Drawn from our monthly music calendar, here are some classical and contemporary music highlights happening in Oregon this weekend.
April 24, St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, 1112 SE 41st Street, Portland, and April 26, Proto-Cathedral of St. James, Vancouver, WA.
The sublime local female vocal quartet sings Renaissance and other music inspired by the biblical Song of Songs.
Portland Baroque Orchestra
April 24–25, First Baptist Church, SW Taylor at 12th Ave. Portland, and April 26, Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. Portland. April 28, Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon.
Violin goddess Monica Huggett completes her 20th season as PBO music director by leading the historically informed orchestra through those most popular of violin concerti, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, plus music by Locatelli, Locke and more.
Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the latest Oregon appearance by America’s most renowned contemporary vocal ensemble. The program will include Renaissance madrigals, folk tunes and spirituals from around the world, and a selection of 20th-century music, as well as recently commissioned work.
Classical Up Close
Various Portland-area venues.
April 24-May 3
Read my ArtsWatch preview of the annual free chamber music festival featuring Oregon Symphony musicians who bring the music out of the Schnitzer Concert Hall and out to audiences at such varied venues as American Legion Post #134, Powell’s Books, and Meals on Wheels.
“Hänsel und Gretel,” University of Oregon Opera Ensemble.
April 24 and 26
Soreng Theater, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene.
UO students perform Engelbert Humperdinck’s version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, sung in German with English-language supertitles.
Cherry Blossom Musical Arts
First Christian Church, 1166 Oak Street, Eugene.
This concert of new chamber music by one of Oregon’s finest composers, Paul Safar, features the Delgani String Quartet, Pickles and Peppers Clarinet Quartet, Richard Leebrick, pianists Ben Farrell and Safar, juggler Andrew Teem, singer Nancy Wood, trumpeter David Bender and more.
Northwest Piano Trio
Gordon House, Oregon Garden, Silverton.
Now boasting a new pianist, Susan McDaniel, the new threesome plays trios by Brahms, Bernstein and Haydn.
Oregon Repertory Singers
First United Methodist Church, 1838 SW Jefferson St. Portland.
The city’s superb large choir sings the Northwest premiere of leading contemporary Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin’s operatic sacred work Sealed Angel and Leonard Bernstein’s glorious Chichester Psalms.
April 25, 27
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.
Guest conductor Gilbert Varga leads a meat-and-potatoes (or maybe schnitzel und spaetzle) program of seconds: Haydn and Brahms’s second symphonies, and Mendelssohn’s inevitable second violin concerto, featuring soloist Karen Gomyo.
Festival Chorale Oregon
Elsinore Theatre, 170 High St NE, Salem.
A cantor, four vocal soloists, and youth chorus join the orchestra join forces in a performance of To Be Certain of the Dawn, the Holocaust memorial oratorio written by the excellent Minnesota-based composer Stephen Paulus, who died last year.
Wieden+Kennedy building, 224 NW 13th Ave., Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the latest concert by the chamber orchestra of the Portland Youth Philharmonic.The adventurous program includes Venezuelan composer Efraín Amaya and Romanian Georges Enescu, and also stops in Oregon for the Concerto Grosso by longtime Agate Beach resident Ernest Bloch and Tree, a dreamy 2003 piece for strings by contemporary Portland composer Jonathan Newman.
Chapel at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. Portland.
One of Oregon music’s most valuable musical institutions, FNM’s annual “Hearing the Future” concerts feature and incubate new music by young Oregon composers, this time including pieces influenced by jazz, dub-step, classical and film music.
Portland Chamber Orchestra
Lewis and Clark College, Agnes Flanagan Chapel. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the orchestra’s celebration of 20th and 21st century American music with nods in the direction of rock, classical, jazz and Latin music (the latter courtesy of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story).
Chamber Music Amici
The Shedd, Broadway & High Streets, Eugene.
The great Oregon Bach Festival, Chamber Music Northwest and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra oboist Allan Vogel returns to Oregon with flutist Janice Tipton Oregon Bach Festival oboist Allan Vogel and flutist Janice Tipton for a week-long residency that culminates in a concert of Baroque music (by Telemann, Fasch, and J. C. Bach) that also features Amici violinists Pilar Bradshaw and Sharon Schuman, Amici cellist Steven Pologe, and guest musicians Holland Phillips, on violin and viola, and Julia Brown, on harpsichord.
Lyrical Strings Duo, Agnieszka Laska Dancers & Chervona Bambino
Alberta Rose Theater, 3000 NE Alberta St. Portland.
Musicians and dancers combine in music inspired by Moravian and gypsy sources, featuring folk music and works by Leos Janacek, Antonín Dvořák, Frédéric Chopin, Henryk Wieniawski, Mykola Lysenko, Jeno Hubay, and Bohuslav Martinů, accompanied by Laska’s original choreography.
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Want to learn more about contemporary Oregon classical music? Check out Oregon ComposersWatch.