Exciting news for chamber music lovers! Island Consort Director and pianist, Sheila Weidendorf, along with Whidbey Island Music Festival Director and violinist, Tekla Cunningham, will be performing an all-Brahms concert to launch the outdoor summer series at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts on Saturday, June 27th. (for tickets: https://www.wicaonline.org/events-calendar-view/2020/6/27/summer-nights-series)
Praised as "a consummate musician whose flowing solos and musical gestures are a joy to watch", and whose performances have been described as "ravishingly beautiful", "stellar", "inspired and inspiring", violinist Tekla Cunningham enjoys a multi-faceted career as a chamber musician, concertmaster, soloist and educator devoted to music of the baroque, classical and romantic eras. She is concertmaster and orchestra director of Pacific MusicWorks, and is an artist-in-residence at the University of Washington. She founded and directs the Whidbey Island Music Festival, now entering its fifteenth season, producing and presenting vibrant period-instrument performances of music from the 17th through 19th centuries, and plays regularly as concertmaster and principal player with the American Bach Soloists in California.
Tekla's first solo album of Stylus Phantasticus repertoire from Italy and Austria will be released next year - music by Farina, Fonatana, Uccellini to Biber, Schmelzer and Albertini, with an extravagant continuo team of Stephen Stubbs, Maxine Eilander, Williams Skeen, Henry Lebedinsky.
Tekla received her undergraduate degree in History and German Literature at Johns Hopkins University while attending Peabody Conservatory. She studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna Austria with Josef Sivo and Ortwin Ottmaier, and earned a Master's Degree in violin performance at the San Francisco Conservatory with Ian Swenson.
Pianist Sheila Weidendorf is the founder (in 2013) and director of Island Consort, a Whidbey-based chamber music organization that performs and produces concerts of works ranging from the 17th century to the present day, . In addition to the Consort's regular season, Sheila offers an intimate salon concert series in her home (Crawford House) as well as other private venues in the region. A self-described "accidental pianist," Weidendorf earned her BA in Music from the University of Minnesota School of Music, where she was a student of the late Duncan McNab. Serious injury caused her to leave music behind for almost 20 years; an odd twist of fate brought her back to the keyboard some 12 years ago, while her performance career re-launched in the last seven years. In addition to her work with Island Consort, she is the pianist of Trio Indigo, and regularly performs chamber music concerts with colleagues in the greater Seattle area. Fanfare Magazine has described her playing as "expansive,...her way with texture a continual joy."
When not immersed in the world of Western classical chamber music, she enjoys improvisational explorations--a kind of lucid dreaming at the keyboard, and has also served as the musical director for several productions on the WICA stage. She has produced two contemporary classical composition festivals here on Whidbey (New Music on the Rock).
Island Consort's 2019-20 season has come to a close. We do not know when we will resume our monthly salons, or when we will give consideration to any possible 2020-21 season concerts. For now we rest, we practice, we garden, and dream of days to come when rehearsals and performances are once again possible.
To stay abreast of Island Consort happenings, visit this website, or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IslandConsort/ or by emailing our Director, Sheila Weidendorf, at to have your name added to our e-list.