Young pianists face off at Seattle Symphony competition

Young pianists face off at Seattle Symphony competition »Play Video

SEATTLE - Three of the best young pianists from around the world are competing in Seattle on Friday.

The Seattle Symphony brought seven of the most talented young pianists to Benaroya Hall to kick off its new season. The pianists have been competing all week, playing American and French piano concertos with the orchestra.

The seven pianists were whittled down by a jury, with the remaining three to compete on Friday.

The public audience will get a chance to vote on who they like best at Friday's 7 p.m. show at Benaroya Hall. Tickets are still available.

The final competition will be held Saturday, September 19th, to open their fall season.

This is the first-ever piano competition for the Seattle Symphony. First place wins $10,000, and the winner will play with the Symphony on Saturday.

Seattle's fencing master, Leon Auriol, dead at 88

Seattle's fencing master, Leon Auriol, dead at 88 »Play Video

SEATTLE, Wash. - 

Seattle's long time fencing master, Leon Auriol, passed away this weekend after a brief illness.
Auriol moved from France with his brother to the Pacifc Northwest in 1963. Together they helped spread the sport of Olympic Fencing along the West Coast.
Auriol estimated he taught more than 60,000 lessons in his 60-year career as a teacher.
The 88-year old was working at his South Lake Union studio until recently, when he became ill. His famlily was at his side when Auriol passed away over the weekend. Leon is survived by his wife, brother and two children.
A memorial service was held Tuesday night at the school he founded

WATCH: Paragliding Poo Poo Point

WATCH: Paragliding Poo Poo Point

 ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- On a nice day in Issaquah the skies fill up with brightly colored paragliders. Poo Poo Point is a popular hiking spot on Tiger Mountain, and a perfect jumping off point for paragliders. 

Steve McCarron and I got a chance to go up to Poo Poo Point while covering this story. Steve was brave enough to strap on a paraglider, and with instructor Paul Moyes they took off.

Check out this short video of our day both on, and above the mountain.

From net to plate in 8 hours: Alaskan salmon's high speed commute

From net to plate in 8 hours: Alaskan salmon's high speed commute »Play Video

 CORDOVA, Alaska – The race for the first Copper River Salmon of the season is fast and furious among Seattle restaurateurs. Salty’s Owner Gerry Kingen and Head Chef Jeremy McLachlan, in partnership with Pacific Seafoods, decided to take the friendly local rivalry up a notch with a whirlwind trip to Cordova, Alaska and the Copper River delta. The goal, to have a Copper River King Salmon netted in Cordova and plated in Seattle in under 8 hours. We were invited to come along for the adventure.

“This is it,” said Gerry Kingen “We’re going for the Holy Grail.”
Our morning began at 6:30am with Captain John Harvil at the helm of “Spike Island.” After a safety briefing from John, and warm cinnamon rolls brought on board by his wife Barbara, we slowly made our way out of Cordova’s “New Harbor” and into Prince Williams Sound. Taking us nearly an hour to reach the Copper River delta, the passage was a winding one due to the shallowness of the water which at times is only a single foot in depth. There were flagged markers the entire route out to the delta as a safe guide for boats in and out of the harbor.
“Anytime you go out it’s exciting,” said John Harvil “It’s a nice day, calm seas, everything is perfect today. It makes it really nice when you can see the land. Everything is wonderful.”
The day was warm, winds were calm and the sky was slightly hazy. Everyone on board was in high spirits and hopeful that our northern venture would be a success. Chef Jeremy couldn't wait to get the mouthwatering catch aboard.
“They’re really special because they’re really fatty, flaky, moist,” said Jeremy McLachlan “The kings are just gorgeous.”
Our plan on arriving at the fishing grounds was to meet up with one of Captain John’s team boats, then jump on board to haul in the gill net hoping for the best. Gill nets are used since the salmon are heading up river to spawn and are no longer eating, no need for hook or line. 
Looking out across the entrance of the Copper River we saw numerous boats dotting the horizon, gill nets deployed and basking in the sunshine. Captain John began a series of animated radio calls to the fisherman on our team boats in search of our first fish. The morning however, was proving to be a slow one with each radio response coming back in the negative for the illustrious salmon.
“Fishing is fishing you know” Said Captain John Harvil
Our luck changed when Ron Goodrich, the town accountant known as Rotten Ron, let us know he had a few Kings on ice and was about to pull in his net which he hoped would be fruitful. 
“I’m a rookie out here, only been fishing 28 years out here on the flats,” said Rotten Ron, “It just takes a little bit of effort and maintaining your equipment”
His gill net reeling in, clanking and splashing as the buoys pop over the rail we saw our first king fly over the side. In the sun the Copper river salmon glittered as Ron wrestled it out of the gill net. Before we had time to reflect on our first catch another fish came slipping over the rail, followed promptly by two more. It took Rotten Ron only moments to untangle each one from the net, plopping them unceremoniously on the floor of the boat. Our catch netted us two Kings around 25 pounds each, two Sockeyes at about eight pounds each and it was just barely 10:30 am.
“You get a long river fish like the Copper River and they’re really high in oil and it just makes ‘em taste better,” said Rotten Ron “They’re just a better eatin’ fish.”
With the two Copper River Kings on board and on ice the excitement from our crew was palpable. Several photographs ceremoniously kissing the fish were taken as we made our way hastily back to Captain Johns boat. With our eyes on the clock Captain John navigated our boat as quickly as the passage back to “New Harbor” allowed.
As soon as we pulled into the dock Chef Jeremy and Stephen Kelly with Pacific Seafoods hauled the cooler with the fish off the boat and into the back of an SUV for a short drive to the processing plant. The two fish were, gutted, cleaned, weighed and packaged in a matter of minutes. Once they were boxed up we all made a mad dash for Cordova’s airport where a Learjet awaited us. 
“We really focus on stewardship, the thing we’re most proud of is our boat to throat model,” said Stephen Kelly “in the seafood industry that means taking it all the way from the water and taking it all the way to the backdoor of our customers, controlling the quality and trace ability.”
Traveling at speeds closing in on 500 miles an hour we swiftly made our way from Cordova to Juneau for a quick fuel stop, and then finally off to Seattle landing at Boeing field just before 5:30 pm. We followed a small caravan of cars out to Salty’s on Alki and were greeted by an expectant crowd. Everyone wanted to see the fish. Chef Jeremy was quick to pull the fish out for all to watch and marvel as the Sou chef prepped the fish for the grill. 
“All right here we go, we’ve got fresh fish all summer” said Chef Jeremy.
With a quick turn on the grill and a small slathering of butter the fish was served up rapidly and devoured by 6:30pm. The consensus among those who were lucky enough to get a first taste… it was definitely worth it. The crew was beaming, they had worked at a break neck pace all day and it had paid off. They had made it from net to plate in eight hours.
“This is the heart of what we do, seeing where our product comes from,” said Chef Jeremy “it really speaks to you and makes you enjoy what you do even more. It’s just like when you pull a carrot out of the ground from your own garden, it tastes sweeter than anything else.”


