Musicians have always been seen as a wayward lot. Eighteenth-century mothers might have substituted the word “musician” in the title of the country classic “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”
On Friday at The Met, the Allegro early music series tries to show the point in “The Coachmaker’s Legacy,” a play by Spokane playwright Sandra Hosking with music by an assortment of composers from the Renaissance through the time of Mozart.
Oboist David Dutton, Allegro’s artistic co-director, will be joined by guest artists Janet See, Shira Kammen and Kraig Scott.
Hosking’s story traces the six-generation linkage of a royal coachmaker whose descendants leave the respected and lucrative family trade to become (gasp) musicians, with actor Damon Abdallah featured in the role of the family’s rebel. The play forms the background to introduce music of the periods covered by the family genealogy, performed on historical instruments.
Hosking teaches at Spokane Falls Community College. Her work has been performed throughout the United States and Canada.
This classical music season in Spokane has seen the return of several performers who have developed extensive careers elsewhere. Flutist See grew up here, but since leaving to study at the Oberlin College Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague has become the flutist-of-choice for a number of early music ensembles in the United States and Europe.
She lived in London for 12 years where she was the principal flute in the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Revolutionaire under conductor John Eliot Gardiner. She now lives with her family near Seattle on Bainbridge Island.
See has recorded widely for labels such as DGG, Philips, EMI and Hyperion. Her recording of J.S. Bach’s flute sonatas has been issued by Harmonia Mundi.
Kammen, who will be heard playing violin and viola da gamba and singing on Friday, was first heard in Spokane when she was a member of the well-known early music ensemble Sequentia.
A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, she has also performed with such noted early music ensembles as Hesperion XX, Ensemble Alcatraz, the King’s Noyse and the Boston Camerata. Kammen also has the distinction of having performed on river rafting trips and in the elephant pit at the Jerusalem Zoo.
Harpsichordist Kraig Scott teaches organ and keyboards at Walla Walla College and Whitman College in Walla Walla. He earned his doctorate at the Eastman School of Music and has performed on many of the world’s great organs, including a recent performance at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle.
Scott will play on both Flemish and Italian harpsichords on Friday, illustrating the different sounds and styles of instrument building in the three centuries of music covered in the program.
Dutton was a member of the Dallas and St. Louis Symphonies before assuming a 12-year position as principal oboist of the Spokane Symphony. A graduate of the Oberlin College Conservatory, Dutton continued his studies at Salzburg’s Mozarteum.
Together with harpsichordist Beverly Biggs he founded Spokane’s Connoisseur Concerts, the Northwest Bach Festival, and later Allegro. He and Biggs were joint recipients of the Governor’s Arts Award in 1984.
Performers in Friday’s concert will discuss the music in a pre-performance talk beginning at 7:15 p.m.
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