MusicWatch Weekly: In with the new(s)

Fall new music calendar, new class in classical music for general audiences, newly announced symphony conductor finalists, and oh yeah, concerts too

With Oregon’s music schedule still not fully recovered from its summer swoon, we’re taking the opportunity to add some other music news to this week’s previews.

First, the Eugene Symphony just announced the finalists to succeed music director Danail Rachev after his final season this year. Chosen from a pool of 250 applicants from 44 countries, each will lead an ESO concert this season as part of their audition. The assistant Conductor of the great Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Dina Gilbert, who’ll conduct the December 8 concert, also founded and runs her own chamber orchestra. Brooklyn’s Ryan McAdams, who’s won rave reviews for conducting orchestras in Europe and Israel, tries his baton January 26. Boulder native Francesco Lecce-Chong, who’s assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, takes his turn on the Hult Center podium March 16.


Gilbert, McAdams, Lecce-Chong.

Important: amid all their starry fellowships, awards, big-name mentors and glowing reviews, all three young conductors have worked with contemporary composers and new music — an essential quality for a 21st century conductor, especially one who aspires to join a line of renowned new music advocates that includes former ESO music directors Marin Alsop and Giancarlo Guerrero. Their success in Eugene surely contributed to what search committee head Roger Saydack (who led the last five searches) called “the strongest pool of candidates we’ve ever seen here,” which is saying something. That’s why the search for a second-tier orchestra conductor in a college town in the upper left corner of the US is really international news. ESO conducting alums go on to much bigger opportunities after a few years in Oregon. Like the song says: “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, it’s up to you, Eugene, Eugene.”

Second, beginning this Sunday, ArtsWatch’s pal, esteemed former Oregonian music writer David Stabler, is leading a course in classical music appreciation we thought many of our readers might want to know about. It’s aimed at the general public. Below you’ll find David’s description of this Sunday afternoon’s first class. For more info, check his website.

Third, Portland’s Modern Music Maven Bob Priest, who’s happily reviving what used to be March Music Moderne in December, has issued his fall guide to Portland new music, which appears at the bottom of this post and is available at his Ear Trumpet website. It’s hardly comprehensive (Portland only, and avowedly tailored to the author’s admittedly idiosyncratic taste), but still immensely valuable to fans of 20th and 21st century classical music. We’ll have more extensive previews of most of these shows as the season unfolds.

On to this week’s previews.

Raul Midón
September 9
Jimmy Mak’s, Portland.
Read Angela Allen’s ArtsWatch preview of the New Mexico multi instrumentalist’s Portland shows.

Musica Maestrale
September 10
Community Music Center, 3350 SE Francis St. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the early music ensemble’s reprise of the concert featuring 16th and 17th century sea songs that they premiered at their first ever festival in Astoria last month. Guest stars Gayle and Phil Neuman from Oregon Renaissance Band also return with their homemade replicas of ancient instruments.

Renée Fleming & Oregon Symphony
September 10
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the star soprano’s showcase with the Oregon Symphony.

Trio Subtonic, Happy Orchestra
September 10
The Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark St. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the Portland groovy jazzers’ CD release show, with guest star Portland jazz guitar master Dan Balmer.

Dan Balmer joins Trio Subtonic's CD release party.

Dan Balmer joins Trio Subtonic’s CD release party.

“10 Tunes That Shook the World”
September 11
Classic Pianos, 3003 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. Portland
David Stabler: “We look at one iconic tune from each of the past 10 centuries, revealing how music evolved from simple chant to an orchestra at full roar. A plainchant by Herman ‘the Lame; is pure melody that creates a cloister of serenity. Mozart broke the rules in his ‘Haffner’ Symphony by leaping two octaves out of the gate, then plunging two octaves back to earth. Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ is as simple as a folk tune, but he struggled mightily with it, drafting dozens of versions. And guess which tune epitomizes the 20th century?”

Joey Alexander
September 11
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the jazz piano prodigy’s show.

3 Leg Torso
September 12
Lake Theatre & Cafe, 106 N. State Street, Lake Oswego.
The quintessential Portland band — fun, uncategorizable, smart, and musically appealing — takes its world chamber jazz and banter to the renovated movie palace.

