The Olympic Music Festival opens its 30th season of chamber music with baritone Zachary Gordin and pianist Paul Hursh performing “Songs & Dances of Love” by Hans Liszt and Schumann at 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, June 29-30, at 7360 Center Road, Quilcene.
From its creation in 1984 as a summer home for the Philadelphia String Quartet, the Olympic Music Festival has grown from a three-week chamber music concert series to a summer-long event. Concerts run through Sept. 1.
Located on a 55-acre farm near Quilcene, the festival attracts thousands of people each year to an early 1900s dairy barn, restored and converted into a performance hall with exceptional natural acoustics.
Audience members can sit in the barn on padded church pews or hay bales or outside on the lawn, where the music is broadcast.
Typically, patrons arrive early so they can set up lunch at provided picnic tables, stroll through the festival garden and grounds and enjoy the ambience of a century-old farm restored to its former grandeur. Prior to the concerts, patrons may visit the Milking Shed, where souvenirs, CDs, clothing, beverages and snacks are sold.
The festival encourages people to dress casually, and musicians on stage do the same, often wearing blue jeans and a festival T-shirt. Although the atmosphere is casual, the performances decidedly are not.
As Sunset Magazine described it, “Festival-goers listen to world-class chamber music in a refreshingly rustic setting.”
How to get there
To get to the festival site from Sequim, travel east on U.S. Highway 101 past Discovery Bay, then take Route 104 (toward the Hood Canal bridge). Travel east eight miles on Route 104, then turn left at the “Olympic Music Festival” and Quilcene exit. Turn right onto Center Road. The festival is 1/2 mile ahead, on the right.
To buy tickets, call 360-732-4800 or online at www.olympicmusicfestival.org. For program listings and complete details about the festival, visit the website or call for a free brochure.