Weekly MusicWatch

Classical music make-out sessions with jazz, film and other partners

Some fascinating concerts that cheerfully and successfully break those imaginary boundaries between classical and jazz music highlight this week’s Oregon musical offerings.

Turtle Island Quartet
February 11
Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, Portland
Read my Willamette Week preview of the pioneering Bay Area string quartet’s concert — among the first to feature the group’s two newest members, both rising young stars, Carolina Chocolate Drops cellist Malcolm Parson and one-time national fiddle champion and Corvallis native Alex Hargreaves — featuring music from Miles Davis’s famous Birth of the Cool album, a new piece by quartet founder David Balakrishnan, and more.

Rachel Barton Pine & Mike Block
February 12
The Old Church, 1422 SW 11TH Ave. Portland
Read my Willamette Week preview of this Friends of Chamber Music recital by the acclaimed violinist and cellist.

Badi Assad
February 12
The Shedd, 868 High St. Eugene
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of the Brazilian guitarist/composer’s concert.

Berta Rojas
February 12
St. Anne’s Chapel, Marylhurst University
The award winning Paraguayan guitarist, who’s played with Paquito D’Rivera and performed at concerts all over the world, plays music by Manuel Ponce, Agustin Barrios, and contemporary composer Vincent Lindsey Clark.

“Star Trek: Into Darkness”
February 12
Oregon Symphony, Pacific Youth Choir, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland
The orchestra plays and choir sings Michael Giacchino’s score live, while the (disappointing) film plays overhead on a giant screen.

ARCO-PDX also played this program at Seattle's Royal Room.

ARCO-PDX performs in Eugene Saturday.

ARCO-PDX
February 13
WOW Hall, 291 W 8th Ave. Eugene
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of the latest show by the amplified chamber orchestra, which performed this program in Portland a couple weeks back.

“Somewhere I Have Never Traveled: Music of Bonnie Miksch”
February 13
FearNoMusic, Lincoln Hall, PSU Room 75, 1620 SW Park Ave. Portland
Read my ArtsWatch preview of this CD release performance featuring acoustic chamber music by the Portland State University professor, singer, electronic musician and forward-looking composer.

Voglar Belgique, Payne and Ives performed a pair of piano trios by Oregon composers.

FearNoMusic performs Saturday in Portland.

Passion Week by Maximilian Steinberg
Cappella Romana, February 13, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland
February 14, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Portland
The great choir reprises its premiere performances of the long-lost early 20th century Russian Orthodox sacred masterpiece. Read my Wall Street Journal review of the premiere.

Portland Chamber Orchestra
February 13, Nordia House, 8800 SW Oleson Rd. Portland
February 14, Agnes Flanagan Chapel, Lewis & Clark College
Third Angle pianist Susan DeWitt Smith joins the orchestra for that most poignant and powerful of piano concerti, Mozart’s twentieth, and the orchestra also plays the composer’s cheery “Linz” symphony and an arrangement of his famous choral work, Ave Verum Corpus, by American composer Daniel Kellogg.

Bolai Cao
February 14
Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Ave. Portland
In this free afternoon recital in Portland Piano International’s estimable Rising Star series, the young Chinese pianist plays music by Portland composer Bryan Johanson (inspired by the gemlike sonatas of Italian Baroque master Domenico Scarlatti), Chopin, Liszt, and Scarlatti himself.

Tualatin Valley Symphony
February 14
Tualatin Presbyterian Church, 9230 Siletz Drive, Tualatin.
Very interesting program featuring music by the fine contemporary composer Margaret Brouwer’s lush Remembrances, Rimsky Korsakov’s colorful symphonic suite Antar, and music by Saint-Saens and Tchaikovsky.

Ches Smith with Craig Taborn and Mat Maneri, Blue Cranes
February 15
Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave. Portland.
Percussionist/composer Smith, a University of Oregon alum, joins acclaimed jazz pianist Taborn and violist Maneri in a sparkling trio whose gorgeous chamber jazz album (featuring Smith’s vibes as well as various drums) on ECM records is one of the year’s best. Smith’s has studied with contemporary classical masters like Fred Frith and Willie Winant, played with Terry Riley, Marc Ribot, Mary Halvorson, and Mr. Bungle, and his bandmates share equally diverse and impressive credentials. I know the Portland Jazz Festival is around the corner, but this would be a headliner there or at any other.

Maneri Taborn and Smith play Monday in Portland. Photo: Paolo Soriani

Maneri Taborn and Smith play Monday in Portland. Photo: Paolo Soriani

“Unlikely Allies”
February 16
45th Parallel, Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave. Portland.
Local orchestra and chamber players perform Mozart’s lilting Piano and Winds Quintet and music by Reinecke, Bozza, and more.

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

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