Sisters Elisa Barston, Amy Barston are part of Trio Hava, which also includes pianist John Blacklow. They will play this weekend during Concerts in the Barn in Quilcene.

Sisters Elisa Barston, Amy Barston are part of Trio Hava, which also includes pianist John Blacklow. They will play this weekend during Concerts in the Barn in Quilcene.

Concerts in the Barn returns this weekend

QUILCENE — The Concerts in the Barn series will return for an eighth season of free chamber music in the iconic Quilcene barn.

The first performances are on Saturday and Sunday and will run to the end of the month, with a fourth weekend of music slated for Aug. 3-4 at 7360 Center Road in Quilcene.

All concerts begin at 2 p.m. Patrons have the option of sitting inside on chairs, in the loft or listening outside on the lawn.

Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy a picnic lunch and stroll through the grounds.

“This year, we have a lot of chamber music packed into four weeks on the farm,” volunteer director Leigh Hearon said. “In addition to weekend performance, there are four mid-week open rehearsals so our audience can see how our musicians craft their artistry before performing on stage.”

Open rehearsal seating will be limited, Hearon said, so organizers encourage patrons to sign up on the website ( This week’s will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The season kicks off with Trio Hava, with Barston sisters Amy on cello and Elisa on violin. This year, they are joined by pianist John Blacklow, whose performances The New York Times has described as “powerful and eloquent.”

The three have created a concert of works by Mozart, Samuel Barber and Dvořák.

In addition, the sisters will bring back the rollicking folk tunes introduced last year, which festival organizers are calling “Blazing Fiddles.”

On June 22-23, the Fulton Street Chamber Players will return to perform cello quintets by Franz Schubert and Russian composer Alexander Glazunov. Returning artists will include violinist Cordula Merks, cellist Walter Gray and violist Rachel Swerdlow. They will be joined by cellist Stephen Balderston and violinist John Weller.

The Carpe Diem String Quartet will return the last weekend in June with new first violinist Sam Weiser, whom patrons met last summer along with violinist Marisa Ishikawa, violist Korine Fujiwara and cellist Ariana Nelson. They will perform works by violist Kujiwara, Joaquín Turina and the last string quartet composed by Franz Schubert.

Concerts in the Barn will return on Aug. 3-4 for a final weekend to hear Kaimerata Concerts perform works by Richard Strauss and Enrö Dohnanyi. Husband-and-wife duo Kai Gleusteen and Catherine Ordronneau will host their own festival on Denman Island, and each year they travel to the barn with their colleagues — violist Dan Scholz and cellist Beth Root Sandvoss — to give audiences a preview of what they’ll be performing later in Canada.

Although all concerts are free, patrons are asked to reserve seating for each performance through TicketStripe, accessible on concerts’ website at

“When we began Concerts in the Barn in 2016, our goal was to make chamber music as accessible as possible,” Hearon said.

“We want everyone, particularly families with children and seniors on a budget, to experience this great music and didn’t want the price of a ticket to get in the way.

“At the same time, we firmly believe our artists should be paid at rates commensurate with other music festivals. With a volunteer staff, the donations we receive from private and business donors allows us to do that, while ensuring that anyone who wants to experience live chamber music has that opportunity.”

The farm has dozens of picnic tables set up for concertgoers. Wine from The Wine Seller and cider from Finnriver Cider will be sold in the Milking Shed area of the barn.

Non-alcoholic beverages, coffee, cookies and ice cream also will be sold, but concertgoers are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunches.

Bottled water is available without charge. Concertgoers also can purchase Festival Fashions inside.

Patrons who choose to sit outside will be able to hear the music from the barn from well-spaced amplifiers.

The farm opens to concertgoers at noon each concert day. Volunteers will direct attendees to the check-in table, where programs are available.

Concerts in the Barn is wheelchair accessible and accommodates people with all mobility issues; alert the concerts office at 360-732-0732 in advance of arrival.

To ensure the safety of our musicians, staff, and volunteers, no one will be allowed on the farm property except those invited by prior arrangement or with reserved seating.

Get details on programs, artists bios and free tickets at

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