When was the last time you were submerged in classical music? If you are like me, the answer is simple: never.
Emerald City Music would like to change that by making classical music accessible and part of the lives of all music lovers. They provide access to top notch chamber music that is comfortable and affordable. Classical music experiences where no tie is required and you can feel totally at ease wearing your comfy sweater and jeans.
Intrigued, I grabbed my camera, threw on a bright orange skirt, and headed into the light sprinkle of Seattle rain to experience an Emerald City Music concert for myself. And I am so glad I did.
It started with mingling around a photo booth. There was popcorn, chocolate, and an open bar. There was a general ease in the atmosphere.
The program showcased The Dover Quartet who played through Beethoven’s life with small educational chats in-between pieces. The musicians took turns explaining the life and history of the music, their roles as performers, and even touching on what made these particular pieces valuable to them personally.
As the music flowed, I began to see Beethoven in a new light. First as a student of music displaying a hint of oncoming dissonance. Then as the evening moved on, I felt his evolution into full force rebellion further complicated by the knowledge and emotion of his encroaching hearing loss. The gripping sounds of an all-consuming calling being snuffed out by a cruel unstoppable deadline.
At the end I stood up with all the other attendees, we were astonished. Violin, viola, and cello strings had been shredded. It turns out The Dover Quartet doesn’t just play classical music, they tell human stories in song.
Filing out of the concert space, the rain continued to softly beat down on the roof of 415 Westlake, it was a perfect Seattle moment; unexpected, gripping, and calling on me to grow as a person. Beethoven was no longer the name of an old dead classical musician relevant only to the upper crust but kind of punk rocker from long ago. He felt the things that inspire artists, he took chances, and he created a story I needed in my life.