Free recitals: Trio prepares program for viola, flute, piano

Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2005

Flutist Sally Schlichting, pianist Mary Watson and Seattle violist Sam Williams have prepared a chamber program of 20th-century music for two free recitals, 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

The lineup includes works by Bela Bartok (1881-1945), Robert Muczyinsk (1929- ), Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959) and Darius Milhaud (1892-1974). Each concert should last approximately 75 minutes.

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted at the door to help pay for expenses.

There are a few pieces out there for viola, flute and piano, but the combination is mostly unorthodox. Schlichting commissioned one of the pieces, "Cantalena," by Hudson River Valley composer David Alpher.

"I think there's a lot of really good flute music in the 20th century, and I like 20th-century music," Watson said. "It's exciting music to play."

Watson is Schlichting's aunt, so they've been playing together for years.

Williams has been traveling to Juneau since 1982, when he came up with a quartet from Seattle to perform in a production of "Messiah." It was his first trip to Alaska, and Juneau was fogged in for nearly three days.


what: sally schlichting, flute; mary watson, piano; sam williams, viola

when, where: 8 p.m. saturday, nov. 19, and 3 p.m. sunday, nov. 20, at aldersgate united methodist church

admission: free

The quartet's plane circle Southeast Alaska for about two days, and they ended up spending two days in Anchorage with Williams' brother. To make matters worse, the Alaska Air cargo crew somehow lost the harpsichord of one of the players.

"We showed up in Juneau after 2 1/2 days, just in time for the dress rehearsal," Williams said. "We played the performance and the harpsichordist played his part on this cheesy, little electric organ."

Williams has performed with the symphony dozens of times, dating back a period when the orchestra was having trouble rounding up viola players in town.

One of his connections was through Steve Tada, a longtime symphony member and frequent concertmaster. The two played music together when they both lived in Seattle. One of their groups, the Bravura Quartet, toured Southeast Alaska after Tada moved to Juneau.

In Juneau, Williams often stays with Schlichting and her husband, Bob King.

Williams, Schlichting and Watson have been preparing the recital for the last four months and rehearsed last weekend in Seattle.

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