Weekend MusicWatch

Oregon music hooks up with dance, video art, architecture, theater and more this weekend.

Oregon music hooks up with dance, video art, architecture, theater and more this weekend. Check the All Classical radio calendar for more info on classical performances, March Music Moderne’s Ear Trumpet calendar for Portland-area new music performances, and let our readers know about other worthwhile music events in the comments section below.

Jennnifer Wright plays her Skeleton Piano at BodyVox Studios this weekend.

Jennnifer Wright plays her Skeleton Piano at BodyVox Studios this weekend.

India Arts Fest 2015
September 30-October 9
Various venues, Portland, Eugene, Corvallis, Hillsboro.
Read my Willamette Week preview of this weekend’s two music events at Portland State, and Jamuna Chiarini’s ArtsWatch story about the festival’s dance events.

Justin Bartlett
October 2, Agnes Flanagan Chapel, Lewis & Clark College, Portland. October 3, Central Oregon Community College, Bend. October 4, Portland Piano Company.
Portland Piano International’s welcome new commissioning program that connects Oregon composers to its young Rising Stars gets off to a strong start with pianist Bartlett performing a compelling program that includes the world premiere of Eternal Gardens by one of the state’s most accomplished composers, Michael Johanson, as well as music by the great 20th century Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, Karol Szymanowski, Dmitri Shostakovich and one of J.S. Bach’s alluring French suites. Admission to this recital, like the other eleven coming up over the next two years, is free of charge. The program is funded by a Creative Heights Grant from the Oregon Community Foundation.

Oregon Coast Jazz Party
October 2-4
Newport Performing Arts Center and Shilo Inn Suites Hotel, Newport.
Bill Mays’s excellent Inventions Trio, the great pianists Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes’ duo, and other jazz masters from NYC join some of Portland’s top jazzers (Alan Jones, Carlton Jackson, Ryan Meagher, Bobby Torres, Marilyn Keller, et al)  for the annual coastal celebration of improvisation.

“Skeleton Piano Dances”
October 3-4
BodyVox Dance Center, 1201 NW 17th Ave. Portland.
Composer Jennifer Wright’s Skeleton Piano has produced some of the coolest sounds at Cascadia Composers concerts. Now she’s working with Portland’s Agniezska Laska Dancers and video artist Takafumi Uehara in this multimedia dance theater production featuring the world premiere of her concert-length suite Obscure Terrain and that of two other Cascadia Composers, Jack Gabel and Dan Senn, written for the superb Oregon saxophonist Tom Bergeron and digital electro acoustic instruments.

Third Angle performs in the Aalto Library at Mt. Angel Abbey this weekend.

Third Angle performs in the Aalto Library at Mt. Angel Abbey this weekend.

“Frozen Music”
October 3 & 4
Third Angle New Music, Mount Angel Abbey Library.
No Oregon musical performers think outside the (shoe)box more creatively than Third Angle, particularly in its series devoted to the intersection between music and architecture. Read my Willamette Week preview of what’s got to be the most unusual show of the season: the ensemble’s performances of Finnish music and more in one of Oregon’s most beautiful places. It’s much more than just a concert, and the ensemble has also set up a bunch of talks and tours in Portland and Mt. Angel to supplement the experience.

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club 
October 4
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland.
The word “legendary” gets thrown around too often when applied to bands, but these all-stars of Cuban music were already legends on the island when Ry Cooder made his famous documentary in 1997. Just as the US and Cuba finally resume official relations, the band (which has played more than 1000 different shows in many different incarnations as members have died or aged out of performing) gives its “adios” tour.

Vancouver Symphony
October 3-4
Skyview Concert Hall, 1300 NW 139th St. Vancouver.
Star violinist Anne Akiko Meyers joins the band in a performance of one of the 20th century’s most enjoyable concertos, Leonard Bernstein’s great Serenade after Plato’s Symposium. Given the subtitle, it makes perfect sense that her performance will be preceded by live taping of the Oregon Public Broadcasting radio show Philosophy Talk. I wish Meyers would play some of the new music she specializes in, like the new violin concerto by Mason Bates she recently performed in Detroit, but at least the orchestra’s excellent 20th century program also includes the wondrous music from Bernstein’s operetta Candidate and Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet. 

Anne Akiko Meyers performs with the Vancouver Symphony.

Anne Akiko Meyers performs with the Vancouver Symphony.

Eric Skye
October 3
Tigard Library Community Room, 13500 SW Hall Blvd. Tigard.
The acoustic jazz/classical/folk guitarist gives a free, family-friendly performance in the Music in Small Spaces series.

“Hachi Hachi”
October 2-4
Unit Souzou, Zoomtopia, 810 SE Belmont St. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of these shows by the new Portland taiko/dance/theater group.

Unit Souzou performed at Portland's Music on Main last month.

Unit Souzou performed at Portland’s Music on Main last month.

Mary Poppins
October 2-4
Shedd Institute for the Arts, 868 High Street, Eugene.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of this new production of the classic movie turned musical.

Oregon Mozart Players
Oct. 3
Beall Concert Hall,  University of Oregon.
Bulgarian-born Bella Hristova, a rising star, solos in Mozart’s elegant fourth violin concerto, and the chamber orchestra plays Mozart’s darkly dramatic Symphony No. 40, and Haydn’s exuberant No. 59.

Bruce Neswick
October 4
First Presbyterian Church, 1200 SW Alder St. Portland.
The interim canon for Music at Portland’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral plays organ music by William Byrd, J.S. Bach, contemporary composer Ugo Sforza, French composer Louis Vierne, an an improvisation based on audience suggestions.

Montrose Trio performs in Eugene and Portland. Photo: Jerry Zolynsky.

Montrose Trio performs in Eugene and Portland. Photo: Jerry Zolynsky.

The Montrose Trio
October 4, Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon
October 5 & 6, Lincoln Performance Hall, Portland State University.
1620 SW Park Ave, Portland
Read my Willamette Week preview of these Friends of Chamber Music concerts. Monday’s performance features a new piece co-commissioned by FOCM. Their Eugene concert features trios by Haydn, Mendelssohn trio, and Shostakovich.

Carlos Nuñez, Hanz Araki
October 6
Alberta Rose Theatre, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the Spanish Celtic piper.

Portland Opera Chorus
October 6
First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1126 SW Park, Portland.
The company gives its long time backup singers a deserved place in the spotlight. PO chorus master Nicholas Fox leads the chorus, accompanied by pianist Kira Whiting, in excerpts from Leonard Bernstein’s glorious Chichester Psalms and Faure’s Requiem, plus other non-operatic music by JS Bach, Berlioz, Bruckner, and Stravinsky.
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