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Hot Town Summer in the City – Part 2

A few more musical opportunities for Seattle’s classical music fans this summer. For those amateur musicians looking for something fun to do, the biggest event of the summer is likely to be the Midsummer Musical Retreat. Now in its 30th year of operation, MMR brings together both musicians and vocalists for a week of intensive music making. Orchestra, band, chamber ensembles, choral singing, madrigal, jazz improv, MMR covers it all. The camp runs from July 30th to August 5th, 2012 at Whitman College in Walla Walla, and information is available at

Also for musicians, the Puget Sound Chamber Workshop runs from Mon, July 9 through Sat, July 14, at Seattle Pacific University. This workshop is dedicated to small ensembles, and participants are coached through a new piece in a new group each day. For information, contact the Music Center of the Northwest at

Finally, violists have their very own workshop (no viola jokes please!). MAVI – the Max Aronoff Viola Institute – presents its 22nd season of summer workshops, Friday, June 22 — Sunday, June 24, 2012 at Bastyr University in northeast Seattle (Kenmore). This workshop is open to all violists, amateur and professional 14 and older.

Whether you play or not, there is nothing like listening to great music well played in beautiful surroundings. Two of the best places for this treat are the Olympic Music Festival and the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. The Olympic Music Festival, also known as “concerts in the barn”, was founded in 1984 by Alan Iglitzin of the Philadelphia String Quartet. And, yes, the concerts are in a converted barn and you can even sit on hay bales if you wish, or picnic on the lawn outside and listen for free. Concerts run from July 30 to September 2nd on the farm near Quilcene, WA. Information at

Also in a great rustic environment, the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival was begun by pianist Jon Kimura Parker and his wife, violinist Aloysia Friedmann, and takes place in the beautiful Orcas Center. Orcas Island is as beautiful and scenic a location as anyone could wish, and the festival presents a wonderfully diverse season of concerts from August 9 through August 25th. Information and tickets are available at: