Bern Herbolsheimer

Composer Pauline Oliveros once simply defined technique as (I quote from memory) "the ability to make your music come out the way you want it to." We risk thinking of technique as something more superficial than content, whereas the "ability" and the "want" are inseparable. To praise a composer for his craftsmanship shouldn't, but often does, come off as a slightly backhanded compliment. That said, no Seattle composer has a more assured and polished craft than Herbolsheimer. His choral writing—and there's a lot of it—is luminous and subtle; a recent performance of a mercurial piano quintet had me hooked, charmed, and surprised every moment. Anthony Spain, enthusiastic friend to local composers, leads the Northwest Symphony, Bainbridge Chorale, and Cascadian Chorale in Herbolsheimer's Te Deum this weekend, to celebrate this orchestra's 75th performance of a homegrown work. Benaroya Hall, Third and Union, 8 p.m. Sat. March 12. Bainbridge High School, 9330 N.E. High School Road, Bainbridge Island, 3 p.m. Sun. March 13. $16-$25. 206-292-2787.

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