MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Music on the Strait: 2022 Finale Featuring Paul Chihara Commission

Tonight brings the finale concert of this summer’s Music on the Strait Festival. It features the world premiere of Paul Chihara‘s, Duo for Violin and Viola, which was commissioned by Music on the Strait. The concert begins at 7pm PST, with a pre-concert interview with the composer by Lisa Bergman starting at 6.15.

Long based in New York City, Chihara was born in Seattle in 1938 and spent three formative childhood years in the notorious internment camp in Minidoka, Idaho, where his family was among the 120,000 Japanese Americans forcibly “relocated” at ten camps throughout the US during the Second World War.

Regarding that experience, Chihara remarked in a recent interview with Diane Urbani de la Paz: “I don’t know how my parents emotionally survived this … we could have come back and found nothing.”

A  professor of music at New York University, Chihara has composed a vast body of work, ranging from  symphonies, concertos, ballets, and choral music to chamber pieces; he has also written scores for more than 90 films and TV series (Prince of the City, The Morning After, Crossing DelanceyChina Beach, and Noble House, among many others).

Music on the Strait’s Artistic Directors Richard O’Neill and James Garlick will give the inaugural performance of the new duo Chihara wrote especially for them. The composer explained to de la Paz that the new duo is a “fantasy” on a song he had written 40 years ago for his violinist wife, “Born to Be Together.” Also on the program is Felix Mendelssohn’s D minor Piano Trio and Edward Elgar’s Piano Quintet in A minor.

Although it is sold out, the concert will be live-streamed at the link above.


Kyu-Young Kim, violin
James Garlick, violin
Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, cello
Richard O’Neill, viola
George Li, piano

Paul Chihara Duo for Violin and Viola WORLD PREMIERE (2022)

Felix Mendelssohn Piano Trio No 1 in D minor, Op 49 (1839)


Edward Elgar Piano Quartet in A minor, Op 84 (1918)

Filed under: commissions, music news, Music on the Strait


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