MYS Oregon to Iberia

Classical Up Close rings out on radio

Some of Portland's finest classical musicians warm up for a new season of free and accessible small-scale concerts with a "Thursdays @ 3" broadcast on All Classical Radio.


Violinist Sarah Kwak in the studio for last week's Thursdays @ 3 broadcast on Portland's All Classical Radio 89.9 Photo: Joe Cantrell.
Violinist Sarah Kwak in the studio for last week’s Thursdays @ 3 broadcast on Portland’s All Classical Radio 89.9 Photo: Joe Cantrell.

Ready, set, play: On Thursday afternoon, April 12, a small group including some of Oregon’s finest classical musicians sailed into the studios of Portland’s All Classical Radio to do a live broadcast on the station’s popular Thursdays @ 3 show, which each week invites top musicians into the network’s downtown headquarters for some music and chat.

On the 12th, host Warren Black’s guests on KQAC 89.9-FM were several members of Classical Up Close, the group of musicians mostly from the Oregon Symphony Orchestra who are kicking off their 11th season of small-scale, easily accessible and free chamber-music performances in churches, bookstores, coffee shops, libraries, and other places where people convene.

Cellist Nancy Ives in the All Classical studio. Photo: Joe Cantrell
Cellist Nancy Ives in the All Classical studio. Photo: Joe Cantrell

It was a congenial afternoon, with special guests including the likes of Beethoven, Brahms, and Peter Schickele, and in case you missed the hour-long broadcast or would like to hear it again, you can access it easily on the station’s website, where it’ll be available for listening through April 25.

Playing the Thursdays @ 3 gig for Classical Up Close were pianists Susan Chan and Cary Lewis, OSO Concertmaster Sarah Kwak on violin, and OSO Principal Cello Nancy Ives. Photographer Joe Cantrell was on hand in the studio for the festivities, and emerged with not just a handful of fine photographs but also some agreeable impressions of the musical proceedings. Lewis and Chan sounded great, he reported, “and as usual, Nancy and Sarah were enough to melt your entire sensory system.”

Pianist Cary Lewis among the cameras, sound equipment and guests at "Thursdays @ 3." Photo: Joe Cantrell
Pianist Cary Lewis among the cameras, sound equipment and guests at “Thursdays @ 3.” Photo: Joe Cantrell

Several Classical Up Close shows have been announced through early May, and more will be added. Coming up through the rest of April:

  • 5 p.m. April 17: Pop-up with violin duo Shanshan Zeng and Shengnan Li, Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 S.W. Capitol Highway, Portland.
  • 1 p.m. April 20: Pop-up with string quartet of Emily Cole, Shin-young Kwon, Maia Hoffman, and Seth Biagini, Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside St., Portland.
  • 11 a.m. April 23: Pop-up of bass duos with Colin Corner and Mariya-Andoniya Andonova, Costello’s Travel Caffe, 2222 N.E. Broadway, Portland.
  • 7 p.m. April 23: Full-length concert with All Classical Radio host Christa Wessel as emcee, First Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1816 N.W. Irving St., Portland.
  • 2 p.m. April 24: Pop-up string trio with Emily Cole, Charles Noble, and Trevor Fitzpatrick, Westmoreland’s Union Manor, 6404 S.E. 23rd Ave., Portland.
  • 7 p.m. April 26: Full-length concert with All Classical Radio host Christa Wessel as emcee, Hillsdale Community Church, United Church of Christ, 6948 S.W. Capitol Highway, Portland.
  • 7 p.m. April 30: Full-length concert with All Classical Radio host Christa Wessel as emcee, The Old Madeleine Church, 3123 N.E. 24th Ave., Portland.

— The Editors


PCS Clyde’s

Violinist Sarah Kwak at Thursdays @ 3. Photo: Joe Cantrell
Violinist Sarah Kwak at Thursdays @ 3. Photo: Joe Cantrell

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Photo Joe Cantrell

I spent my first 21 years in Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma, assuming that except for a few unfortunate spots, ‘everybody’ was part Cherokee, and son of the soil. Volunteered for Vietnam because that’s what we did. After two stints, hoping to gain insight, perhaps do something constructive, I spent the next 16 years as a photojournalist in Asia, living much like the lower income urban peasants and learning a lot. Moved back to the USA in 1986, tried photojournalism and found that the most important subjects were football and basketball, never mind humankind. In 1992, age 46, I became single dad of my 3-year-old daughter and spent the next two decades working regular jobs, at which I was not very good, to keep a roof over our heads, but we made it. She’s retail sales supervisor for Sony, Los Angeles. Wowee! The VA finally acknowledged that the war had affected me badly and gave me a disability pension. I regard that as a stipend for continuing to serve humanity as I can, to use my abilities to facilitate insight and awareness, so I shoot a lot of volunteer stuff for worthy institutions and do artistic/scientific work from our Cherokee perspective well into many nights. Come along!


One Response

  1. Thank you, Joe. I met you first as a friend of your cousin Marcella, then with friend Valerie through VSO as advocates of Nancy Ives’ work on Celilo, then with friends Stephen and Lanette at PCO performance of same. It’s good to learn more about your history with this network and the flourishing opportunities it offers. I do what I can. You are much appreciated.

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