Violinist Charlotte Marckx rejoins the Port Angeles Symphony for two performances Saturday. (Charlotte Marckx)

Violinist Charlotte Marckx rejoins the Port Angeles Symphony for two performances Saturday. (Charlotte Marckx)

Symphony, soloist poised for ‘incredibly moving’ concerto

PORT ANGELES — This spring is loaded for Charlotte Marckx.

The 22-year-old virtuosa is about to graduate with her degree in violin performance; she’s been selected for the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium in May. But first, she’ll rejoin the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra this weekend to play one of her all-time favorite concertos.

“Every time I come back to it, I love it even more,” Marckx said of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, which is the centerpiece of the symphony’s performances on Saturday.

Also playing Hindemith’s Prelude to “Mathis der Maler” and Respighi’s “The Pines of Rome,” the orchestra will take the stage twice, at 10 a.m. for the public dress rehearsal and at 7:30 p.m. for the evening concert.

Marckx and conductor and artistic director Jonathan Pasternack will give a brief pre-concert chat at 6:30 p.m.

The venue is the Port Angeles High School Performing Arts Center, 304 E. Park Ave. Tickets are available at portangelessymphony.org, at Port Book and News in downtown Port Angeles and at the door at concert time.

These works, from Prokofiev, Respighi and Hindemith, “are in a modern idiom, and they are very tuneful, with thrilling orchestration,” Pasternack said.

He added that the orchestra is 82 musicians strong this time, including Marckx, the guest soloist.

She’s well-known to North Olympic Peninsula audiences, having debuted with the Port Angeles Symphony in December 2018. She was just 17 then, and her performance of Vivaldi’s “Winter” wowed the audience, Pasternack said.

He invited Marckx back again, along with her cellist sister Olivia, in 2020 for a live-streamed concert. And in February 2023, when a soloist could not make it to a scheduled concert, the conductor asked Marckx if she could step in to play the Dvorak Concerto for Violin.

She did, in a dazzling fashion, after learning the solo part in a few weeks, Pasternack said.

“Charlotte possesses that rare kind of artistic depth and musical expressivity that you find in the old masters, like Oistrakh and Heifetz. No one should miss the opportunity to hear her perform live,” he said.

He also noted that Marckx, who is not a self-promoter, has been accepted to the Queen Elisabeth Competition. She is among 69 competitors chosen from 290 applicants worldwide.

“I’m missing my own graduation to go to Brussels,” but that is OK, she said.

“I’m really excited to interact with the musicians there, and so honored to be considered among them,” said Marckx, who will receive her degree in violin performance from the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.

This Saturday will be a shining highlight too, Marckx said. The Prokofiev concerto is “incredibly interesting, incredibly moving. I have friends who don’t totally get classical music,” but this work has captivated them.

With its emotional arc and a full orchestra playing, “this concerto just grabs you,” she said. “It affects you.”

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Port Townsend.

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