MusicWatch Weekly: Pianos aplenty

Piano music leads a busy week in Oregon performances

ArtsWatch is officially declaring November Oregon’s Month of Piano music.  This weekend brings three prime pianistic performances, and later this month a FIVE pianist show among other piano recitals. Of course, pianos appear in other concerts with non pianistic instruments, and the week also offers plenty of music for other instruments, including guitar,  saxes, and human voices. Let readers know about other performances you recommend in the comments section below.

The most important performance of this week, however is yours: be sure you vote by Tuesday!

XX Digitus Duo
November 3
Alberta Rose Theater, 3000 NE Alberta, Portland.
Read A.L. Adams’s ArtsWatch preview of this cheerfully unconventional show featuring newly composed music the duo commissioned from Portland State professor and composer Ken Selden, a new score they commissioned for a 1927 Dada film, Ghosts before Breakfast, music by rarely heard Latin American composers and by Paul Bowles, projected photography, film, and original dance by Agnieszka Laska Dancers.

XXDigitus Duo performs at Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland.

“World of Ideas”
Nov 3 & 4
Susan Smith, Studio 2 @ N.E.W., 810 SE Belmont St. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the Third Angle New Music pianis’s intimate solo recital of contemporary piano music by Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Lang’s Memory Pieces, Portland composer Michael Johanson, and New York composer Timo Andres.

“Beautiful ~ The Carole King Musical”
November 3-6
Keller Auditorium, SW 3rd and Clay, Portland.
The Tony & Grammy Award-winning Broadway hit biography of one of America’s greatest songwriters (and, though famously born in Brooklyn, later a long time Northwesterner), who also played a pretty sweet piano. Stay tuned for our review this week.

Bill Frisell
November 3, Jaqua Concert Hall, The Shedd Institute, 868 High Street, Eugene, and November 4, Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland.
Read Daniel Heila’s ArtsWatch preview of the guitarist’s music and movie nostalgia trip.

‘Crazy Jane in Technicolor’
November 4
Crazy Jane Composers, Lincoln Recital Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of this multimedia concert that includes dance, amplified harpsichord, a performer who literally glows in the dark, original tangos, and much more. Click the following links to sample music by the female Oregon composers featured this time: Susan Alexjander, 
Cynthia Gerdes, 
Jan Mittelstaedt
, Liz Nedela, 
Linda Woody, and chief perpetrators Elizabeth Blachly-Dyson and 
Jennifer Wright.

Sergey Antonov performs in an Astoria recital.

Sergey Antonov performs in an Astoria recital.

“Russian Gold”
November 4
Astoria Music Festival, Liberty Theater, Astoria.
The prize winning Russian pair of cellist Sergey Antonov and pianist Ilya Kazantsev returns to perform sonatas by Saint-Saens and Benjamin Britten, as well as shorter showpieces for cello and piano.

Portland Cello Project
November 4
Hi-Fi Music Hall, 44 E 7th Avenue
The multi-cello ensemble begins its 10th anniversary tour. Expect hits from throughout the innovative group’s career, from classical music to pop to hip hop.

Telegraph Quartet
November 4
First United Methodist Church, 1165 NW Monroe Avenue, Corvallis.
Chamber Music Corvallis brings the young foursome to play quartets by Haydn, Beethoven and Dvorak.

Beaverton Symphony
November 4 & 6
Village Baptist Church, 330 SW Murray Blvd, Beaverton.
The orchestra plays a concert version of Rossini’s ever popular comic opera The Barber of Seville.

Rakesh Chaurasia and Ravi Albright
November 5
First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th Avenue, Portland.
The latest virtuoso in the legendary family of North Indian flutists performs Hindustani classical music.

Sara Daneshpour performs at Portland Piano International.

Sara Daneshpour performs at Portland Piano International.

Sara Daneshpour
November 5, Portland Piano Company, 711 SW 14th Avenue, Portland and November 6, Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Ave, Hood River.
The free Portland Piano International recitals feature the latest entry in its estimable Rising Star series, which pairs emerging piano virtuosos with new music by Oregon composers. This time, the showcase goes to one of the state’s finest, Jack Gabel, whose new Sturnella neglecta was inspired by one of the great 20th century mystic French composer Olivier Messiaen’s compositions in turn inspired by bird song. She’ll also play classics by Rameau, Ravel (“Ondine”) and Rachmaninov.

Halie Loren with the Tony Glausi Quartet
November 5
Broadway House, 911 W. Broadway, Eugene.
Some of Eugene’s finest jazz musicians, singer Halie Loren and trumpeter Tony Glausi’s quartet, perform mid-century classics like “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise,” “I Fall in Love Too Easily” and more, as well as rock-era hits by Otis Redding, XTC, Norah Jones and the Beatles. Reservations at (541) 686-9270 or

Moon Hooch
November 5, Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St. Portland, November 6, HiFi Music Hall, Eugene, November 7, The Capitol, Bend.
Brooklyn’s volatile two-sax and drums band mixes jazz, rock and dance music.

Oregon Symphony
November 5-7
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.
More Beethoven: his pastoral sixth symphony, plus Schumann’s Overture, Scherzo and Finale and 20th century Swiss composer Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
November 5-6
Skyview Concert Hall, 1300 NW 139th Street, Vancouver, WA.
Seattle Symphony harpist Valerie Muzzolini Gordon stars in a terrific program of French music including Debussy’s gorgeous Nocturnes and Sacred and Secular Dances, music from Ravel’s great ballet score Daphnis and Chloe, and Concert Piece for Harp and Orchestra by Gabriel Pierne.

Newport Symphony Orchestra
November 5 & 6
Newport Performing Arts Center, 777 W. Olive Street, Newport.
Violinist Bella Hristova stars in Beethoven’s powerful Violin Concerto, and the orchestra plays the composer’s first symphony and Coriolan Overture.

Portland Youth Philharmonic
November 7
Pacific University’s Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center, 2014 Cedar St., Forest Grove.
The orchestra performs the world premiere of Portland composer Tomáš Svoboda’s early-1960s second symphony, plus music by Wagner and Bruch. Stay tuned for a big feature on PYP’s Portland concert next week.

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