Port Angeles Symphony breaks out blockbusters for Saturday concert

Soloist Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi of Seattle joins the Port Angeles Symphony for performances Saturday, March 11. Submitted photo

Soloist Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi of Seattle joins the Port Angeles Symphony for performances Saturday, March 11. Submitted photo

PORT ANGELES — The maestro can hardly wait.

“I am really happy to present this music that I love so much,” said Jonathan Pasternack, conductor of the Port Angeles Symphony’s concert at Port Angeles High, 304 E. Park Ave., on Saturday.

Now in its 84th season, the community orchestra invites the public to its final rehearsal at 10 a.m. and then the evening concert at 7:30 p.m.

Pasternack will host a pre-performance conversation about the music at 6:40 p.m.

Tickets to the nighttime event are $12 for students and seniors, $15 for general admission and $20 to $30 for reserved seats.

For those who want to see the conductor and orchestra rehearse the complete program Saturday morning, admission is $5 per person or $10 per family.

At all performances, those 16 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

This time out, the orchestra will offer Carl August Nielsen’s “Aladdin” suite — “an energetic start to the concert,” Pasternack promised.

Then Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi, the guest soloist from Seattle, will join the symphony to play the Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor by Henryk Wieniawski, a Polish composer known for writing virtuoso concert pieces.

The concerto is romantic, poetic — “a real show-off piece,” Kransberg-Talvi said in a phone interview from her studio.

Completing the program: the Symphony No. 1 in E minor from Jean Sibelius, a Finnish composer seated atop Pasternack’s list of all-time favorites.

“Sibelius is very close to my heart,” the conductor said, adding this was a man who forged his own path to make music that pulses with color and invention.

With Finlander Sibelius, Pole Wieniawski and Nielsen, who was Danish, this concert celebrates composers from northern nations and cold climes. Their melodies express drama, warmth and emotion, said Pasternack.

“They’re all blockbuster pieces,” he added.

Pasternack also is full of anticipation for the guest soloist. Kransberg-Talvi “is part of the grand tradition of violin-playing. She is a protege of Jascha Heifetz, a very expressive player without any histrionics,” said the conductor, who first performed with her — and the Port Angeles Symphony ­— when he came here to audition for the job of conductor and music director.

That was in October 2014 and now Pasternack is in his second season leading the symphony.

“Working with him is a delight,” Kransberg-Talvi said of Port Angeles’ maestro.

“He makes it feel like chamber music between the soloist and orchestra. He’s not in the way … he’s letting it unfold.”

As for her formation as a musician, Kransberg-Talvi can’t remember a time without the violin.

As a girl in Beverly on the northern shore of Massachusetts, she wanted to play the recorder like her schoolmates, but her mother, violinist Fran Kransberg, encouraged her to try something harder.

“She got me a tiny little violin. And that became my instrument. It was like my voice.”

By the time she was 12, Marjorie Kransberg was playing in concerts around Boston, joining orchestras and meeting musicians from many walks of life.

“I was fortunate to be in that environment,” she recalled, where “outside of Boston, there were so many community orchestras. People were really dedicated to coming together and making music regardless of what they did [during the workweek].”

Kransberg-Talvi added that she’s eager to play with the Port Angeles Symphony, another community orchestra presenting great music. This program, she said, is a rich, romantic one — a break from the workaday world.

“Life can become so mechanical,” she said. “This music really speaks to the soul.”

Tickets and information about this and future Port Angeles Symphony concerts are available at the symphony office at 360-457-5579 or by email at PASymphony@olypen.com.

Ticket outlets also include The Joyful Noise Music Center at 112 W. Washington St. in downtown Sequim and Port Book and News at 104 E. First St. in downtown Port Angeles.


The Olympic Peninsula News Group is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum.

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