Weekend MusicWatch: Alfresco Delights

ArtsWatch's weekly guide to this weekend's Oregon classical music and more.

This weekend, Oregon’s classical, jazz, and even roots-oriented music scenes, liberated from concert halls, relocate outside the walls.

Britt Festival, Friday and Saturday, Jacksonville. The classical music portion of the venerable festival opens its second half century with a new overture composed by its new music director, Teddy Abrams (who’s also starting another new gig: conducting the legendary Louisville Orchestra, which has long commissioned and performed a high proportion of music by American composers), plus another young gun’s introductory cannonade,  Stravinsky’s The Firebird ballet music, and Beethoven’s familiar but ever powerful Symphony #5.

Teddy Abrams takes over the podium at this summer's Britt Classical Festival.

Teddy Abrams takes over the podium at this summer’s Britt Classical Festival.

Saturday’s all-Russian program features Rimsky-Korsakov’s colorful Spanish Caprice, Prokofiev’s dazzling Piano Concerto #3 (with soloist Andrew von Oeyen), and Tckaikovsky’s exhilarating Symphony #4.

Portland Festival Symphony, Saturday, Laurelhurst Park and Sunday, Peninsula Park, Portland. Lajos Balogh returns for another season of free, family friendly outdoor classical concerts in the park — and this year, the orchestras pay tribute to important Oregon classical musicians—if only the state’s other orchestras had the community spirit to do the same.

Saturday’s show features music by Ferdinand Herold, Leroy Anderson’s ever popular Bugler’s Holiday, some brass music, selections from Sibelius’s second symphony, Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony, featuring the Ethos String Ensemble from the Portland music school, and the late Oregon Symphony legend Norman Leyden’s Trombone Concerto. Sunday’s performance seconds the Sibelius and Leopold Mozart, and also includes a Serenade (made for outdoor listening in the first place) by Leopold’s son, Ravel’s ever-popular Bolero, and (get there on time!) Tomas Svoboda‘s Overture to the Season, in honor of the great Portland composer’s upcoming 75th birthday.

Oregon Festival of American Music, Friday and Sunday, Silva Hall, Hult Center, and Tuesday, Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd, Eugene. The state’s invaluable annual summer celebration of American sounds completes its look at American song standards through Hollywood’s beady eyes. Read my Eugene Weekly previews of this summer’s musical, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Tuesday’s opening gala concert.

Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, Saturday, Gresham Center for the Arts Plaza. Read my Willamette Week preview of the annual outdoor jazz party.

Pickathon Roots Music Festival, Friday-Sunday, Pendarvis Farm, Happy Valley. The outdoor summer music festival that makes us think outdoor summer music festivals are still worth the hassles, thanks to policies that focus on audience enjoyment rather than numbers. From big name headliners like X and Nickel Creek to sterling acts like jazz-jam keyboardist Marco Benevento, Portland soul man Ural Thomas, Oregon-born folksters Blind Pilot, dream pop diva Juliana Barwick and a dozen more, the music ranges across a wide spectrum.

Portland Cello Project with Patti King, Monday, Lan Su Classical Chinese Garden, Portland. If they can keep all those celli in tune during the summer heat, this should be one of the highlights of the summer. This show was added after the regular Tuesdays by Twilight concert sold out long ago (so, Monday by Moonlight?), but there’s a good chance this one will fill up, too, and you don’t want to miss a second chance to hear the cellistas play their popular Bach, Brubeck and Beck pieces with help from the Radiation City frontfemme.

Want to read more about Oregon classical music? Support Oregon ArtsWatch!
Want to learn more about contemporary Oregon classical music? Check out Oregon ComposersWatch.

Comments are closed.