Gospel Christmas

Festivals of the future

Oregon Symphony’s reborn season, examined

With over a million vaccine doses delivered and summer looming, the Oregon Symphony has announced their return to the Schnitz for a 2021-2022 season. This isn’t simply a re-formulated version of the cancelled 2020-21 season, though a couple of pieces reappear. You can investigate the whole season for yourself right here.

There are two other exciting pieces of news, one of which is the hiring of new music director and conductor David Danzmayr (stay tuned for our interview with Danzmayr in the coming weeks). The other is the Schnitz’s acoustic renovations; the OSO has been coy about that so far, so we eagerly await more details. What we know is that the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust generously donated the $1 million that will pay for the renovations. 

Despite their season being cancelled last March, the symphony has adapted to the moment with their Essential Sounds series, the Storytime series and “minute for music” (listen to them all on Youtube here). Considering how poorly some organizations treated their musicians near the beginning of the pandemic, the Oregon Symphony has done a good job keeping their musicians employed over the last year.

This video may be the best musical primer for the new season: Danzmayr conducting Gabriela Lena Frank’s Elegía Andina, which we will hear at the first concert of the season, alongside a premiere by local violist and composer Kenji Bunch and Mahler’s death-defying Second Symphony.

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MusicWatch Holidays: Naughty and nice

Unwrapping Portland’s spiritual duality with holiday concerts for choirs, circuses, dancers, and drag queens

Ho ho ho! Oregon First Winter is fully upon us: the snow and ice and seasonal depression haven’t hit in full force yet, but it’s finally cold and rainy enough to talk about holiday music. Let’s get started with an old favorite:

Our wishlist of worthy concerts is twenty-plus items long this week (not counting the mezzanine), so we’re only going to talk about a select few–but we’ll leave the whole list for you at the end, dear reader, so you can decide for yourself who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.

Choral joys, classical comforts

Nothing goes together like choirs and holiday music. Portland and environs may be known for a certain sassy grouchiness, but we’re also known for having more choral ensembles than Santa has ununionized elves. Almost all of them are celebrating the holiday season one way or another in the next few weeks, and although our darling Resonance Ensemble is off duty until early spring, the rest of the Oregon choir tribe is gearing up for year-end banquets of sparkly yuletide music.

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