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.


Ron Thomas
October 20, 2020

In our first ever podcast from the new SCMS Center for Chamber Music in downtown Seattle, Ronald Thomas remembers his friend Toby Saks, fellow cellist and founder of the SCMS festival in the early 1980s. Her legacy is felt strongly throughout the new facility.

Ron Thomas

In Part 2 of our conversation with cellist Ronald Thomas, we speak about the 4 decades that he has performed at SCMS, and how he has touched audiences with his beautifully refined sound on the cello. He speaks about a lifelong fascination with sound production, stemming from his close listening and analysis of symphonic recordings.

Ron Thomas

In the final part of our conversation with cellist Ronald Thomas, he talks about his “quarantine project” in the months since COVID 19 interrupted concert life around the world. Ron has recently composed his own second cello part to accompany the six solo cello suites of JS Bach. He explains how this second voice provides a powerful teaching tool for the beloved suites.

Andrew Wan
May 5, 2020

Part 1 of our discussion with violinist Andrew Wan is focused on Beethoven. For the 250th Anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Andrew Wan is recording all of the composer’s violin sonatas. Andrew describes how meticulous attention to detail in preparing Beethoven results in performances of astonishing freedom and spontaneity.

Andrew Wan

In Part 2 of our discussion with violinist Andrew Wan, he talks about mastering the delicate art of “pushing back.” Andrew performs with the renowned New Orford String Quartet. The members of the Canadian quartet are like family, but they are also first chair players of great orchestras, each accustomed to getting his own way.

Andrew Wan

Violinist Andrew Wan plays concertmaster in one of North America’s most admired ensembles, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. In Part 3 of our latest Classical Conversations Podcast from the SCMS Winter Festival 2020, Andrew talks about how learning to follow the beat pattern of the orchestra’s conductor was a humbling experience.

Ehnes Quartet
February 21, 2020

This special edition of our podcast is a 3-part discussion with the Ehnes Quartet, made up of violinists James Ehnes and Amy Schwartz Moretti, violist Richard O’Neill, and cellist Edward Arron. In Part one, they discuss how Beethoven’s String Quartets take us from the work of a young artist flexing his compositional muscles to the stream of consciousness musings of a mature master craftsman.

Ehnes Quartet Performs
Ehnes Quartet

Part 2 of our discussion with the renowned Ehnes Quartet focuses on the unique roles that Beethoven demands of the four players who take on his string quartets. We get answers from the perspective of each instrument within the quartet.

Ehnes Quartet at an open rehearsal
Ehnes Quartet

Amy Schwartz-Moretti of the Ehnes Quartet says “every cell in my body comes to life” when she has the honor of playing Beethoven string quartets with members of this ensemble. Ehnes Quartet members share their most personal responses to the cycle of Beethoven quartets in Part 3 of our discussion.

James Ehnes
January 6, 2020

This special 2020 Winter Festival Preview episode features SCMS Artistic Director James Ehnes discussing Beethoven and Bach with Classical KING FM host Dave Beck. Nine of Beethoven’s string quartets and four of Bach’s concerti will be performed as part of the Festival. James also speaks about the other Festival programming and his father’s impact on him as a performer.