Concert series brings renowned players to Vashon

A Russian piano prodigy is first up in the lineup.

Local bassist and composer Jason Everett will play with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra (John Cornicello Photo).

Local bassist and composer Jason Everett will play with the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra (John Cornicello Photo).

Vashon Center for the Arts has announced an array of classical music concerts featuring solo artists, full chamber orchestras, and local and international musicians, beginning with back-to-back concerts on Feb. 2 and 3, and running through June.

Vyacheslav “Slava” Gryaznov on Feb. 2

Russian classical pianist Vyacheslav “Slava” Gryaznov will perform the debut concert of the new series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, in VCA’s Katherine L White Hall. Gryaznov will play a select program of Serge Rachmaninoff, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. A pre-concert lecture, at 6:45 p.m., will take place before the concert that evening.

Gryaznov — who is renowned for his musical transcription of classical works for solo piano — is coming to Vashon through the inspiration and efforts of Michael Tracy, who is a local musicologist, accomplished amatuer pianist and VCA board member.

While doing research for his upcoming Music History Lecture at VCA on Debussy, Tracy first heard Gryaznov playing his transcription of Debussy’s “The Afternoon of a Fawn.”

“It blew me away,” he said.

Tracy was so impressed by what he heard that he tracked down Gryaznov’s agent and arranged for the 36-year old pianist to include a stop on Vashon during his current West Coast tour. And since Gryaznov is a Steinway Artist, Tracy has also arranged for a concert grand piano to be brought to Vashon for Gryaznov’s performance, courtesy of Steinway.

Gryaznov recorded his first CD on the Steinway & Sons label last year, in addition to performing at Carnegie Hall and the Berliner Philharmonie, and other venues in Russia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Austria and France. He is a member of the Moscow Philharmonic Society and author of more than 30 concert arrangements and transcriptions.

Advance tickets to the concert, on sale online at vashoncenterforthearts.org, are $10 to $32. All tickets at the door cost $36. To sample Gryaznov’s musicianship, visit gryaznoff.com.

Jason Everett and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra

Local composer and bassist Jason Everett and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra (SMCO) will present a concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, in VCA’s Katherine L White Hall.

Everett and the orchestra have collaborated on a new program called “From Spain to India: Contemporary Instrumental Masters,” which brings together Everett’s love of Indian and Flamenco music with the orchestra’s mission of featuring a mix of music for chamber orchestra and small ensemble of all eras — with a significant focus on contemporary and rarely heard music. The ensemble is dedicated to exploring the future of music, and premiering new works of gifted young composers.

The program will also highlight selections from Everett’s CD, “Playing with Fire,” created and recorded as a Jack Straw Artist in Residence project.

Everett, who trained as a classical bassist before discovering his passion for Indian and Flamenco music, recently recorded the CD “Playing with Fire” with his Indian fusion band, Deep Energy Orchestra. Two of the band members also play with Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, and they recommended Everett to orchestra conductor Geoffrey Larson.

“Indian classical music has always interested me and other members of the orchestra, so we jumped on the chance to take on a project that explores Indian styles,” Larson said.

SMCO musicians often perform with a wide variety of other musical groups around the Northwest, from Seattle Symphony and Symphony Tacoma to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Everett said that for the project, he has scored music for 20 musicians for 12 hours a day for the past six weeks.

“The drone and bass note of the Indian music and the rhythmic Flamenco are opposite, but they blend well,” he said.

Everett will be a soloist along with special guest artist and legendary classical guitarist Fareed Harque, who has toured with Paquito D’Rivera and Sting and is known for his wide-ranging collaborations. Other musicians will include Trey Gunn, who is a guitarist of the rock group King Crimson. Performing on electric violin, Radhika Iyer will blend traditional Indian classical music with contemporary sounds.

The program will include Manuel de Falla’s Suite from “El amor brujo” and the music of Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar and Jason Everett. Advance tickets, at vashoncenterforthearts.org, are $10 to $22. All tickets at the door cost $26.

Upcoming classical music events at VCA

March 2: Vashon Maury Chamber Orchestra — Sinfonia Concertante

March 4: Vashon Chamber — Cello Virtuosity III

March 25: Vashon Chamber — Stars of the Oregon Symphony

March 31: Michael Tracy Music History Lecture: Claude Debussy

June 9: Michael Tracy Music History Lecture: The Life and Music of Maurice Ravel

For information and tickets visit vashoncenterforthearts. org.

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