Olympic Music Festival Founder Alan Iglitzin Passes Leadership Role to New Artistic Director Julio Elizalde
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, November 10, 2014
Quilcene, WA – Pianist Julio Elizalde, 30, has been named artistic director of the Olympic Music Festival (OMF) after serving three years as co-artistic director alongside festival founder Alan Iglitzin. Iglitzin, a former associate principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and founding member of the Philadelphia String Quartet, will hand over the artistic leadership of the festival to Elizalde while remaining as executive director. Elizalde now becomes the youngest artistic director of a major music festival in the country.
The Olympic Music Festival, one of the musical treasures of the Pacific Northwest, is found west of Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula. Founded in 1984, the festival began as a summer retreat for the Philadelphia String Quartet and soon became a summer-long chamber music festival drawing major artists from around the world. Performances take place in a converted dairy barn, abandoning the more formal traditions of of classical music, allowing listeners to enjoy the music in a rustic yet idyllic setting. The summer season generally takes place between mid-June through Labor Day.
“It is a profound honor to continue the vision that Alan Iglitzin has pursued for over three decades,” said Elizalde. “I hope that my efforts will serve as a testament to Alan’s inexhaustible energy and musical integrity.” Elizalde began performing at the OMF in 2008 and quickly became a festival favorite while assisting Iglitzin with artist selection and programming.
“I have chosen Julio to succeed me after observing his skills as a phenomenal pianist, a great collaborator, and for his ability to inspire our audiences with his highly sophisticated musical vision,” said Iglitzin. “I have every confidence that he has all of the qualities necessary to guide us into a stellar future.”
Elizalde has been instrumental in securing the appearance of leading artists in the international music scene such as violinist Ray Chen, Sony recording artist and winner of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, Belgium.
In addition to continuing the general planning for the OMF’s summer season, Elizalde’s first major act as artistic director will be to inaugurate a new educational program for the 2015 season. The Iglitzin Chamber Music Fellowship, named in honor of the festival founder, will offer exceptionally talented rising artists an opportunity to refine their chamber music skills within the challenging environment that professionals face regularly. Fellows will prepare pieces alongside the more experienced resident artists, while receiving guidance in the form of private lessons and public masterclasses. Following a highly competitive audition process, four string players and one pianist will be invited for a two week residency in August.
As artistic director, Elizalde will work closely with a newly expanded board of directors in order to further donor cultivation and community outreach, as part of a strategic plan for the future of the OMF. Elizalde has established a major career that has lead to performances in the major music centers of the world. He is a member of the New Trio, grand prize winner of the Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music Competitions and has collaborated with many of the leading artists of our time. He is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School, where he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 2011.
About the Olympic Music Festival
Founded in 1984, the Olympic Music Festival is located on an idyllic 55-acre farm on Washington’s spectacular Olympic Peninsula just 18 miles south of Port Townsend. The festival was originally the summer retreat of the Philadelphia String Quartet. Soon after, it became a widely noted arts organization in the Pacific Northwest. Performances take place in an early 1900s dairy barn which has been converted into a performance hall with exceptional natural acoustics. Concerts are held throughout the summer on Saturday and Sunday afternoons beginning at 2PM. The festival grounds open at 11AM for early birds to wander the farm and have a leisurely picnic before the barn doors open at 1PM.
Patrons can choose to sit inside the barn or outside on the lawn where the concert is broadcast. The attire is pointedly casual for both patrons and musicians alike, encouraging a relaxed atmosphere that is refreshingly different for those accustomed to more formal classical music venues.
Prior to the concerts, patrons are encouraged to visit our Milking Shed, where souvenirs, recordings, festival gear, beverages, and snacks are sold.
For more information, please contact Susan Miller, General Manager of the OMF. She can be reached by phone at 360.732.4800 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.