Weekend MusicWatch

A pair of primo pianists, a couple of cavalcades of American music, a double dose of new music concerts — each, alas, conflicting with another recommended concert — and the onset of the holiday music flood highlight this weekend’s musical offerings. Check Portland’s All Classical radio calendar for more classical music events, and please let our readers know of other cool music events in the comments section below.

“Viva’s Holiday”
December 2-4
Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave. Portland.
Read my ArtsWatch story about this landmark event in Portland music.

Eugene Symphony
December 3
Silva Hall, Hult Center, Eugene.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of the latest show in the 50th anniversary season of Oregon’s most forward looking orchestra, featuring the world premiere of another commissioned work from a fine American composer, Roberto Sierra, and an all-American program of music by Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, and more.

Thomas Hecht
December 3, Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene, and December 5, Lincoln Hall, Portland State University.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of the ace pianist’s all American music program, featuring a commission from a young American composer and must by Copland, Griffes, and more. He’s also giving master classes at UO and Portland State.

Clark College Women’s Choral Ensemble, Vancouver School of Arts and Academics A Cappella Women’s Vocal Ensemble
December 3
Gaiser Hall Student Center, Clark College, Vancouver, WA.
The choirs play wintry music from the Renaissance through hot contemporary choral composer Ola Gjeilo, with carols from the Caribbean and the great contemporary American gospel spiritual “Go Where I Send Thee.”

Photos from Edward Steichen's famous Family of Man exhibition inspired the music performed by Pause ensemble Friday at Portland's Trinity Cathedral.

Photos from Edward Steichen’s famous Family of Man exhibition inspired the music performed by Pause ensemble Friday at Portland’s Trinity Cathedral.

Pause
December 4
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of this new music concert of world premieres by members of Alarm Will Sound, inspired by one of the most famous photo exhibitions in history.

“Vignettes”
December 4
The Mousai, Portland State University Lincoln Hall 75.
In this “Concert in Scenes,” the Portland chamber ensemble known for advocating audience friendly contemporary music offers a theatrically enhanced program of music written since 2010 by American composers, several under 40, and including the world premiere of three commissioned works by Daniel Schlosberg, Bill Douglas, and Portland’s Thomas DeNicola, plus other compositions by California composers George Gianopoulos and Antonio Celaya and Washington DC composer Scott Pender.

The Mousai performed at Portland's First Presbyterian Church.

The Mousai go noir at Portland State Friday.

Conchords Chorale
December 4
The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Avenue, Portland
The 50 voice choir sings a variety of American Christmas songs.

Protecting the herd
December 3-5
Performance Works NW, 4625 67th Ave. Portland.
This dance show featuring choreography by Seattle’s Alice Gosti also boasts new music by Seattle composer Benjamin Marx.

ISing Choir performs Friday-Sunday in a benefit for Portland Actors Ensemble Shakespeare in the Parks program.

ISing Choir performs Friday-Sunday in a benefit for Portland Actors Ensemble Shakespeare in the Parks program.

ISIng
December 4-6
Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ, 5150 SW Watson, Beaverton.
In this midwinter benefit for Portland Actors Ensemble (which also performs), the choir sings music by John Rutter, Chanticleer, and more based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

Charlie Albright
December 5
Lincoln Hall, Portland State University
Read Jana Griffin’s ArtsWatch preview and interview with the Washington-born pianist.

Oregon Symphony
December 5-6
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.
With soloists including acclaimed Canadian soprano Shannon Mercer and the award winning Portland State Chamber Choir, the orchestra gives a complete performance of Handel’s Messiah on anachronistic modern instruments. If you prefer to hear the great oratorio on the instruments and in the style and tunings closer to what the composer intended, wait for next weekend’s Portland Baroque Orchestra performances.

Eugene Vocal Arts busts out its Renaissance costumes for a segment of Eugene Concert Choir's version of "A Christmas Carol" Sunday.

Eugene Vocal Arts busts out its Renaissance costumes for a segment of Eugene Concert Choir’s version of “A Christmas Carol” Sunday.

“A Dickens of a Christmas”
December 6
Eugene Concert Choir, Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center, Eugene.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of this exceptionally creative hybrid of literature (Dickens’s A Christmas Carol), theater, and music from across the ages.

Oregon Repertory Singers perform their holiday concert several times this month at Portland's First United Methodist Church.

Oregon Repertory Singers perform their holiday concert several times this month at Portland’s First United Methodist Church.

Oregon Repertory Singers
December 6, 11, 13
First United Methodist Church, Portland.
Many of Oregon’s major choirs — Choral Arts Ensemble, Portland Symphonic Choir, et al — offer holiday concerts that venture well beyond the overfamiliar chestnuts roasting on an open fire. This one (which also involves local youth choirs) includes sacred music by Benjamin Britten, the popular young Norwegian American composer Ola Gjeilo, Seattle composer and choir director Eric Banks, legendary film composer John Williams, and much more.

“Anything Goes”
December 6-20.
Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd, Eugene.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of this new production of the 1987 revival of Cole Porter’s exuberant 1934 musical, featuring some of the greatest songs of the era.

Chamber Music Amici
December 7
Wildish Community Theater, Springfield.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of the ensemble’s embrace of voice in music by Brahms, plus chamber music by Mozart and Shostakovich.

John Niekrasz’s Orchestra Becomes Radicalized
December 8
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of this concert featuring some of Portland’s leading avant garde musicians performing the world premiere of a composition inspired by the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Chanticleer performs at Portland's St. Mary's Cathedral

Chanticleer performs at Portland’s St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Chanticleer
December 8
St. Mary’s Cathedral, Portland.
The ever popular Grammy award winning San Francisco based male vocal ensemble returns with a Christmas program that ranges from medieval and Renaissance works, traditional carols, and contemporary choral music. It’s probably sold out, so be sure to call Friends of Chamber Music for ticket availability.

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

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