By Diane Urbani de la Paz
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Michael Nicolella, a guitarist who has graduated from Yale University, the Berklee College of Music and the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, will be the guitar soloist; joining him will be Mia Beatie Frederickson, a Port Townsend resident who plays a 19th-century French cello, and pianist Adam Stern, who is also conductor of the Port Angeles Symphony.
Together with the chamber orchestra, the three will offer a program titled “Italy through the Ages” tonight at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez St., Port Angeles, and Saturday night at the Sequim Worship Center, 640 N. Sequim Ave. Both performances will start at 7 p.m., and travel among these works:
■ Bolzoni’s Minuet and Gavotte;
■ Vivaldi’s Sonata in e for Cello and Piano;
■ Mauro Giuliani’s Concerto in A for Guitar and Orchestra;
■ Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 3.
The Giuliani concerto “is a beautiful piece — exciting, charming and moving, as well as a lot of fun to play,” Nicolella said.
The guitarist and Stern are colleagues at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, but this is their first time together in Port Angeles; Nicolella urges all kinds of music lovers to catch one of their performances.
“The guitar has a universal appeal; this is a chance to hear an instrument often underutilized in chamber music concerts,” he added.
Nicolella is hailed as “one of the contemporary guitar’s most gifted stars” by Classical Guitar magazine. He’s played with a variety of groups, from the Seattle Symphony to the Merce Cunningham Dance Co.
Frederickson, for her part, emphasized the pure delight of these chamber concerts.
“They are much less formal and much less stuffy than people might expect,” she said. “It’s just about enjoying the music.”
She added that she brings her children, ages 5 and 8, to her performances.
“I always encourage other people to bring their children,” she said, since if young people don’t discover the pleasures of live classics, Frederickson said, then “the music won’t go on.”
In this Italian program, Frederickson looks with special favor at the Vivaldi. It was one of the first pieces she performed as a 12-year-old.
Frederickson, who grew up in Seattle, went on to study at Western Washington University — earning degrees in French, psychology and sociology — and at France’s Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Besançon.
Today, she plays with the Port Angeles Symphony, maintains a private studio and coaches for the Seattle Youth Symphony summer program, Marrowstone in the City.
Stern is well-known in Seattle and Port Angeles as leader of the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra and the Seattle Philharmonic. After entering the California Institute of the Arts at age 15, he earned a master of fine arts in conducting, became a sought-after pianist, a composer and the winner of a 1990 Grammy Award for Classical Producer of the Year.
All seats at the Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra concerts tonight and Saturday are $12, with tickets on sale in Port Angeles at Port Book and News, 104 E. First St., and at the Port Angeles Symphony office, 216-C N. Laurel St. In Sequim, tickets are at The Good Book/Joyful Noise Music Center, 108 W. Washington St., and Sequim Village Glass, 761 Carlsborg Road. Tickets will also be available at the door.
To learn more about this and other chamber orchestra and symphony events, visit www.PortAngeles
Symphony.org or phone 360-457-5579.