Some of America’s most impressive young new music performers (Brooklyn Rider, So Percussion, Roomful of Teeth, Gabriel Kahane) arrive in Oregon this week, which also offers a couple of concerts featuring new locavore music by Oregon composers and improvisers, several Baroque music concerts, a pair of guitar recitals, orchestra concerts, small-scale operas, vivacious vocals, and a whole lot of chamber music new and old.
Catherine Lee + Matt Hannafin Duo
Lutheran Redeemer Church, 5431 NE 20th Ave. Portland.
Read my ArtsWatch review of the Portland duo’s new CD, whose music will be on this program along with music by John Cage (Ryoanji), and Portlanders Loren Chasse and Branic Howard.
Chamber Music Northwest
January 27-February 1
Various venues, Portland.
CMNW’s annual winter festival blends summer festival regulars (Ida Kavafian, Daniel Phillips, Steven Tenenbom, Peter Wiley, Tara Helen O’Connor, David Shifrin, Peter Serkin) with local and other guest musicians in six varied concerts featuring unusual reworkings or augmentations of classics. CelloPointe (Jan. 27) marries classical music and dance. “Mozart Rearranged” (Jan. 28) features later arrangements of the composer’s music for wind ensemble. Peter Serkin and Julia Hsu (Jan. 29) play arrangements of Beethoven, Brahms and more for two pianos. Other concerts present music of Brahms (Jan. 30), Debussy & Ravel (Jan. 31), and Strauss & Schoenberg.
First Christian Church, 1314 SW Park Ave, Portland.
Two of Oregon’s finest sopranos, Arwen Myers and Catherine van der Salm, join historically informed period instrument masters Max Fuller on viola da gamba, and Hideki Yamaha theorbo in the great French Baroque composer François Couperin’s beautiful settings of the Lamentation of Jeremiah — the famous Tenebrae music.
Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall, Portland.
Portland Classic Guitar’s latest recital features yet another guitar prodigy, this one the young Thai guitarist who won first prize in last year’s Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition. He’ll play an impressively diverse and unusual program that includes a 2015 piece by music by Stephen Goss and fellow living composers Leo Brouwer and (no foolin’) and the king of Thailand (Bhumibol Adulyade, who’s actually a jazz composer as well as the world’s longest reigning monarch — a true King of swing), plus Turina and more.
Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland.
The pianist/composer plays his original composition New Mexico Pianoscapes along with a Mozart sonata and a Brahms masterpiece.
Myrrh Larsen, The Steep And Thorny Way To Heaven, SE 2nd & Hawthorne, Portland.
Read Maria Choban’s ArtsWatch review of the singer/composer/guitarist’s rock opera setting of the Persephone and Hades myth.
“Orfeo and Eurydice”
January 29 and 31
University of Oregon Opera Ensemble, Ragozzino Performance Hall, Lane Community College, Eugene.
UO students perform Gluck’s powerful Baroque opera.
Roomful of Teeth
January 29 & 30, Marylhurst University
January 31, Aasen-Hull Hall, Eugene.
Read Gary Ferrington’s ArtsWatch preview of the Grammy Award winning vocal ensemble’s Oregon performances, and my 2013 ArtsWatch feature on the group. Friday’s performance at Marylhurst’s Art Gym is an improvised response to the current exhibition of abstract paintings by regional artists.
Third Angle New Music, So Percussion, Montgomery Park, 2701 NW Vaughan St. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the Third Angle’s latest tribute to one of the greatest living composers.
“Perceptions of Sound”
Cascadia Composers, First Christian Church, 1166 Oak St. Eugene.
Read Gary Ferrington’s ArtsWatch preview of this multi-sensory, multi-media concert of new music by Oregon composers.
Post-Haste Reed Duo
The Waypost , 3120 North Williams Ave. Portland.
Saxophonist Sean Fredenburg and bassoonist Javier Rodriguez play music from their new CD, Beneath a canopy of angels…a river of stars, which features compositions by the important contemporary Dutch composer Louis Andriessen, Simon Hutchinson, Lanier Sammons, John Steinmetz (who last summer premiered another new piece at Chamber Music Northwest) and Ethan Wickman.
“The Elixir of Love”
Portland Opera To Go
Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers, Portland.
Family friendly one-hour adaptation of Donizetti’s fizzy wild west opera.
Hideki Yamaya and Christine Johnson
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Kempton Hall, 147 NW 19th Ave. Portland.
The Musica Maestrale fretboard master plays his second concert in two nights, this one featuring his theorbo and Baroque guitar, soprano Christine Johnson, and love songs from 17th century Italy and Spain, including compositions by Monteverdi, Strozzi, Frescobaldi, and some less familiar composers of the early Baroque.
January 30, St. Michael and All Angels Church, 1704 NE 43rd Ave. Portland, and January 31, Eliot Chapel, 1011 SW 12th Ave. Portland.
The women’s world music choir sings songs and recounts stories from Scandinavia, including folk songs from Ingrian, Karelian, and Norwegian cultural groups, contemporary works by Morten Jannson, Frode Fjellheim, and Christopher Wicks, plus medieval and renaissance vocal music from Norway, France, and Italy and songs from Bulgarian, Anglo-American, and African-American traditions.
Newport Performing Arts Center, 777 W. Olive Street, Newport.
Newport’s own Erica Brookhyser joins the symphony in Mahler’s poignant Rueckert Lieder, and the orchestra plays the classic The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives, music from Schubert’s Rosamunda ballet and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4.
Chris Botti, Oregon Symphony
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.
The Grammy winning Oregon native may be the largest-selling American instrumental artist and creator of four #1 jazz albums, but he’s still disdained as one of those dreaded “smooth jazz” Muzak spouters by hardcore jazz heads. He’s definitely a cut above the Kenny Gs and his ilk, and even haters can’t argue that he’s a fine trumpeter with a silvery tone who plays well with really big bands like the symphony, as he no doubt will in this pop orchestral cool jazz concert.
“Dark to Light”
Michal Palzewicz, Martin Majkut, Michelle’s Piano Company, 600 SE Stark St. Portland.
The Ashland cellist and Southern Oregon pianist play music by Vivaldi, Boccherini, Bach, Haydn, Debussy and more.
Portland State University, Lincoln Recital Hall, Portland.
Portland Youth Philharmonic’s chamber orchestra joins Chamber Music Northwest’s winter festival for a fascinating celebration of American composers — including a premiere by Portland’s own Tomas Svoboda (Folk Concertino for Seven Instruments) and works by the neglected (these days) 20th century Americans Walter Piston (his sprightly, Stravinskian Divertimento), Charles Griffes (his gently impressionistic Three Tone Pictures) and Wallingford Riegger (his haunting Study in Sonority for strings). You get a discount if you also buy tickets to one the subsequent show immediately thereafter in the same venue: CMNW’s attractive Debussy-Ravel concert.
Brooklyn Rider with Gabriel Kahane
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of this pairing of two of today’s hottest contemporary classical acts.
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