Portfolio: Seven Violinists

From the symphony to baroque to jazz to Celtic to opera to a legendary luthier, K.B. Dixon photographs an Oregon musical all-star team.


TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY K.B. DIXON


The focus in this group of portraits is on Oregon’s extraordinary collection of talented violinists. These amazing musicians and their colleagues have made invaluable contributions to the character and culture of this City and State. Their singular gifts have enriched our lives.

My hope has been to call attention to the remarkable work of these remarkable people and, as always, to produce a decent photograph—a photograph that honors the medium’s allegiance to reality, and that preserves for myself and others a unique and honest sense of the subject.

Sarah Kwak

Oregon Symphony Concertmaster. “Kwak is a transformer, converting [a conductor’s] voltage to audible energy. How she moves, what fingerings she uses and how she bows a phrase determine a great deal of the sound of the orchestra’s largest section, the violins.”
David Stabler, The Oregonian

Peter Frajola

Oregon Symphony Associate Concertmaster. Frajola joined the Oregon Symphony in 1984. He has played in the Eugene, Marin, and San Francisco Opera orchestras. He has been the concertmaster of the Ernest Bloch Music Festival since 1994. “As a soloist, Peter has performed with the Knoxville Symphony, San Francisco Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, Central Oregon Symphony, the Ernest Bloch Music Festival, the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra.”
– The Oregon Symphony

Monica Huggett

Artistic Director Emeritus of the Portland Baroque Orchestra. In 2008 she was appointed inaugural artistic director of The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance Program in New York. With Ton Koopman she co-founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra; founded Sonnerie, her own London-based ensemble; worked with Christopher Hogwood at the Academy of Ancient Music; and toured the United States in concert with James Galway.  
– Portland Baroque Orchestra

Greg Ewer

Oregon Symphony Violinist. “Ewer, hailed by The New York Times for his ‘refinement and spirit,’ has been a member of the Oregon Symphony since 2001. [He] is also well known to Portland audiences for his regular appearances with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, and Pink Martini. He is … the founder and artistic director of 45th Parallel, a highly acclaimed chamber music series founded in 2009, featuring musicians of the Pacific Northwest.”
– The Oregon Symphony

Lucia Atkinson

Atkinson is a tenured violinist with the Portland Opera and a frequent performer with the Oregon Symphony. A member of the Stumptown String Quartet, she has performed with many other local groups such as Third Angle, 45th Parallel, Oregon Ballet Theatre Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Sunriver and Astoria Music Festivals as well as recording with the Decemberists on their album “Her Majesty the Decemberists.”  
– Lewis & Clark College

Eddie Parente

Parente is an eclecticist—a Jazz, Celtic, and Classical violinist. He has played with the folk group Touchstone, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Portland State University Symphony Orchestra, Everything’s Jake, Celtic rock group The Full Shilling, the Western Swing group Ranch Dressing, and Gordon Lee of the Mel Brown Quintet.

David Kerr

A founding member of the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Kerr is the Co-Founder of The Luthier’s Library and owner of the legendary David Kerr Violin Shop.

About the author

K.B. Dixon’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and journals. The recipient of an OAC Individual Artist Fellowship Award, he is the winner of both the Next Generation Indie Book Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. He is the author of seven novels: The Sum of His SyndromesAndrew (A to Z)A Painter’s LifeThe Ingram InterviewThe Photo AlbumNovel Ideas, and Notes as well as the essay collection Too True, Essays on Photography, and the short story collection, My Desk and I. Examples of his photographic work may be found in private collections, juried exhibitions, online galleries, and at K.B. Dixon Images.

2 Responses.

  1. Sarah Tiedemann says:

    I’d like to add to the list Nelly Kovalev! A magnificent artist and a poised and generous concertmaster at OBT. We are very lucky to have her here in Portland.

  2. The portrait of Monica is superb. It truly captured her, even in a straight up picture.

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