Weekend MusicWatch

Free music and festivals celebrate the longest days of summer.

This Sunday is not only the longest day of the year in our hemisphere, it’s also “Make Music PDX” day, when Portland joins more than 725 cities around the world to celebrate Make Music Day. In the local version of a worldwide event that originated in France in 1982, musicians of every genre and those beyond category, amateur and professional alike, will be playing free solstice shows in parks, stores, and other places around the city.

There’s plenty of other fine music on Oregon stages this weekend and early next week (including the opening of two of Oregon’s oldest music festivals, Chamber Music Northwest and Portland Piano International’s summer festival, and two of its newest, the Oregon Music Festival and Oboe and Bassoon Festival) of which we can list only a smattering. But you can add more yourself in the comments section below.

Stephanie & Saar perform and chat at Portland Piano International's summer festival this weekend, and star in their own festival next Thursday.

Stephanie & Saar perform and chat at Portland Piano International’s summer festival this weekend, and star in their own festival next Thursday.

Portland Piano International Summer Festival
June 18 – 21
Lewis & Clark College, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of this season’s edition of the annual summer celebration, which spotlights the legacy of the great Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997) in his centenary year.

Astoria Music Festival
June 13 – 28
Various locations, Astoria.
The festival’s second weekend arrives with Thursday’s show featuring organist Bob Salisbury providing live accompaniment to the classic film score (and 1927’s first Academy Award winner), Wingsin the ideal location of Astoria’s gorgeous Liberty Theater. Friday has the Hermitage Trio playing Bach, Brahms and Sibelius. On Saturday, see the first of two performances this summer of J.S. Bach’s glorious St. John Passion, this one featuring Portland’s great choir The Ensemble and experienced historically informed early music performers. The Hermitage Trio returns Sunday to star in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, which the festival orchestra will play along with music from the composer’s only opera, Fidelio. On Monday, the trio joins the festival’s young artists in famous music by Mendelssohn.

Roland Dyens
June 19
First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park Ave., Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the French classical guitarist / composer’s recital.

Oboe and Bassoon Festival
June 19-22
First Christian Church, SW Park and SW Columbia Streets, Portland.
Musicians from Musica Maestrale, Tafelmusik, and Portland Baroque Orchestra highlight this series of free early music concerts.

“How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”
June 19 -28
Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd Institute, Eugene.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of this new production of Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows’ Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning 1961 classic.

Alfredo Muro & Nancy Curtin
June 20
The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave. Portland.
The estimable guitarist and singer are joined by smooth jazz piano star Tom Grant and bassist Brian Healey in sambas and other music by some of Brazil’s most famous composers, including  Jobim, Baden Powell, Pixinguinha and more. Next week we’ll tell you about another treat for Brazilian guitar music fans.

Oregon Music Festival
June 20-July 1
First Baptist Church and Lincoln Performance Hall, Portland.
This year’s edition focuses on the music of Bohuslav Martinû, Astor Piazzolla, and Franz Schubert, and also includes works by Dvorak and Weber, performed by Orpheus Academy students and resident artists from the Seattle Symphony and elsewhere.

Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival
June 22-23
Kaul Auditorium, Reed College (Monday) and Lincoln Hall, PSU (Tuesday), Portland.
The annual festival, a highlight of Oregon’s summer music season, again brings renowned classical musicians to Portland. The first two shows feature a tribute to Brahms.

If you somehow couldn’t make it to Manhattan for one of those hundreds of free Make Music Day shows, Bang on a Can’s famous new music marathon, you can stream the performances by some of the country’s top contemporary music groups — including Oregon’s own Third Angle New Music. ArtsWatch contributor Charles Noble is blogging about the experience, and you can keep up with the band’s NYC adventures at its blog.

Want to read more about Oregon music? Support Oregon ArtsWatch! 

Want to learn more about contemporary Oregon classical music? Check out Oregon ComposersWatch. 

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