Seattle Chamber Music Society

James Ehnes, Artistic Director


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 and Rachel Ciprotti, Producers. Bill Levey, Recording Engineer and Technical Production.


Jeewon Park
Jeewon Park
September 18, 2018

In Part 2 of our conversation with pianist Jeewon Park, she talks about her holiday tradition of playing J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” we hear the playing of pianist Glenn Gould whose famous recording of it sparked her original interest in the music, and Jeewon explains why this extraordinary set of theme and variations by Bach has so captured the human imagination.

Nurit Bar-Josef
September 4, 2018

In Part 2 of our conversation with Nurit Bar Josef, she talks about her experiences performing with the Dryden String Quartet – telling the 2002 origin story of the ensemble. She believes that chamber music is the single most important activity for classical musicians.

Inon Barnatan
August 21, 2018

In Part 2 of our conversation with pianist Inon Barnatan, hear musical selections by Ravel and Chopin and a discussion of his excitement and vision for programming next summer as the newly appointed artistic director for La Jolla California Chamber Music Society.

Jeewon Park
July 25, 2018

In Part 1 of our conversation with pianist Jeewon Park, she speaks about her deep attraction to the music of Robert Schumann. She finds a rich mix of joy and melancholy in his music. Jeewon played Schumann at the 2013 SCMS Summer Festival, and she shares excerpts from that recording and talks about how meaningful that summer was for her on many levels.

Nurit Bar-Josef
July 18, 2018

In Part 1 of our conversation with violinist Nurit-Bar-Josef, listen to a fascinating discussion about playing the violin of one of your mentors, as Nurit’s current instrument was previously owned by Joseph Silverstein. He was the concertmaster of the Boston Symphony until 1984, as well as a conductor and teacher. Nurit’s connection to him began prior to her taking the concertmaster job at Washington DC/National Symphony.

Inon Barnatan
July 11, 2018

In Part 1 of our conversation with pianist Inon Barnatan, hear about the adrenaline rush of being called on to perform at the last minute—which happened recently when Inon performed with the Seattle Symphony on 24 hours notice. Learn about his early introduction to piano in Israel, and about his love of Schubert, including hearing him play a Schubert Impromptu.

James Ehnes
June 25, 2018

This second half of a 2-part Festival Teaser episode features SCMS Artistic Director James Ehnes talking about his excitement around programming pieces that he has always wanted to perform, like the Enescu Octet, and the importance of revisiting old favorites like Brahms, Beethoven, and Bach who are heavily featured this year. Also discussed: James Newton Howard’s newly commissioned work.

James Ehnes
June 8, 2018

SCMS Artistic Director and violinist James Ehnes gives a preview of the 2018 Summer Festival of chamber music. This first half of a 2-part Festival Teaser episode is about solving puzzles – the puzzles of programming a major festival with many different artists and repertoire, as well as the musical puzzles that Bach solves in “The Musical Offering” which will be the grand finale of the SCMS Summer Festival this year.

Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir
January 27, 2018

SCMS Festival Artist and cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir discusses her musical education in her home country of Iceland and in the United States, her collaborations and recordings, and her experience as a teacher.

Roberto Díaz
January 19, 2018

Roberto Díaz is a renowned violist and President of the Curtis Institute of Music. In this Conversation, he speaks about his vision for the Curtis Institute and some of the innovative programs he has brought to the school. He also talks about his background, recordings, and his special connection to violist William Primrose.