“Two Yosemites”
September 14
Old Church, 1422 S.W. 11th Ave. Portland.
Technically this preview should appear next week, but since the show is on a Wednesday, when our previews normally appear, we wanted to make sure ArtsWatch readers know in advance about this Opera Theater Oregon preview recital featuring music from emerging Oregon composer Justin Ralls’s forthcoming opera set during a historically consequential camping trip undertaken in 1903 by American environmental hero and Sierra Club founder John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt. Pianist Kira Whiting accompanies tenor Dan Buchanan and baritone Nicholas Meyer, who’ll also sing Schubert nature-inspired songs.

And now, ladies and germs, we present: EAR TRUMPET
Portland New Music Calendar September – December 2016



Opera Theater Oregon
Two Yosemites
Justin Ralls

Patrick McCulley
Music for Saxophone

Portland Columbia Symphony
A Night at the Movies
John Williams

Huun Huur Tu
New & Old Tuvan Music

Portland Chamber Orchestra
The Diary of Anne Frank
Grigory Frid & Shostakovich

Oregon Symphony
Rogerson & Bartok

Fear No Music
Joel’s Greatest Hits
Satoh, Miksch & Golijov



Third Angle
Steve Reich

Brian Wilson
Pet Sounds

Chamber Music Northwest
Akropolis Reed Quintet
Doest & Biedenbender

Portland Piano International
Denis Kozhukhin, piano
Gyorgy Ligeti

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
with Wynton Marsalis, trumpet

Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland
Requiem for the Living
Moravec & Forrest

Cascadia Composers
To Cuba With Love
Preview of the Havana concert

Friends of Chamber Music
Danish String Quartet
Rolf Wallin

Creative Music Guild
Extradition Series
Lucier, Pisaro & Ecklund

Cascadia Composers with The Ensemble
Love, Laughter & Truth
Koon, Winslow & Brahms

Oregon Symphony
Rouse & Norman

PDX Jazz
Dave Douglas with The Westerlies

Oregon Symphony
Janacek & Barber

Fear No Music
New Music in Disguise
Stockhausen & Daugherty



Arnica String Quartet
Webern & Beethoven

Third Angle
World of Ideas: solo piano
Lang, Andres & Johanson

Crazy Jane Composers
Crazy Jane in Technicolor

Oregon Symphony
Frank Martin

FESTIVAL – 17 Events
Portland Piano International
The Clearing
Benjamin, Ligeti, Kurtag, Boulez,
Messiaen, Abrahamsen, Carter,
master classes, films & more . . .

Portland Columbia Symphony
Trail of Tears
Daugherty & Bernstein

Cascadia Composers with The Ensemble
My Sweetest Life
Mittelstaedt, Safar & Gesualdo

A Different Nature
MMMessiaen Festival Preview
with The Free Marz String Trio
hosted by Andy, Daniel & D-Bob
Messiaen, Gorecki & MMMore . . .



FESTIVAL – 5 Events
MMMessiaen Melange de Musique
Messiaen, Salonen, Saariaho, Gorecki, Stockhausen, Harley, Priest, Schnittke, FFF & Messiaen Remix Projects and Live Concert Broadcast on Club Mod

*** ET PICK ***
Oregon Symphony
Olivier Messiaen

PSU Orchestra
Piazzolla & Glass

Cult of Orpheus: Viva’s Holiday
Christopher Corbell

Portland Chamber Orchestra
Holiday Postcard
Avner Dorman

Portland Youth Philharmonic
Riegger & John Williams



All Classical-FM (89.9)
Club Mod with Robert McBride
Saturday: 8-10 pm

KBOO-FM (90.7)
A Different Nature
Monday: 8-10 pm



Oregon Arts Watch

Northwest Reverb

Noble Viola

Experimental Portland




Compact Disc

Zodiac for music boxes
Karlheinz Stockhausen

West Coast Trail Concert

19 November – Los Angeles
Simon Rattle & The Berlin Phil
Boulez & Mahler


The Tuning of the World
R. Murray Schafer


for program, time, venue & ticket Info
ET is a curated listing – conflicts are avoided

EAR TRUMPET is produced by MMM and The Baby LeRoy Memorial Trust

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

Comments are closed.