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Free concert marks chamber season finale

DILLON – The Snake River Chamber Players are winding down the summer with one final – and free – concert tonight.

All year, the musicians of the Snake River Chamber Players look forward to breaking away from orchestral music and playing more intimate chamber concerts.

About 10 to 12 professional musicians from as close as Summit Cove to as far as Washington, D.C., meet in Keystone and Dillon every summer to form the Snake River Chamber Players.



The group plays about six traditional, classic music concerts and a few pop concerts each summer.

Tonight’s concert 5:30 p.m. at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon is the last of the season.



“We bring the audience as close to the music as possible, and I think they feel not just like spectators but that they’re right there among the players,” said violinist Charles Wetherbee.

The last concert features Luigi Boccherini’s String Quintet and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Quartet in A Major (one of six quartets Mozart wrote for his friend, Joseph Haydn).

Boccherini was a prolific composer of chamber music and guitar pieces during his life, from 1743 to 1805. He pioneered the combination of a string quartet with an extra cello to feature the rich sound of the large stringed instrument.

He composed more than 100 string quartets, but the piece the chamber players perform tonight is the best known – most people will recognize it if they’ve listened to any classical favorites collections.

“It’s very beautiful, light classical music,” Wetherbee said.

As artistic director of the chamber players, Wetherbee chose the piece to feature two guest cellists – Pegsoon Whang from Salt Lake City and Kristen Ostling from Baltimore.

The piece compliments Mozart’s composition, balancing lightness with intensity.

“(Mozart’s Quartet in A Major) is a quartet with a lot of intensity,” Wetherbee said. “It looks inward. It’s less happy-go-lucky than we think of Mozart. It draws you below the surface.”

Mozart composed many of his pieces in his head, then wrote them down. But he labored over the six quartets he dedicated to Haydn, taking more time on these pieces than any other chamber work he produced.

“Mozart went out of his way to lavish care, hoping it would meet with the older composer’s approval, and of course, it did,” Wetherbee said.

Wetherbee and David Niwa play violins at tonight’s concert, and Korine Fujiwara (on viola) joins the cellists to round out the quintet.


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