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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Celebrate start of summer at Spokane Symphony’s Best Fest

Event features a weekend of Beethoven, wine and beer tasting, and ice-cream salute to Dad

It’s hard to know where to begin.

With the Beethoven?

Or the beer?

The Spokane Symphony’s Best Fest is a hybrid event that combines the greatest works of musical history with the finest ingestibles of the Inland Northwest. It’s a creative way to kick off the summer and support the Spokane Symphony.

Let’s get straight to it:

Friday, “The Best of the Classics”: It all begins at 5 p.m. (two hours before concert time) in a tent outside the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox. For a $15 tasting fee (separate from the concert ticket), you can sample wines from the following local wineries:

• Arbor Crest – 2009 Riesling and 2008 Syrah.

• Caterina – 2001 Willard Family Vineyard Merlot, 2007 Columbia Valley Merlot, 2008 Columbia Valley Chardonnay.

• Latah Creek – Monarch Red, Vinosity, Chardonnay, Huckleberry d’Latah.

• Nodland – 2006 Private Blend.

• Robert Karl – 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, 2007 Syrah.

• Townshend – Symphony Red, Fox White, Huckleberry Blush.

• Whitestone – 2006 Merlot, 2006 Franc, 2007 Meritage.

Cheese and fruit plates will also be available for sale.

That should put the audience in a mellow mood for the concert, conducted by music director Eckart Preu, which will consist of pieces voted on by symphony patrons.

The selections include the first movement from Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” the second and fourth movements from Prokofiev’s First Symphony, the first and fourth movements from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the fourth movement from Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony, the fourth movement from Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony and the fourth movement from Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony.

The wine-tasting will continue after the concert until 10:30 p.m. You’ll get to keep your souvenir wine glass.

Saturday, “The Best of Stage and Screen”: The beer-tasting begins in the tent at 5 p.m., two hours before concert time. A $15 tasting fee (separate from the concert ticket) gets you samples of the following, from the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Co. at the Steam Plant:

• Maestro Brew (brewed to Preu’s specifications).

• Papa’s Pale Ale (a special Father’s Day brew).

• Huckleberry Ale.

• Vanilla Bourbon Stout.

• Rockford Bay IPA.

Bratwurst will also be available for sale.

The concert’s program, directed by Morihiko Nakahara, will consist of a number of John Williams film scores, including excerpts from “Superman” and “Schindler’s List,” Leonard Bernstein music from “West Side Story,” and music from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Moon River,” “The Great Escape,” “Titanic,” “The Sound of Music” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

You can head back out to the beer-tasting after the concert, until 10:30 p.m. You can keep your souvenir tasting glass.

Sunday, “Patriotic Salute to Father’s Day”: The ice cream-tasting action begins in the tent at 2 p.m., two hours before the 4 p.m. concert time. This event is decidedly more family friendly, with Brain Freeze Ice Cream flavors including Vanilla Bean, Cakey Doe, Pink Bubblegum, Green Bluff Apple Butter, New Leaf Bakery, Huckleberry and two special flavors titled The Fox Theatre In the Limelight Mojito Sorbet and Symphony Rush, with dark chocolate pieces shaped like musical notes.

There will also be hot dogs and other picnic-like food available for sale.

The concert, conducted by both Preu and Nakahara, will include a number of stirring pieces that should appeal to dads (and their kids), including Rossini’s Overture to “La Cenerentola,” Strauss’s “Thunder and Lightning Polka” and Mozart’s overture to “The Marriage of Figaro.”

Then it will conclude with a series of patriotic pieces including the “Armed Forces Salute,” “The Colonel Bogey March,” “American Salute” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

In between selections, two vignettes from a local YMCA teen film project, “YMCA Remembers Fathers,” will be shown on the Fox screen.

You can attend any of the concerts without doing the tastings. Or you can do the tastings without going to the concerts. Walk-up tickets for both the tastings and the concerts will be for sale.

But why not nourish both the ears and the palate?

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