Bellingham Festival of Music: A cross-border serenade
Cross-border shopping is a fact of West Coast life; the notion of cross-border listening, maybe not so much. The next few weeks are the in-between period of the classical concert calendar: The main seasons of all our major presenters are over, and the rich assortment of festivals and summer one-offs are still gearing up. Not so south of the border, down Washington way. Over the next few days, interesting programs are poised to begin in Seattle and Bellingham, offering quality, variety and, perhaps surprisingly, more than a modicum of Canadian content. The Bellingham Festival of Music began in 1993, when director Michael Palmer decided that the facilities of Western Washington University, plus downtown Bellingham’s heritage Mount Baker Theatre, offered just the right combination of infrastructure and opportunity. Fast forward almost 20 years and the festival has found its formula — a mix of orchestral, chamber and solo concerts, seven events in all held this year from July 6 to 21.