Weekly MusicWatch

Portland composer Joan Szymko's music is featured in two cities, a legendary classical pianist gets a solo showcase and so do young players in this week's Oregon music

“Oregon Stories”
April 8
Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., Portland
Read my ArtsWatch preview of this intriguing new blend of Oregon history and jazz.

Oregon Guitar Quartet
April 8
Portland State University, Lincoln Recital Hall 75
Read my Willamette Week preview of the concert featuring a world premiere by Portland composer Bryan Johanson.

Oregon Symphony
April 8, Willamette University, Salem; April 9-11 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.
“I believe that Concentric Paths, the violin concerto by Thomas Adès (born 1971) written in 2005, is the most important addition to the violin repertoire since Ligeti’s concerto appeared in 1992,” wrote prize winning young violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich a few years back about the featured concerto on this week’s Oregon Symphony program. Hadelich, who’s performed at most of the world’s great classical music venues and won some of its top prizes, has received high accolades from his 2014 recording of Ades’s concerto, consulted with the composer about it, and may be its ideal exponent. Elgar’s hour long first symphony and Mendelssohn’s ever magical Midsummer Night’s Dream music round out the program.

Remembrances
April 8 & 10
Eugene Vocal Arts, Eugene Concert Choir, Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon.
Read Gary Ferrington’s ArtsWatch preview of the world premiere performance of Portland composer Joan Szymko’s Shadows & Light.

Portland composer Joan Szymko. Photo: Jake Wehrman Video.

Portland composer Joan Szymko. Photo: Jake Wehrman Video.

Satori Men’s Chorus
April 9
Central Lutheran Church, 1820 NE 21st Avenue, Portland
Susan Dorn leads the choir and Beckman Elementary School Choir, accompanied by Ben Milstein, in another work by Joan Szymko, It Takes a Village, music by Sondheim, Lennon and McCartney, show tunes, folk songs and more.

Söndörgo
April 9
Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd Institute, Eugene
The Hungarian ensemble brings their lively tamburitza Balkan folk music, including arrangements by Bartok and more on the tambura mandolin, accordion and wind instruments.

Boom Tic Boom, Blue Cranes
April 9
Alberta Street Pub, 1036 NE Alberta, Portland
Although her sextet includes relatively well-known jazz masters like pianist Myra Melford, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, and violinist Jenny Scheinman), Brooklyn drummer/composer Allison Miller leads the band through her exciting original jazz that roams through klezmer, Afro-Cuban, Middle Eastern and even classical territory, including tunes from her new album inspired by her daughter’s birth. Portland’s Blue Cranes are always worth seeing, especially in an intimate venu.

Vancouver Symphony
April 9 & 10
Skyview Concert Hall, Vancouver, WA
Three of the orchestra’s Young Artists Competition winners star in in their showcases, and orchestra plays a suitably youthful program: Ravel’s luminous Mother Goose Suite, Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks.

Musica Maestrale
April 9, Chinook Lutheran Church, Chinook, WA; April 10, Polish Hall, 3832 N Interstate Ave. Portland
Portland lutenist Hideki Yamaya joins another early music specialist, Washington flutist and University of Oregon alumna Mara Winter, in a program of rarely heard arrangements for Renaissance flute (by Bassano, Rognoni, and Winter herself) of early music by Sermisy, de Rore, and Giovanelli. Here’s a brief excerpt from a rehearsal. 

Murray Perahia
April 10
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland
Portland Piano International brings one of the greatest living classical pianists to the big stage to play music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven’s monumental “Hammerklavier” sonata and a trove of Brahms’s sublime late piano music.

Felicia Moore and Aaron Short
April 11
Whitsell Auditorium, Portland Art Museum
The Portland Opera resident artist soprano and tenor are accompanied by chorus master Nicholas Fox, but the program doesn’t appear on the opera’s recitals website.

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

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