Hungarian concert violinist to perform with OYStrs Festival Chamber Orchestra


World-class Hungarian violinist Michael Barta will be the featured performer with the Olympic Youth Strings Festival Chamber Orchestra for a single concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 24) at the Chimacum High School Auditorium. Barta, professor of violin at Southern Illinois University, has given more than 1,000 concerts around the globe, including 23 European countries and Japan, and has recorded in Europe and the US.


He was invited to play with the nonprofit Olympic Youth Strings ("OYStrs") by founder and director Dr. Alan Rawson of Chimacum, who will also perform with Barta and the orchestra in Mozartís Sinfonia Concertante, a double concerto for violin and viola.


Now in its third season, OYStrs is dedicated to promoting string orchestral and chamber music in the Port Townsend area. 28 musicians will be on stage for this event including advanced students, amateurs, and string teachers, young and old from throughout the Quimper Peninsula along with several others from Port Angeles, Sequim, Diamond Point, and Silverdale.


Rawson, a violinist and former music professor at Minnesota State University in Moorhead, moved to Chimacum two years ago along with his wife and piano accompanist Sandy Rawson. Barta lived under communism for the first half of his life and defected to the United States in 1981 with his wife Irene. He was educated at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and is the winner of many international prizes including finalist in the Tchaikowsky International Violin Competition in 1974. For many years, he was first violinist with the Kodaly String Quartet.


The centerpiece of Sundayís program will be Edward Elgarís Introduction and Allegro for solo string quartet and string orchestra. Local featured performers, including PA Symphony concertmaster Kate Dean and principal cellist Fred Thompson along with Port Townsend Community Orchestra concertmaster Kristin Smith, will play with Barta in the quartet solo of the Elgar selection."A challenging and breath-taking piece," Rawson said, "full of romantic nostalgia, reflecting the glory and pride of Edwardian England. This is string orchestra music at its finest." Other English works to be performed include Holstís Brook Green Suite and Purcellís Chaconne in G Minor.


Last yearís festival concert, featuring former Seattle Symphony associate concertmaster Walter Schwede, nearly filled the Chimacum auditorium. This yearís concert is open to the public and a $10 donation is suggested. More information can be found about OYStrs on their web site: www.mnstate.edu/rawson/oystrs