muehleisen. This is a premiere of a new arrangement of settings of six Walt Whitman poems. They will also premiere Kris Iverson’s arrangement of Liszt’s Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude. Originally a piano piece, Kris has arranged this piece for Play On! for soprano, clarinet, violin, and piano four-hands. The Lamertine poem that was included when the original piano piece was published provides the text. Related poetry will be presented throughout the concert.

Voix Etouffees (Stifled Voices) at Haller Lake United Methodist Church

Honoring the month of May’s two holidays – Holocaust Remembrance Day and Memorial Day- you have the rare opportunity to hear some music that few people on earth have ever seen performed; the next Haller Lake Music Series concert – “Les Voix Étouffées” (“The Stifled Voices”) – features music by four composers whom the Nazis tried to silence. Most of you know the songs of Kurt Weill and may have seen some movies for which Erich Korngold wrote the scores, and some of you may have heard performances at Benaroya Hall of some of the music written by Erwin Schulhoff while imprisoned in a concentration camp, but Alfred Tokayer is surely an unfamiliar name. About a decade ago, a box of his hand-written music manuscripts were found in a basement in a library in Canada. A librarian tracked down Tokayer’s only child (now in her 80’s) living in the south of France. Haller Lake Music Series Program Director and LMC pianist Karin McCullough was introduced to Irene Tokayer Currie some years ago while doing a house exchange in France, and the two ladies became friends. Irene gave Karin permission to perform her father’s unpublished music, including the “Nursery Suite,” which Tokayer had written for his then very young daughter after he had to leave Irene and her mother behind in Germany and seek asylum in France. On the program: Erwin Schulhoff’s Tempo di Fox a’ la Hawaii, Boston Waltz, and Shimmy from “Jazz-like, Partita for Piano;” Alfred Tokayer’s Das ist der Wein (sung by Katie Hochman accompanied by pianist Johanna Mastenbrook), Priere sans paroles (performed by PNB violinist Adrianna Hulscher and pianist Karin McCullough), Ou vas-tu donc?, Soir, and Arriere Ete’ (sung by Katie Hochman accompanied by pianist Karin McCullough), and Une journee de mon enfant (the “Nursery Suite,” sung by Malya Muth accompanied by pianist Karin McCullough); Erich Korngold’s Marietta’s Lied from “The Dead City” (sung by Katie Hochman accompanied by pianist Johanna Mastenbrook), “Much Ado About Nothing” (violin/piano), Selections from “Shakespearean Songs” (sung by Katie Hochman accompanied by pianist Karin McCullough); and various songs by Kurt Weill including Wie lange noch (sung by Katie Hochman accompanied by pianist Johanna Mastenbrook) and Youkali (sung by Malya Muth accompanied by pianist Johanna Mastenbrook). A reception with free refreshments follows where you can chat with the performers and purchase a CD of Tokayer’s extant works recorded as a university project by musicians in Bucharest, Romania.

Bring your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors and come listen to Adrianna Hulscher (violin), Katie Hochman and Malya Muth (sopranos), Johanna Mastenbrook and Karin McCullough (pianists) in the Friday, May 27, 2016, Haller Lake Music Series Concert at Haller Lake United Methodist Church from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Freewill donation: $20 suggested; $5 for youths 18 and under.)

Listening to Mozart – Sun. Mar. 6 at 2pm


On Sunday, March 6, at 2:00 p.m., the Haller Lake Music Series presents “Listening to Mozart,” a performance combining solo piano compositions and the chamber music of Mozart.

Pianists Karin McCullough, Nicole Truesdell, and Lucy Wenger, clarinetist Robert Wingert and violist Jonathan Graber will perform. Between movements, Esther Altshul Helfgott will read poems from her latest book, Listening to Mozart: Poems of Alzheimer’s.

Poignant without being maudlin, Esther’s poetry weaves a story of compassion, sorrow, tenderness, hope and passion – a cathartic story for anyone who has faced the same sort of obstacles, or who has experienced the kind of grief which Esther articulates so beautifully.

Your free-will donation makes this Music Series possible. Thank you for your generosity. ($20 suggested donation, $5 for youths 18 years of age and younger)

Bach in the Subways – Free Organ Marathon

In celebration of JS Bach’s 331st birthday, musicians around the world are performing the music of J.S. Bach  for the public’s enjoyment, free of charge. (No donations will be solicited!) I am delighted to announce that Haller Lake United Methodist Church has agreed to open its doors on Monday, March 21, from 7 pm to 9 pm for an all-Bach organ marathon. The church’s organ will be moved to the front and center so that the audience can see the organist’s hands and feet. (The organ is a two manual Balcom and Vaughan 16 rank organ; it was built for the church back in the 1960’s.  It has all the standard presets and couplers along with an electronic carillon.) As we get closer to the date, please check out the Bach in the Subways website: http://bachinthesubways.org/listen/ to find more specific details on the program and performers! (On Bach’s 330th birthday in 2015 thousands of musicians in 150 cities in 40 countries offered Bach’s music freely to the public in subway stations, in train stations, on moving trains, on street corners, in cafés, malls, restaurants, zoos, and concerts open to all. More Bach was played and heard in a single day than ever before in history, and more Bach was played and heard that day in Greater Seattle than anywhere else in the world!)

Preview of 2016/2017 Haller Lake Music Series concert season

Haller Lake Music Series’ Program Director, Karin McCullough, announces this preview of the 2016/2017 Haller Lake Music Series concert season:

Saturday, October 1, 2016, at 7:30 p.m.:  GraceAnn Cummings of InsidetheMusic performs the opening concert in the 2016/2017 season of the Haller Lake Music Series – “Who Says Love Isn’t Dangerous?” – featuring selected works by Franz Liszt, a composer from the 19th century known for his virtuosic abilities as a pianist and for his dramatic compositions from the Romantic era of classical music. Cummings celebrates his abilities as a composer by programming works for a performance that recreates the experience of transcendence. Adding to the drama, Cummings will wear different masks for each musical selection accompanied with brief commentary for each piece. On the program: MAZEPPA (Etudes d’execution transcendente); VIVO (Grandes Etudes de Paganini); ANDANTE LAGRIMOSO (Harmonies Poetiques); MISERERE (Harmonies Poetiques); PENSEE DES MORTS (Harmonies Poetiques); CZARDAS MACABRE; WIEGENLIED; and BALLAD II.

The performance will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the chapel at Haller Lake United Methodist Church, located at 13055 1st Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98125, USA. Admission is by freewill donation at the door ($20 suggested; $5 for youths 18 and under). Audience members can speak with Ms. Cummings at a post-concert reception in Fellowship Hall across from the chapel, where there will be free refreshments. The church has ample free off-street parking and is handicap-accessible.

Websites: http://www.insidethemusic.com/Concerts/ITMLisztConcert.htm; https://hallerlakemusic.com

January 2017 (date and time TBD): Spiritus Winds with pianist Maria Khavin performing Mozart’s Quintet in E-flat major, K.452

February 2017 (date and time TBD): Rudolph Haken, violist

Tuesday, March 21, 2017, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Bach in the Subways free organ marathon

April 2017 (date and time TBD): Valentina Rodov, pianist, performs an all-Chopin concert

May 2017 (date and time TBD): Volta Piano Trio (fka Icicle Creek Piano Trio)