Arts and Entertainment

Acclaimed cellists will star in chamber orchestra concert

Rowena Hammill and Douglas Davis. - Courtesy photo
Rowena Hammill and Douglas Davis.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Vashon Maury Chamber Orchestra will presents its final concerts of the season this weekend, with a children’s concert planned for Saturday and a full concert scheduled for Sunday.

Karin Choo, musical director of the orchestra, has recruited two renowned guest artists to play at both concerts.

Rowena Hammill and Douglas Davis, husband and wife, who recently moved to the Island from California, will perform Antonio Vivaldi’s “Double Cello Concerto in G minor.”

The pair brings impressive credentials and a wealth of experiences to their performances here.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Hammill came to the United States to study with famed Russian-born cellist Raya Garbousova, who taught at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill.

She also studied at Indiana University with the renowned Hungarian-born cellist Janos Starker.

Hammill taught for four years at the University of Northern Iowa before moving to Los Angeles to take a professorship at California State University Northridge.

While in Los Angeles, she joined the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra as assistant principal and assumed the same job at Los Angeles Opera, a position she still holds. She has played at many summer festivals, including the Ravinia festival, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Carmel Bach Festival, and on hundreds of movie and television soundtracks.

Davis was born and raised in southern California.

As a scholarship student of Gregor Piatigorsky, he was a prizewinner in the first international Tchaikovsky Competition.

Davis has held principal positions with the St. Louis Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Pasadena Symphony. He also played principal cello for many years with the Oregon Bach festival and at the Bach Academy in Stuttgart, Germany, under Helmuth Rilling. He has played first cello for many film scores, including John Williams’ “Jurassic Park” and James Horner’s “Apollo 13,” and is presently performing in Seattle as guest principal cello for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

Concert details

Vashon Maury Chamber Orchestra’s Children’s Concert will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 16, at Vashon Methodist Church.

The program will feature selections from Vivaldi’s “Double Cello Concerto” and Peter Warlock’s “Capriol Suite,” with special guest hosts Gabriele Burgess and Kim Thal, who will introduce the works and provide musical storytelling. Admission, at the door, is “pay what you can.”

The orchestra will present a full performance at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 17, at Vashon Methodist Church. The program will include Warlock’s “Capriol Suite for String Orchestra,” Vivaldi’s “Double Cello Concerto in G minor” and Antonin Dvorak’s “String Quartet No. 12 in F Minor, American.” Written in 1893 while Dvorak resided in the United States, the “American” was inspired by the unique sounds of America, including African-American spirituals, Native American music, birdsong and even the great American locomotive.

Tickets, $7 to $10, will be sold at the door.

 

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