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Tillamook Coast Life Blog

Neskowin Chamber Music

This article was originally published in February, 2015 and updated in August, 2018.

Locals know a place where the surf meets the music on the south Tillamook Coast. What started out as a WWII horse barn turned chapel, is now the venue for the Neskowin Chamber Music series. Currently in its 21st season, this gem of a series brings chamber musicians from all over the world to its intimate (150 seats), oceanfront venue. The sweet all-wooden building, with acclaimed acoustics, contains a small two-tiered stage only big enough to hold nine performers and a seven-foot grand piano. Many of the greats have performed here — from the Emerson String Quartet to David Finckel and Wu Han—and all report loving the intimacy of having the audience basically in their laps.

The organization’s mission is to develop an understanding of classical music and enhance cultural appreciation. From October through May, the concert series spotlights a multitude of musicians, hoping to inspire the Tillamook community and anyone who visits. Since 1994, when the program was started, Neskowin has been enjoying the sweet sound of strings. The music series is part of the growing Oregon Coast arts scene, building connection with artists and their work.

Another great way they build community is through school outreach and private string instrument instruction for youth. Inspiring the next generation to explore music and creativity can be powerful and transformational.

For the upcoming year, expect great things. Some highlights are listed below (find the whole 2018-19 schedule here). The diverse lineup of distinguished musicians from all over the country will bring the intimate renovated-barn venue to life.

The season opens with Jeffrey LaDeur, a concert pianist from San Francisco, who will perform a solo show in October. The next month, you can enjoy the Boston Trio, a group consisting of violinist Irina Muresanu, cellist Jonah Ellsworth and pianist Heng-Jin Park. Each distinguished musicians in their own right, they come together to perform and teach classical music around the world. In the spring, the Mandelring Quartett takes the stage: Sebastian Schmidt and Nanette Schmidt, both on violin, Andreas Willwohl on viola and Bernard Schmidt on cello. And in April, catch the Frisson Ensemble, a super-group of nine musicians on violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn!

Here’s an insider’s secret: although the series consistently sells out, anyone who arrives at the door on the day of the concert will get a seat. Show up at 2:30 p.m. — the concert starts at 3 p.m. (p.s., admission also includes incredible home-baked cookies and coffee). The venue is on Winema Road, approximately three miles north of Neskowin on Highway 101 — don’t drive too fast or you’ll miss it. Look for the A-board that says “Concert Today.” In all these 21 years, that important little sign hasn’t been stolen.

For more information on the town and community surrounding Neskowin Chamber Music, visit the Neskowin page on our website.


A Picture of Lorraine Ortiz
Lorraine Ortiz
Lorraine Ortiz has made her home at the Art Ranch, in Nehalem on the rural Tillamook Coast for the last 25 years. Her passion for the arts, writing and the environment continue to shape her work and her life choices.