Sometime this weekend, Erik Peterson and his wife, Catherine, will bundle their three boys into the family vehicle and start the road trip from their Colorado home to Corvallis, two generations of the Peterson family en route for the 12th season of the Chintimini Chamber Music Festival.
It’s a fitting image to unofficially kick off this year’s festival, which Erik Peterson — the festival’s artistic director — has built around the theme of “Generations.”
So this year’s festival includes concerts featuring music by composers who were inspired by musicians of previous generations. It features the premiere of a piece written by the son of a man whose music was performed at last year’s festival. It includes a four-movement tango piece that will be played in juxtaposition with the piece that inspired it, Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”
In other words: Everywhere you look in this year’s Chintimini festival, you’ll be able to draw the connections between the generations.
Including, perhaps, in the Peterson family vehicle.
It’s an appropriate notion for the Chintimini festival, which Peterson, a graduate of Corvallis High School, launched in part to lure back to the mid-valley professional musicians who cut their musical teeth here.
The concept proved appealing enough that Peterson has been able to also lure musicians who didn’t grow up here to Corvallis for the five-concert, two-week run of the festival — which also is notable in that the musicians involved don’t confine themselves to the concert stage.
In fact, this year’s activities include impromptu performances at the Corvallis Farmers Market, concerts for children at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library on Wednesday, June 20, and a fundraising event, Tango @ Tyee, scheduled for Saturday, June 23, at the Tyee Winery.
The idea, this year as always, is to get exposure for classical music to the widest possible audience, one of Peterson’s passions.
“I really believe that there is something in what we call classical music for everyone,” Peterson said in a telephone interview with the Entertainer. “But many people don’t have that experience in their lives.”
Hence the appearances at the Farmers Market and the children’s concerts at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, both festival staples.
And part of the message that these concerts try to get across is the idea that just as there are different types of popular music, there are many different types of classical music — and that one size doesn’t fit all tastes.
In fact, Peterson said, some of the earliest classical composers appropriated the popular music of their time — folk songs, for example. It’s a trend that continues today, with today’s classical composers drawing inspiration from the music all around them.
“I believe that classical music has the ability to incorporate all these other styles,” he said.
That’s why there’s a wide array of musical styles on this year’s festival program — a testament to the variety possible inside the chamber music format. And a side dish of tango helps to spice up many of this year’s concerts
One highlight is the festival’s final concert, scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, in the Whiteside Theatre — possibly the first classical music concert ever staged at the Whiteside.
The program for that concert juxtaposes Astor Piazzolla’s “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” with the piece that at least partially inspired it, Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” The idea is that when the musicians play, for example, Vivaldi’s “Spring,” the next piece will be the fall segment of Piazzolla’s work — since when it’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s fall down south.
“It’s something I’ve been interested in doing for awhile,” Peterson said of the combination. “Making packages of music that hopefully tie together over the course of the festival.”
Another link that ties into the “Generations” theme is the premiere performance of “Killer Shorts” by University of Oregon professor David Crumb.
Last year, the festival performed “Black Angels,” a work by Crumb’s father, George.
Peterson is thrilled not just by the generational link, but also by the opportunity to perform a brand new work for mid-valley audiences.
“It’s exciting to be able to be part of the process of creating new music,” he said.
And, just possibly, to help shape the next generation of classical music fans.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Chintimini concert schedule
Here’s the concert schedule for this year’s Chintimini Chamber Music Festival. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.
• Concert No. 1: Friday, June 15, First Congregational United Church of Christ, 4515 S.W. West Hills Road, Corvallis. J.S. Bach, Concerto for three violins in D major; C.P.E. Bach, Flute concerto in D minor; J.S. Bach, Four arias with violin obbligato; J.C. Bach (attributed), Cello concerto in C minor.
• Concert No. 2: Tuesday, June 19, First Congregational. Ginastera, “Danzas Argentinas”; Piazzolla, Tango etudes for solo flute Nos. 5, 4 and 6; Ginastera, Pampeana No. 2 for cello and piano; David Crumb, “Killer Shorts”; Lili Boulanger, “Nocturne and Cortege”; Copland, “Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson.”
• Concert No. 3: Friday, June 22, First Congregational. Franck, Sonata for piano and violin in A major; Chausson, Concerto for violin and piano quintet.
• Concert No. 4: Sunday, June 24, First Congregational. Haydn, Quartet in D minor “Fifths”; Beethoven, Quartet Opus 18 No. 2; Mendelssohn, Octet in E flat major, Opus 30.
• Concert No. 5: Tuesday, June 26, Whiteside Theatre, 361 S.W. Madison Ave., Corvallis. Vivaldi, “The Four Seasons”; Piazzolla, “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.”
Tickets are $20 for a single concert and $75 for a season ticket. Students in high school and college are free with an ID. Younger students accompanied by an adult are free. SNAP participants can purchase up to two adult tickets for $5 each by presenting their Oregon Trail card at the box office at each concert; these tickets are not available at outlets or via mail.
To order tickets by mail, send an order and a check to Chintimini Chamber Music, 9083 N.W. Lessie Place, Corvallis, OR 97330. Indicate how many tickets you want and for which concerts. Include your name, street address and a phone number in event of questions. Tickets also can be purchased at Gracewinds Music, Grass Roots Books & Music, Troubadour Music and WineStyles in Corvallis and at Sid Stevens Jewelers in Albany.
Other Chintimini events
“Tango @ Tyee,” featuring Erin Furbee’s Tango Pacifico, is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 at Tyee Winery, 26355 Greenberry Road, south of Corvallis. Tickets for dinner, wine and the concert are $35. Tickets including just the wine and the concert are $25. Tickets for those under 21 are $10. The event includes some tango lessons with instructor Peter Gysegem.
This season’s concerts for children are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20 at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 N.W. Monroe Ave. The concerts feature a piece inspired by Hans Christian Andersen set to music composed by David Mullikan. The event is free.
In addition, many of the musicians featured in this festival plan to perform informally at the Corvallis Farmers Market on Saturday, June 16.
On the web
You can find more information about the festival on its website, chintimini.org.