Arts and Entertainment

Baroque trio star in Salish Sea Music ‘Fest’

Susie Napper   - Contributed photo
Susie Napper
— image credit: Contributed photo

Three of the most critically acclaimed baroque musicians of the Pacific Northwest will share the spotlight when the Salish Sea Early Music Festival returns to Friday Harbor for a rare mid-day weekend performance, Saturday, May 3, at the Grange Hall.

In a reunion, of sorts, harpsichordist Elisabeth Wright, viola da gambist Susie Napper and flutist Jeffrey Cohan, will perform well-known trio sonatas on period instruments in a program entitled, “Simphonie,” featuring classics by Johann Sebastian Bach, Jean Philippe Rameau, Jean-Marie Leclair, and other renowned composers. Doors open at 11 a.m. (with coffee available). And prior to the performance, which begins at 11:15 a.m., the musicians will talk about their instruments and music, and answer questions.

Elisabeth WrightThe ensemble of Cohan, Napper and Wright, performing as the Seattle Baroque Trio at the time, were one of the first to represent the “early music scene” of the Pacific Northwest in Europe, nearly three decades ago.

A founding member of The Seattle Early Music Guild and professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Ind., Wright has performed an early music festivals across the globe and has served on the board of Early Music America, and as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, PEW, and PennPat.

Napper, known for her colorful, even controversial, performances of both solo and chamber repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, teaches at McGill University and her recordings, which include most of the known repertoire for two viols, can be heard on Harmonia Mundi, EMI, Erato, ADDA, CBC Records, Naxos, and most notably on the ATMA label.

The Salish Sea Early Music Festival's Simphonie Nouvelle, directed by Cohan, follows Jean-Féry Rebel's lead in conjuring a new presence for the "Simphonie" and other elements of baroque music, while affirming the grand overtones of ancient forms that often assume a more straight-forward role today. Suggested donation: $15- $20, 18 and under free, students, $5.

For more information about the Salish Sea Early Music Festival or the May 3 performance, visit,

Performances of “Simphonie” will also take place on Orcas Island, May 3, 7 p.m., and on Lopez, May 2, at 2 p.m.


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