Music Fans Chill Out At Icicle Creek Festival

Festival's music ranges from Latin and bluegrass to Mozart and Schubert.

For the past five years, musicians and fans have been coming to Leavenworth, Wash.'s Icicle Creek Festival, which this season runs July 1–Aug. 12, to listen to and learn chamber music.

Lying amid the Cascade Mountains of Washington state is the Sleeping Lady Conference and Retreat Center, where ensembles such as the Turtle Island String Quartet and the Kairos Quartet educate and entertain.

"What a wonderful opportunity to step off a hiking trail in the Cascades and sit down to the pleasures of classical or jazz music," Kairos Quartet violinist Marsha Kaufmann said in a statement.

Highlights of the festival, featuring music from Vienna to Havana, include the premiere of a new work by American composer Maria Newman for solo violin and chamber orchestra, performed by violinist Carrie Rehkopf and the Institute Chamber Orchestra; and Cuban-born and Spanish-trained classical guitarist Ricardo Iznaola, who will join the Kairos Quartet and guest pianist Lisa Bergman for a night of tangos and other Latin pieces. The festival's finale features an outdoor evening show with the Dave Grisman Quartet.

Speaking about the Grisman Quartet show, Kairos' violinist Scott Hosfeld (who is also the center's artistic director) said, "This performance will definitely be a music education for many. It has been important for Icicle Creek to artistically show our audience the range of instrumentation that rounds out the acoustic spectrum."

Some shows even include themed dinners, such as a Music of Vienna performance that offers works by Mozart and Schubert along with Viennese cuisine.

In addition, from July 2 and ending Sunday, the retreat plays host to the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Institute offering an intensive program of study for high school and college students. Resident faculty includes Kairos violinists Rehkopf, Kauffman and Hosfeld, with guest faculty, which this year includes violinist Camilla Wicks and the members of the Turtle Island Quartet.