Spend Sunday afternoon with Mozart, Brahms and Schubert in Port Townsend

Spend Sunday afternoon with Mozart, Brahms and Schubert in Port Townsend

PORT TOWNSEND — Lucinda Carver is here to dispel a misconception.

The idea that you have to be an expert about classical music to enjoy it, she says, is just wrong.

“Great music speaks to everyone,” says Carver, who intends to prove that Sunday with an afternoon of Mozart, Brahms and Schubert, plus a lesser-known work by the late English composer Rebecca Clarke.

Carver is the artistic director of Centrum’s Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival, which opens its season at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Wheeler Theater at Fort Worden State Park, 200 Battery Way.

Close to her heart

She’s also the pianist who, with clarinetist Sean Osborn and violist Jonathan Moerschel beside her, will offer music Carver says is “very close to my heart.”

She’s been pouring her heart into the piano for quite a long time now. Growing up in the Orange County, Calif., town of Los Alamitos, Carver started begging her mother for lessons when she was just 3.

Mom sought the best teacher around, and found Dorothy Judy Klein, a well-known concert pianist. She had begun teaching, but only students age 5 and older.

Klein gave in, though, after much beseeching from Carver and her mother.

“I started lessons six weeks before my 5th birthday,” the pianist recalls.

“[Klein] was an extraordinary teacher,” with whom she stayed till she was 18.

Carver went on to the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, where she earned a doctorate in musical arts and where she’s now a teacher of piano, harpsichord and conducting.

Moerschel was among her students there — “an absolutely phenomenal talent,” Carver says.

The violist is “a very elegant player,” and now a member of the Calder Quartet of Los Angeles.

Osborn, the other member of the trio to play Sunday, is a new acquaintance, but a musician Carver has heard plenty about. He was the youngest clarinetist ever hired by the Metropolitan Opera, and traveled the world with its orchestra for 11 years.

“Luckily for us, now he’s based in Seattle,” Carver noted. Osborn performs with the Seattle Symphony among other orchestras around the country.

Musical delights

Carver, for her part, promises Port Townsend a musical afternoon of delights.

There’s Mozart’s Trio in E flat Major for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, a lighthearted piece that is much like a serenade, and Brahms’ Sonata No. 1 in F minor for Clarinet and Piano, which Carver calls “exquisitely beautiful.”

Completing the program are Schubert’s Sonata in A Major for Viola and Piano, known as the “Arpeggione” sonata, and Clarke’s Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale.

The Clarke music is “off the beaten path,” Carver adds.

“I like to include something a little bit more outside the traditional repertoire, to challenge the audience.”

Sunday’s concert will run about 70 minutes. Afterward, listeners are invited to a reception with the musicians in the Fort Worden Chapel next door to the Wheeler Theater. This is the first of three Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival events, with the others set for Feb. 24 and April 21, also at the Wheeler.

Tickets to Sunday’s performance range from $27 to $32 for adults, while students 17 and younger are invited to come for free. They must have tickets, however. All tickets are available via www.Centrum.org or by phoning 1-800-746-1982.

As with other Centrum events, free parking passes are provided for the event for patrons who do not have a state parks Discover Pass.

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