Friday, January 30, 2009

We invite you to write a review...

If you attend the Alaska Airlines Winter Classics this Feb 6, 7, and 8, please consider logging on to the Anchorage Daily News website and writing a review. Thank you!

Zbutton Just click the "Z" to be taken to our event on the ADN website.

Please check out our store...

We just set up a store on
Please check it out and give me ideas for new products! Thank you!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chamber Music Ushers in the Inaugural Address

African-American Anthony McGill performed on the clarinet; French-born Chinese-American Yo-Yo Ma was the cellist; and Itzhak Perlman, born in Tel Aviv, was the violinist. The pianist was Gabriela Montero, who lives in the US, but is a native of Venezuela.

The music was Air and Simple Gifts by John Williams, the composer of a many a film score from Star Wars to Schindler's List, and it was composed especially for the occasion.

I thought that the music fit the occasion well. The air was thick with emotion and the somber music, which seemed to ask the listener to be quiet and reflect, was was good match. The music prepared us for Obama's address, which was sobering and serious but still allowed us to celebrate (at least a little bit!).

Click here to read an article regarding Yo-Yo Ma's reaction to be asked to perform at the Inaugural ceremonies.

Photo: Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma and Anthony McGill play during the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Obama's Call to the Arts

The president-elect's proposed Artists Corps is one plank in his push to revitalize the arts in education.

Los Angeles - While the Obama transition team works on headline issues such as the economy and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, a small but cautiously hopeful cadre of arts groups, arts educators, and artists from Los Angeles to Philadelphia and beyond is nursing the quiet hope that creativity will find its place beside the sterner faces of war and recession on the Jan. 20 White House to-do list.

To read the rest of the article, please visit

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Looking back at the Festival

Sitka Summer Music Festival
Alaska Business Monthly, June, 2000, by Steve Pilkington
I went on a web search, looking for past articles on the Festival. I really liked the one above because Heather McLean, our former Executive Director, describes the beauty and magic of the stage in Sitka so well.

Here are some others (not already linked to on our website):

Cleveland Music Festival's Festival Guide -- talks about how amazing it is that we have managed to survive in Sitka for so long (a town of only 8,000). Luckily for us, Sitkans are lovers of great art!

New sounds at the Sitka Summer Music Festival --
Harp pieces, the first in a cycle of Beethoven quartets and a Steinway are among the new features of this year's concerts

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Get a sneak peak at the Program Notes for the Alaska Airlines Winter Classics!

I invite you to join us for a weekend of stunning, passionate performances. Each evening features a unique program, with lush, romantic works by Haydn, Beethoven and others.

And celebrate our state's 50th anniversary with Paul Rosenthal's Bravura Variations on Alaska’s Flag.

So, please come inside and warm up – the Sitka Festival musicians will provide plenty of heat and excitement for a remarkable weekend of chamber music.

Scheduled artists are Paul Rosenthal, violin; Armen Ksajikian, cello; Arnulf von Arnim, piano.

To learn more about the music that will be performed each evening, please down load the program notes:

Program notes for Feb 6, 2009
Haydn Duo Sonata for Violin and Cello
Gliere Suite for Violin and Cello, Op. 39
Borodin Cello Sonata in B Minor
Beethoven Piano Trio in E Flat Major, Op. 70, No. 2

Program notes for Feb 7, 2009

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 11
Schumann Carnaval, Op. 9
Mendelssohn Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 66

Program notes for Feb 8, 2009

Mendelssohn-Heifetz Song Without Words “Sweet Remembrance”
Mendelssohn-Kreisler Song Without Words “May Breezes”
Debussy-Hartmann Valse la Plus que Lente
Rosenthal Bravura Variations on “Alaska’s Flag”
Haydn Andante and Variations in F Minor for Piano Solo
Smetana Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 15

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Festival is now part of the PFD Charitable Contributions Program

The Sitka Summer Music Festival is pleased to announce that we are part of the new PFD Charitable Contributions Program for 2009. The Alaska Legislature passed a law in 2008 making this new way to give possible for all Alaskans filing for their PFD on-line.

For those of you who already support the Sitka Summer Music Festival, we appreciate your gifts and hope you will use this option to make an additional donation.

Your donation at any level will be carefully spent and will support one of Alaska's most valuable artistic treasures – the Sitka Summer Music Festival.

When you go on-line to sign up for your dividend, you will see the option called "The Gift of Giving." Search for us by choosing Statewide and our name (Sitka Summer Music Festival). Click and follow the instructions to make a new donation, or an additional gift.

At the same time, please take the extra step you will see after you make your donation to provide your contact information to us. We want to acknowledge and recognize your generous support, and this is the only way we will know it's you making the gift.

You can find more information about the program, including frequently asked questions at

Friday, January 2, 2009

Popular movies about the Romantic Composers

The only known photograph of Chopin (taken byBisson, ca. 1849, the year of the composer's death)
Taken from

I just watched the 1991 movie Impromtu ( "Nineteenth century feminist author George Sand (Judy Davis), as famous for her cigar-smoking and pants-wearing as she was for her writing, is at the center of this literary drama. Although she's fallen for composer Frederic Chopin (Hugh Grant), a number of obstacles stand in their way -- rivals, former lovers … even duels! This film was nominated for a New York Film Critics Circle Award and an Independent Spirit Award.")

It was a romantic comedy -- let me know what you think!