Podcast

SCMS: Classical Conversation Podcast

As part of its Winter and Summer Festivals, Seattle Chamber Music Society presents informal, in-depth discussions with Classical KING FM 98.1  host Dave Beck and Festival musicians. These Classical Conversation Podcast interviews give an inside look at the Chamber Music repertoire performed during the Festivals with world-class performers’ insight. Dave Beck, Rachel Ciprotti, and Nikhil Sarma, Producers. Bill Levey, Recording Engineer and Technical Production.

Now available on Spotify

Jonathan Vinocour
May 5, 2021

In Part 1 of our conversation with violist and SCMS Festival Artist Jonathan Vinocour, principal of the San Francisco Symphony, tells the story of how he came to the viola after false starts as a cellist and drummer. From the vantage point of a viola in the middle of the symphony orchestra, the violist basks in the glorious melodies, harmonies, and colors of the instruments that surround it.

Jonathan Vinocour

As a young violist just out of the New England Conservatory, Jonathan Vinocour was recruited to play a short stint as first chair viola for one of the world’s legendary orchestras, the Leipzig Gewandhaus. After an awkward misunderstanding at the first rehearsal, he went on to lead the Leipzig viola section, discovering as he did so, how this revered ensemble created a warm and sweet sound setting it apart from any other orchestra in the world.

Jonathan Vinocour

The conclusion of our conversation with violist Jonathan Vinocour begins by asking the question: what difference does the design of backstage area make to musicians and ensembles? Reflecting on the playing he’s done around the world, Vinocour ponders how backstage design affects the interaction and even bonding among members of a symphony orchestra. He believes the newly opened SCMS Center for Chamber Music in downtown Seattle is the ideal location and design for musicians and audiences to listen, perform, socialize, and build community around the performance of chamber music at the highest level.

Jennifer Frautschi
April 6, 2021

Violinist and SCMS Festival Artist Jennifer Frautschi, talks about the pandemic’s impact on her personal priorities and her musical practice. The demands of raising a young daughter have taken on a new urgency. Meanwhile, playing fewer concerts allows her to think in greater detail than ever before, about every note she plays, and to ponder the deeper meaning behind her music making.

Violinist Jennifer Frautschi
Jennifer Frautschi

Part 2 of our conversation with violinist and SCMS Festival Artist Jennifer Frautschi continues with a discussion of her teaching. She speaks about her priorities when working with students, and her belief that non-musicians and those outside of the classical world have important insights about approaching the classical tradition with fresh perspective.

Violinist Jennifer Frautschi
Jennifer Frautschi

The final part of our conversation with SCMS Festival Artist and violinist Jennifer Frautschi focuses on performing contemporary music. She believes performing new works helps “keep music alive.” In addition, you cannot ask Beethoven questions about tempo, articulation, and interpretation, whereas modern composers are readily available for consult via email or text.

Jun Iwasaki
March 8, 2021

Seattle Chamber Music Society artist Jun Iwasaki, violin, first visited Seattle as a toddler when his father, cellist Ko Iwasaki, played in the early years of SCMS Summer Festivals in the 1980s. In 2021, Jun and his wife welcomed their second child just days before Jun came to Seattle to play in the SCMS 2021 Online Winter Festival. In Part 1 of our conversation with Jun, he shares more stories of his childhood—including how his bedtime lullabies were the sounds of his cellist father and pianist mother practicing together.

Jun Iwasaki

Violinist Jun Iwasaki is the concertmaster of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and held the same position in the Oregon Symphony prior to that. In Part 2 of our conversation, Jun talks about the importance of physical presence and body language in the role of concertmaster. It’s a skill that is especially useful in the era of pandemic concerts. Masked musicians need those exaggerated gestures and animated body language from their musical leaders.

Jun Iwasaki

Time with his wife and two young children, learning to bake bread, and discovering audio and video production skills, have been pandemic projects of Seattle Chamber Music Society violinist Jun Iwasaki. In Part 3 of our podcast conversation, Jun talks about the positive impact that time with family has had during the global pandemic. He discusses how his newly honed production skills will serve him well as live concerts come back and musicians adapt to a post-pandemic world.