Pianist Paige Roberts Molloy will be the guest soloist at this week’s Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra concerts. (Seattle Chamber Music Society)

Pianist Paige Roberts Molloy will be the guest soloist at this week’s Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra concerts. (Seattle Chamber Music Society)

Pair of concerts to feature piano soloist, ‘riveting' music

PORT ANGELES — This piece she is about to perform — for the first time in her life — is “absolutely riveting. It’s a big deal,” said Paige Roberts Molloy, the guest soloist who will join the Port Angeles Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra this Friday and Saturday.

With trumpet player Scott Meredith and the orchestra beside her, Molloy will play Dmitri Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings.

It’s the centerpiece of the chamber orchestra’s two final concerts of the 2023-24 season on Friday at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave. in Port Angeles, and Saturday at Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave. in Sequim. Both concerts begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults and free for those 18 and younger who come with a ticketed patron. More information is at portangelessymphony.org, while tickets can be purchased on that website, at Port Book and News in Port Angeles and at the door on concert night.

The evenings will start out with Samuel Barber’s well-known Adagio for strings, “a really gorgeous and meditative work,” said Jonathan Pasternack, the symphony’s conductor and artistic director. Then comes Ottorino Respighi’s tuneful Ancient Airs and Dances Suite No. 3, and finally the Shostakovich.

“Like many of the composer’s works, this concerto is a compelling balance of light and shadow,” Pasternack said.

The music mixes lyrical melodies and dramatic passages with jazzy rhythms.

The conductor first got to know Molloy’s playing when she came to the North Olympic Peninsula in 2022 to give a recital with her dear friend, violinist Elisa Barston.

“The depth of her musicianship and technical virtuosity were undeniable,” Pasternack said, “and I thought immediately of inviting her to play this Shostakovich concerto.”

Meredith, Pasternack added, is “an outstanding player who we have been lucky to have as our principal trumpet for the last five years. He was the obvious choice to play these performances, and I was happy when he jumped at the opportunity.”

As for Molloy, she calls Friday’s and Saturday’s performances to a big reveal, a chance for music lovers to hear a seldom-performed work. The Juilliard-educated Seattle resident has been practicing and listening to recordings and practicing with recordings — the Shostakovich is “a very difficult, complex piece,” she said.

Molloy has played many concertos during her long career, but she’s never had the opportunity to perform this one. It has been a pure thrill to learn it, she said.

Molloy, who turns 54 this month, grew up in Texas and then went to New York City to study at Juilliard. The pianist has traveled across North America and Europe since.

Each of these upcoming concerts “will be a rare treat,” Molloy said.

“It’s an unusual program,” culminating in the Shostakovich concert that is dancelike and jovial at times and quite pensive and serious at other times.

And the last movement?

“It is like a wild ride at the amusement park, or a can-can dance,” Molloy said, “wild and raucous.”

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Port Townsend.

More in Entertainment

Moving Pictures Festival accepting submissions

Peninsula College is accepting submissions for its 11th Moving… Continue reading

Bear Chashin, 4, wins his age 3-4 trike race during the Rhody Festival Kids Trike Races on Water Street in Port Townsend on Wednesday. The festival continues with a kiddie parade, hair and beard contest and bed races today, plus the grand parade at 1 p.m. Saturday and the Rhody Run at 9 a.m. Sunday. For a complete list of events, go to https://rhodyfestival.org. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula News)
Port Townsend pedalers

Bear Chashin, 4, wins his age 3-4 trike race during the Rhody… Continue reading

Forest bathing guide Ellen Falconer's picture of visitors to the Memory's Vault art installation at Fort Worden is among the photos in a new book. (Ellen Falconer)
‘Memory's Vault' to be celebrated by artist, poets

Two events this weekend in Port Townsend

Claire Ragland, left, and Isabel Elena Pérez are two of the artists who will discuss their work in a free talk about the "Lush Language" exhibit on Thursday. (Northwind Art)
Free artist talk to dive into ‘Lush Language'

Aquatint etchings, pastels on black paper, house paint on… Continue reading

Rhody Fest, plant sales highlight weekend events

The annual Rhody Festival in Port Townsend joins community plays and plant… Continue reading

Rick Estrin and the Nightcats to perform at Eaglemount Cidery

Rick Estrin and The Nightcats will perform at 7:30… Continue reading

Tickets on sale for Tarboo Indie Music Festival

Tickets are on sale for the inaugural Tarboo Indie Music… Continue reading

Monday Musicale to feature soft rock

Monday Musicale will meet for lunch at noon Monday.… Continue reading

Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra to conduct membership meeting

The Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra will conduct a membership… Continue reading

Pianist Paige Roberts Molloy will be the guest soloist at this week’s Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra concerts. (Seattle Chamber Music Society)
Pair of concerts to feature piano soloist, ‘riveting' music

This piece she is about to perform — for… Continue reading

Blake McCabe of Port Angeles will host Drag Brunch Bingo at Studio Bob.
Studio Bob to host Drag Brunch Bingo experience

Drag Brunch Bingo, originally scheduled for Sunday at Studio… Continue reading