Elk barges through Ballard

Elk barges through Ballard »Play Video

SEATTLE -- For the last seven years, a massive elk has slowly taken shape in Travis Pond's Portland studio. Welded together from hundreds of small pieces of metal, the elk stands over 12 feet tall and weighs in at 6800 pounds. If you look closely, you can see the sculpture is made up of mostly John Deere tractor parts, which give it it's green coloring. Car parts, gas nozzles, guns and other pieces of scrap metal make up the rest.

The Elk was purchased by an unnamed Seattle collector, who wanted it installed on their waterfront Magnolia property. For the unusual migration, the elk was trucked up I-5, then put on a barge in Lake Union and sent through the Ballard Locks. The crew had to wait for high tide before they could finally install the piece. Unfortunately the elk is not publicly viewable, though you might be able to get a glimpse from out on the water off Magnolia.
You should check out more of Pond's work. He will have a show in Seattle this summer at the Bryan Ohno gallery.


Hundreds of exotic cars on the auction block this weekend in Seattle

Hundreds of exotic cars on the auction block this weekend in Seattle »Play Video

SEATTLE -- The Mecum Auction returns to Seattle this Friday and Saturday, where they plan to auction off over 650 rare, classic and exotic cars. This is the auction's second trip to Seattle, last year they made headlines when a 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda convertible sold for $3.5 million.

We got a sneak-peek at some of the cars with John Kraman, consignment director at Mecum Auctions.

The auction will be held at Century Link event center Friday and Saturday, tickets are $20, kids under 12 are free. 

More info is here at the auction website. 



Watch: Local chicken attempts to eat KOMO microphone

Watch: Local chicken attempts to eat KOMO microphone »Play Video

 LAKE ROESIGER, Wash. -- One of the delightful features of Lake Roesiger's only gas station is the small flock of chickens that live out back. Lindsay Cohen and I were out there last week covering this story and got to hang out in their coop for a bit.

One particularity brave chicken kept coming right up to the camera, and apparently thinking the microphone windscreen was food, began pecking at it.

So for no real good reason, here is a minute of chicken video.

Chickens are fantastic.

Local cat longs for longer leash

Local cat longs for longer leash »Play Video

EVERETT, Wash -- Cats usually march to their own beat. They're not known for their willingness to strap on a leash and go for a walk.

But Erika and Zach Price really wanted their cat Lexie to experience the freedom of the great outdoors, but without all the dangers. So when she was just a kitten, they tied a piece of string to her collar and she gradually got used to the idea of leash life.

Lindsay Cohen and I were working on another story in Everett when we ran into this tromping trio. Lexie still is pretty independent and wasn't all that helpful to us while filming this story. She was also rightfully suspicious of the big camera and the camera guy too.

