Great music, skilled musicians and gorgeous views of Yaquina Bay all came together on Oct. 19 when the Newport Symphony’s Element String Quartet performed in the Doerfler Family Theater at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center.
The quartet, led by Casey Bozell, concertmaster of the Newport Symphony Orchestra, and joined by her NSO colleagues Irene Gadeholt on second violin, Shauna Keyes on viola and Barbara Johnston on cello, performed works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Astor Piazzolla and Antonin Dvorak.
The four members of the Element String Quartet performed superbly. Their leader, Bozell, cheerfully introduced each piece to the audience. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and her playing partners were in obvious harmony with her.
The Doerfler Family Theater was formally opened to the public over the summer, and it might be the finest such venue on the entire Oregon coast. Lovingly restored after years of diligent craftsmanship (and fundraising) by an army of volunteers led by Steve Wyatt of the Lincoln County Historical Society, the acoustics in this intimate space are close to perfect.
The panoramic view of the Bayfront from any seat in the house make it challenging to keep one’s eyes and ears focused on whatever magic is happening on the stage. The Element String Quartet, however, had no difficulty holding my attention.