La Conner Weekly News - Your independent hometown award-winning newspaper

La Conner pianist performing in Anacortes


March 29, 2022

A MUSIC-FILLED EVENING - La Conner resident Tamara Friedman (right) and Page Smith (left) are eager to perform classical music at the Croatian Community Center in Anacortes. -Photo courtesy of the Skagit Early Keyboard Museum

La Conner resident Tamara Friedman knows the keys to success.

That is because she is a concert pianist, her performances drawing rave reviews from numerous critics, including Harvard alum Morton Gold, who notes that her playing of Mozart “reaches my heart as well as my intellect.”

Friedman will play Mozart - as well as Bach, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn - on her beautiful replica of a Nannette Streicher fortepiano April 8, 7 p.m. at the Croatian Community Center in Anacortes.

She will be joined by Page Smith, solo violoncellist of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, for a program entitled Masterworks! presented by Anacortes Early Music and its artistic director, Barb King.

It promises to be quite an evening, Friedman’s husband, George Bozarth, Professor Emeritus of Music History at the University of Washington, told the Weekly News.

“She has been the featured performer in early piano workshops for Pacific Lutheran University and the Western Early Keyboard Association and has lectured on 18th Century performance practices for music teachers’ associations around the Northwest,” Bozarth said.

Friedman is also known in the La Conner area for curating the collection of 18th and 19th century keyboard instruments on display at the local Skagit Early Keyboard Museum.

Praised by the Seattle Times for “the depth, wit, and humor of her performances,” Friedman attended the Oberlin Conservatory and received her master’s degree from the Mannes College of Music in New York City.

She has collaborated with countless artists and conductors from around the globe and the Pacific Northwest.

At Anacortes, the replica Streicher grand piano that Friedman will play was in built in 1980 by Kenneth Bakeman of the Seattle area.

Bozarth said it is an all-wooden instrument with black ‘white keys’ and white ‘black keys,’ and double-strung throughout.

“Steel strings lend clarity to its upper register, while resounding brass strings permit its bass timbres to range from warm and full to growling and nasty, depending on how the pianist activates its tiny leather-covered hammers,” Bozarth said.

“The overall effect,” he added, “is a lighter, brighter, more colorful sound than the homogeneous modern piano is designed to produce.”

The concert costs $25 with free admission for children. Cash or checks, but no credit cards, will be accepted at the door.

Proof of vaccinations and masks will be required. Only 50% capacity will be sold due to COVID social distancing precautions.

While music aficionados look forward to the concert, history buffs can enjoy peering back in time to the replica Streicher piano.

While in Vienna, Nannette Streicher (1769-1833) turned out 50-65 handcrafted grand pianos each year, providing instruments to the leading musicians of the day.

Beethoven, in fact, referred to her pianos as “really excellent instruments.”


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