Arts and Entertainment

A concert arrives from ‘Russia with Love’

Odeonquartet will kick off Vashon Allied Arts’ new chamber music series on Friday. - Courtesy Photo
Odeonquartet will kick off Vashon Allied Arts’ new chamber music series on Friday.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

A brand-new Island chamber music series will kick off on Friday with a concert by Odeonquartet, an acclaimed and well-traveled Seattle string quartet.

The ambitious new series, presented by Vashon Allied Arts and spearheaded by reknowned cellists Rowena Hammill and Douglas Davis, will include three concerts between now and next February.

Odeonquartet’s concert on Friday is dubbed “From Russia With Love” and will feature three centuries of Russian chamber music.

Hammill, who recently joined Odeonquartet, said she is excited about the music that will be played that night.

“This concert will be compelling and accessible for all ages,” she said. “There is something for everyone.”

The program will include what Hammill described as a “monumental” piece — Dmitri Shostakovich’s dramatic and dark Eighth Quartet, which the famed Russian composer wrote in 1960 and dedicated to the victims of war, fascism and totalitarianism.

“You can hear air-raid sirens and bombs dropping,” Hammill said, adding that she hopes young people come to the concert to hear this particular piece.

“I first heard it when I was 14 years old,” she said.

The concert will also include Pavel Karmanov’s 1997 baroque-informed string quartet and Alexander Glazunov’s richly orchestrated cello quintet from 1892 — a work that is touted on Odeonquartet’s website as a piece of music that “sets the bar for lush melodies and sheer sonic gorgeousness.”

In addition to Hammill, Odeonquartet also includes noted violinists Gennady Filimonov and Artur Girsky and violist Heather Bentley. The ensemble, founded 10 years ago, has been heard at many prestigious venues and chamber music festivals throughout the Northwest.

Other appearances include Benaroya Hall, the gala opening of Experience Music Project and at The Triple Door in Seattle, where the group played with jazz favorites Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb.

Douglas Davis will also perform with Odeonquartet on Friday.

Hammill said she is confident that Vashon audiences will appreciate the ensemble’s music.

“The level of the audience is so high on Vashon,” she said. “People respond in such a meaningful way.”

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