Classical music– or at least Classical Revolution PDX — goes to hell this weekend, which pretty much feels like the rest of Oregon for the next few days. Will the infernal heat and vernal music festivals never end? Let’s hope the former will soon, but not the latter .
Cult of Orpheus
The Old Church, Portland
Read my Willamette Week preview of prolific singer/guitarist/composer Christopher Corbell’s latest fascinating song and dance extravaganza — nothing less than a creative reinvention of art song for the 21st century.
August 17, Ross Ragland Theater, Klamath Falls and August 19, Hollywood Theatre, Portland.
This special revival of the first great movie filmed in Oregon (Cottage Grove) features a new live score composed by renowned Portland film composer Mark Orton, a mainstay of the fab Tin Hat, which he’ll perform live with Tin Hat violinist Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, Mousai Remix String Trio, and Todd Sickafoose.
Sunriver Music Festival
Sunriver Resort Great Hall
The festival’s closing classical concert features contemporary New York composer Dan Coleman’s Focoso, Schumann’s first symphony, and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei. Israeli American cellist Amit Peled joins the orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme.
Early Music In Astoria
Grace Episcopal Church, 1545 Franklin Ave, Astoria.
Musica Maestrale’s first Summer Festival brings together two of Oregon’s leading advocates of historically informed Renaissance and Baroque music performance for four concerts, workshops, talks and demonstrations. Baroque lutenist/guitarist Hideki Yamaya gives a solo recital Friday afternoon. Instrument makers and performers Phil & Gayle Neuman’s Ensemble De Organographia plays Friday evening. The Neumans unleash “extreme early instruments” Saturday afternoon. Saturday night’s Baroque vocal concert stars singer Arwen Myers, Yamaya, acclaimed harpsichordist Gwendolyn Toth (who directs New York’s award winning Artek early music ensemble), and violinist Christine Beckman. There’s even a Sunday picnic for workshop participants, all in a much cooler place than most of the rest of Oregon this weekend.
Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival
August 19, J. Christopher Wines, 17150 NE Hillside Drive
Newberg, & August 21, Elk Cove Vineyards.
This wine-enhanced welcome new addition to Oregon’s bumper crop of summer classical music festivals features experienced violinists Sasha Callahan and Megumi Stohs Lewis, violist and composer Kenji Bunch and cellist Leo Eguchi performing a sweet mix of contemporary and classic compositions. Friday’s concert showcases music of one of Oregon’s finest and ear-friendliest composers, Kenji Bunch (Aria), Zoltan Kodaly’s famous Duo, and Franz Schubert’s a minor string quartet. Sunday’s show includes Bunch’s Three American Folk Hymns, contemporary American master Osvaldo Golijov powerful Tenebrae, and Beethoven’s F major quartet from Op. 18.
Lajos Balogh Performing Shell, Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy 43) Marylhurst.
The plugged-in violinist does his rock/classical/world music crossover thing at Marylhurst University’s free Summer on the Green concert series.
“In a Landscape”
August 20, Vista House, Columbia Gorge, August 21 Timberline Lodge, and August 23, Tryon Creek State Park, Portland.
Inspired by the Depression era Federal Music and Theater Projects, Oregon native pianist Hunter Noack has created a nine-part series of free concerts of classical music at popular Oregon summer parks and Works Project Administration sites. Guest stars include Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale (during next week’s concerts) and China Forbes (Aug. 20 & 23), Carl Halvorson, Nicholas Crosa and Pansy Chang (Aug. 21), and more.
“Music from Hell”
Classical Revolution PDX, Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St, Portland.
What with the smoke from forest fires and sweltering weather, last summer’s CRPDX staged show sorta felt like hell, until you got inside for some occasionally heavenly, sometimes earthbound sounds. This time sounds even better, the indie classical outfit, best known for its fun chamber jams, presents original music by Oregon composers Thomas DeNicola, Tristan Bliss, Shelly Strunk, ArtsWatch contributor Jeff Winslow, Robert Bomstad, Joshua Ward (for amplified harp), mandolin master Brian Oberlin, plus hellacious old music by Stravinsky (from The Firebird ballet score), Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky, Gregorian chant on electric harp, and much more. MC drag clown Carla Rossi introduces the infernal variety show (and expatiates on Hieronymus Bosch),DJ/accordion wiz Kiran Moorty closes, and Twilight Orchestra goes all goth in between.