Brahms is the headliner at WICA’s next Classical Music Series Jan. 16 in Langley

Posted in Community News, Music

Jan. 6, 2015

Whidbey Island is giddy with talented performers. Former orchestral professionals, rising young musical prodigies and eclectic and masterful soloists grace our village stages frequently.

And, as luck would have it, the grace returns when the Classical Music Series at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley presents “Works by Rachmaninoff, Beach and Brahms” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16 on the Michael Nutt Mainstage.

When longtime pianist Mark Findlay mentioned the possibility of performing the Brahms Piano Quintet to a cadre of local talents, the answer was a resounding “Yes!” Findlay will be joined by James Hinkley, cello; Gloria Ferry-Brennan, violin; Louise Fiori, viola and Brian Kenney, violin for a work that—on closer inspection—reveals more than one expects.

“I’ve never encountered a work that so completely connects the listener directly to the soul of the composer,” Findlay said.

The “Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34” is one of the masterpieces of chamber literature, containing the full spectrum of Brahms’ musical styles. From sweeping grandeur to haunting and delicate melodies, this epic work is dramatic Brahms at his best.

“We’ll be talking more about the Brahms during the concert, and will be describing in depth what makes this work so special, even for seasoned artists.”

The program will also include the Piano Trio No. 1 in G minor, “Elegiaque,” written by Sergei Rachmaninoff when he was only 19. This work’s musical style is, as is so much of Rachmaninoff’s music, a romantic blend of the composer’s darker and more introverted moods. While the term “Elegiaque” refers to a mournful, melancholic work, this piece contains plenty of the fireworks Rachmaninoff is known for.

Audiences will also be treated to the “Piano Trio, Op. 150” by early 20th century American composer Amy Beach. Beach was a child prodigy pianist who made her professional debut with the Boston Symphony at the age of 16. Her performing career was put on hold, however, at the age of 18 when she married. For the next 25 years she dedicated herself primarily to composition. Only after the death of her husband in 1910 did she resume her concert career touring both Europe and America.

Written in 1939, the Piano Trio, Opus 150 is a rich and vibrant work containing influences of both impressionist and American contemporary styles.

All five of these musicians have resumes that one would not expect to find on a sleepy island in Puget Sound, but that’s just some island good luck. Enjoy!

Tickets: Adults $20 / Seniors $15 / Students $12. For more information, visit

Visit to purchase your tickets online. Online tickets are available at until noon the day of the show.

For tickets by phone, call the Box Office at 800-638-7631 or 360-221-8268. You can also buy tickets in person at the box office at 565 Camano Ave in Langley between 1 and 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday or two hours before any show.

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