Providence Point Chamber Quartet returns for 20th year

October 26, 2010

By Laura Geggel

Providence Point Chamber Quartet musicians Virginia Dziekonski, Tom Dziekonski, Eileen Swanson and Ingrid Fredrickson (from left) start their 20th season on Halloween. Contributed

It all started because violist Eileen Swanson had jury duty in 1991.

She met a woman whose mother-in-law, Verona Crane, was turning 85. The family wanted to throw Crane a surprise birthday party, and they wanted a string quartet to feature at the celebration

Swanson agreed, and assembled a quartet of her friends who played for groups across Seattle, including the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, ACT Theatre and Seattle Opera.

“We just had a wonderful time, as everybody out there adored it and asked if we would come back,” Swanson said.

Return they did. Year after year, the Providence Point Chamber Quartet, as they came to be known, played concerts for the residents of Providence Point and the Issaquah community.

This year, the quartet will play music by Joseph Haydn, Peter Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Swanson called the Haydn piece a “warm movement that finishes with a wonderful, wild, wacky, almost silly finale,” while the Schubert, written for the play “Rosamunde,” is more quiet and brooding with a “warm and undulating, happy finale.”

Swanson introduces each song before it is played, telling the audience about its rhythm and sound. Following the concert, the quartet joins the audience for a wine-and-cheese reception at the clubhouse.

The Providence Point concerts are the only time the quartet plays as a group.

“The group here is so good and I accused them of being a full-time quartet, which they aren’t because they play all over the Northwest,” quartet treasurer, and Providence Point resident, Rex Couch said.

Swanson said she and the other players — violinists Tom Dziekonski and Ingrid Fredrickson, and cellist Virginia Dziekonski — enjoy playing at Providence Point, which offers a more intimate music experience than patrons at a larger symphony hall would receive.

“It’s wonderful we get to go into the room at the clubhouse, which is a true chamber music chamber, and be transported for an hour and a half with wonderful music,” Couch said.

Tickets for the 2010-2011 Providence Point Chamber Quartet season can be purchased at the Providence Point Activities Office, or at the door.

Twenty years after first playing for Crane’s birthday party, Swanson said she was glad for her annual return to Issaquah.

“It’s just a wonderful thing that came about just because I did my civic duty,” she said.

If you go
3 p.m. Oct. 31, Feb. 27 and May 17
Providence Point Clubhouse
4135 Providence Point Drive S.E.
Tickets cost $20 each, or $50 for all three shows

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment at

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