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A talented couple brings intimacy of chamber music to Vashon
The heavenly strains of masterworks by Beethoven and Dvořák, played by virtuoso musicians, will be heard on Vashon this Friday.
It’s the downbeat to the third annual edition of Vashon Allied Arts’ Vashon Chamber Music Series — an effort spearheaded by Islanders Douglas Davis and Rowena Hammill, two acclaimed cello players who decided to make Vashon their home four years ago.
Davis and Hammill, a married couple, settled at an outside table at Café Luna on a recent sunny morning to talk about their journey to Vashon and why they are so eager to share the music they love best with Islanders.
In the easy banter of musical and life partners, they came straight to the point.
“The music that was written for chamber orchestras was some of the greatest masterworks every written,” Hammill said. “Beethoven wrote his greatest music for string quartets. Chamber music crystallizes the skill of the composers.”
Hammill and Davis moved to the Island in 2007 after long and storied careers spent playing in prestigious orchestras and chamber music ensembles all over the world. The pair’s home base was Los Angeles, a place they met while sharing a music stand in the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Before and after their courtship and marriage, they also worked in Hollywood orchestras, recording hundreds of scores for television shows and films.
But when Davis, a native of southern California who is now 70 years old, was ready to retire after 32 years with the Los Angeles