'It felt like an explosion:' Tuesday storm shocks Seattle with lightning

'It felt like an explosion:' Tuesday storm shocks Seattle with lightning »Play Video

SEATTLE -- While driving up north on Aurora it didn't take long to realize something was in the air and headed that way. Looking west, Ballard was covered with black clouds and streaks of rain that seemed to stretch from the clouds to the ground. At 85th I saw the first flash of lightning and it was starting to rain. At 100th and Aurora I decided to pull off the road and start rolling my camera. I got one right away and turned my camera toward the NW direction leaving it roll while I powered up my computer. Three seconds later a big flash of light and huge BOOM shook the buildings and set off car alarms. Heavy rains and hail soon followed.

I didn't realized until looking at the footage and slowing it down that a finger of the lightning had hit the power pole  It immediately caused the traffic lights to flash red and traffic quickly backed up.

After it was all said and done, no one hurt, no big damage it is cool to see the power of nature. Maybe a bit too close this time though.

Seattle Art Museum makes good on Super Bowl bet, sends painting to New England

Seattle Art Museum makes good on Super Bowl bet, sends painting to New England »Play Video

SEATTLE -- The pain of losing Super Bowl 49 just never, ever ends.

The Seattle Art Museum made good on their bet with the Clark Art Institute in New England and Monday (temporarily) sent one of the museum's most beloved paintings back east. 

The piece that SAM bet is "Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast", painted in 1870 by Albert Bierstadt.

You can forgive the small error in the title (the Puget Sound doesn't technically go out to the coast) once you hear that Bierstadt never actually made it up here before painting it. He had been to the mouth of the Columbia River and based this work on that experience and a healthy dose of imagination.

The painting was boxed up in a custom crate, complete with Seahawk stickers, and will be couriered the 3000 miles to the Clark Art Institute in western Massachusetts. It will be on display there until June, when it will return home to Seattle.


WATCH: Hundreds gather to honor 43 lost in mudslide

WATCH: Hundreds gather to honor 43 lost in mudslide »Play Video

OSO, Wash. -- Exactly one year after the deadly Oso slide, hundreds of first responders, neighbors and family gathered at the site to remember those who were lost. 

Bagpipes lead the procession in to the base of the slide, and the flag that has stayed a half-staff was raised for the first time in a year. 

A moment of silence was held, and each fallen person's name was read aloud.

Here part of that ceremony, including every name read aloud.

Additional video by KOMO Photographer Stephen Ramaley

WATCH: Seattle Symphony throws unusual birthday party

WATCH: Seattle Symphony throws unusual birthday party »Play Video

What do you get someone for their 150th birthday?

If you're the Seattle Symphony, you give them their very own three-week long concert series.

Finnish composer Jean Sibelius came along at a pivotal point in his country's history. Finland was in the midst of securing its independence from Russia, and his grand scores helped establish a national identity and sense of pride. In Finland his birthday is a federal holiday and his face was on the 100-Markkaa bill. Seattle has a deep Nordic tradition, the festival coincides with a Finnish exhibit  at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard.

The Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall is celebrating his 150th birthday with a three week festival, playing all 7 of his symphonies and other lesser-known works. 

Thomas Dausgaard, the symphony’s new Principal Guest Conductor said, “Through these seven works, he is searching for the essentials, he is going from lush, big, down to the absolute core values” 

Finland's ambassador to the US, Ritva Koukku-Ronde kicked off the festival, and the composer’s great-great-granddaughter, Ruusamari Teppo, led a discussion on her research into his music.

The president of the Finlandia foundation, Ossi Rahkonen, also gave their organization’s inaugural Award of Excellence to the symphony.

The festival continues this weekend. Tickets and more info here

The music featured in the video includes a portion of Symphony No. 1 in E minor Op. 39 as well as Finlandia Op. 26 No. 7


Artist Spotlight: Simon Trpčeski at Benaroya Hall

Artist Spotlight: Simon Trpčeski at Benaroya Hall »Play Video

SEATTLE - Benaroya Hall holds a special place in Simon Trpčeski's heart. 

Back in 2002 this was where the Macedonian pianist made his North American debut. Tuesday evening he played for both fans and friends as part of the Seattle Symphony's "Distinguished Artist" series. 

Mr. Trpčeski's performance began quietly and built throughout the evening to a dramatic crescendo. He started with introspective, later work from Brahms, playing Three Intermezzi, Op. 117. He followed that with Brahms' earlier, more romantic Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24.

After a brief intermission the evening continued with the the more precise work of Maurice Ravel, playing Valses Nobles et sentimentales. Next we heard an arrangement of Franz Schubert by Franz Liszt, Soirees de Vienne: No. 5 Moderato cantabile con affeto;  No. 6: Allegro con stepito. The program concluded on a powerful note with Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt.

Mr. Trpčeski played to four encores, the first three were dedications to some of his long time Seattle friends and supporters. For his final encore he bid the audience heartfelt good night with Brahms' Lullaby.

Earlier in the day Mr. Trpčeski let KOMO sit in on his rehearsal as he performed Valses Nobles et Sentimentales by Ravel and Variations and Fugue on a Theme from Handel by Brahms.


WATCH: Sad ending to great Seahawks season

WATCH: Sad ending to great Seahawks season »Play Video

 GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A great Seahawks season came to a heartbreaking end with a last minute interception by the Patriots. Here's the scene following the Seahawks 24-28 loss.