The Icicle Creek International Chamber Music Festival creates wonderful melodies, but its acronym sounds like a car hitting a speedbump: ICICMF.
“We have that on our radar,” says Sally Singer, artistic co-director at Icicle Creek Music Center, the festival’s home. “We’re just not quite sure what to do about it right now.”
“International” is a new feature of the festival’s name, opening its 16th season on Saturday. The word was added for the first time this year to reflect the event’s nature: musical works by composers from all over the world (Rachmaninoff, Osvaldo Golijov, Heitor Villa-Lobos), performed by international artists (from Israel, China, Canada, France, Russia), at an institute that trains young musicians from multiple nations (Canada, China, Taiwan).
“The title works on a lot of levels,” says Singer, herself a native of England.
International or no, this year’s festival carries the theme of “Music of the Americas.” It begins this weekend with a blast of pure Americana, hosting a “Bluegrass On the Grass” outdoor concert on the Meadow Stage at Icicle Creek Music Center. The bluegrass duo Growling Old Men join forces with Keith Little and Jim Nunally to light the spark. Later in the three-week festival, on July 21, bluegrass-fusion fiddler Mark O’Connor performs with his Appalachia Waltz Trio. In previous years, the festival has hosted other players with a foot in the bluegrass realm, including Edgar Meyer and Mike Marshall.
“It’s always been in the tradition here,” Singer says. “We’re glad to continue that.”
Other performers include Singer’s own Icicle Creek Piano Trio, in which she plays cello alongside pianist Oksana Ezhokina (Russian) and violinist Jennifer Caine (U.S.); the Avalon String Quartet; the tango sextet Tangoheart, with dancers Mayte Valdes and Carlos Barrionuevo; and dozens of individual artists and students.
Jefferson Robbins: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the scheduleAll performances in the Sleeping Lady Chapel Theater unless otherwise noted♦ Saturday: “Bluegrass on the Grass,” 6 p.m., Meadow Outdoor Stage, $25♦ Sunday: Icicle Creek Piano Trio, Christina Dahl, Avalon String Quartet, 3 p.m.♦ July 16: Dahl and Oksana Ezhokina, 7:30 p.m., $12 adults, $10 seniors, $6 students, free kids 6 to 12♦ July 17: Jennifer Caine, Mary Jensen, Sally Singer, Ezhokina, Dahl, 7 p.m.♦ July 18: Icicle Creek Piano Trio, Icicle Institute Chamber Orchestra, Avalon String Quartet, Cheng Hou Lee, Dahl, 7 p.m.♦ July 19: Young Artist Chamber Music Concert, 2 p.m., $8, free to students and kids 6 to 12 Tangoheart, 7:30 p.m. ♦ July 21: Mark O’Connor and the Appalachia Waltz Trio, $35, 7:30 p.m.♦ July 22: David Russell, New Works for Solo Cello, Canyon Wren Recital Hall, Canyon Wren Recital Hall, $12 adults, $10 seniors, $6 students, 7:30 p.m.♦ July 24: Francine Kay, Wei He, Catherine Lynn, Emily Rideout, Singer, Ezhokina, Russell, 7 p.m.♦ July 25: Caine, Lynn, Russell, Ezhokina, Kay, He, Institute Chamber Orchestra, 7 p.m.♦ July 26: Young Artist Chamber Music Concert, 2 p.m., $8, free to students and kids 6 to 12 ♦ July 31: Icicle Creek Piano Trio, Laura Loge, Anthony Elliott, Miri Yampolsky, Elisabeth Perry, Mathias Tacke, Richard Wolfe, 7 p.m.♦ Aug. 1: Perry, Yampolsky, Elliott, Loge, Ezhokina, Tacke, Wolfe, Caine, 7 p.m.♦ Aug. 2: Young Artist Chamber Music Concert, 2 p.m., $8, free to students and kids 6 to 12