Weekend MusicWatch

After a holiday hibernation, the Oregon music scene is beginning to thaw along with roads, but pickings are still relatively slim this week. Here’s some of the shows available, and fear not, we’ll keep the spotlight on Oregon music with another look back at this past fall’s Oregon-grown musical highlights later this week. If you want still more Oregon music info, check our wrap ups of Oregon music CDs and fall chamber music.

Pacifica Quartet performs at Portland State University's Lincoln Hall. Photo: John Green

Pacifica Quartet performs at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall. Photo: John Green

Molly Barth & Stuart Gerber
January 6
Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of this flute and percussion concert featuring music by David Lang, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio, Franco Donatoni, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon.

Cadence Festival of the Unknown
January 7
Classic Pianos, SE Powell and Milwaukie, Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of this music and storytelling tribute to jazz pianist and composer Herbie Nichols.

“Grey Gold: A New Myth of Persephone and Hades”
January 8-9, 15-16
Myrrh Larsen, The Steep And Thorny Way To Heaven, SE 2nd & Hawthorne, Portland.
Composer/singer/guitarist Larsen (also a classically trained cellist) premieres his second, site-specific “immersive multimedia rock and performance show,” which forges “post-grunge glam rock” music (including a cycle of 10 songs, eight of them original), storytelling, projection, movement dancers Lauren Mitchell and Caitlynn Didlick, and audience interaction into a modern take on the famous Greek myth.

Oregon Symphony
January 8, Smith Auditorium, Willamette University, Salem.
January 10-11, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.
French oboist François Leleux is the soloist in Richard Strauss’s cheery, neo-Mozartian 1945 Oboe Concerto, a virtuoso showcase. The grab-bag program also includes what may be Mozart’s first real keeper of a symphony, his 28th (written in 1773 when he was 18 and newly smitten with Haydn’s great symphonic music), and Liszt’s pioneering 1849 symphonic poem, Les Preludes. American music fans might be especially interested in once-popular Chicago composer John Alden Carpenter’s rarely played (these days) 1933 Sea Drift, inspired by Walt Whitman’s classic poem “Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking,” which sounds a little like a less eventful cross between the Romantic tone poems of Liszt, Tchaikovsky et al and later impressionist works like Debussy’s own musical sea scape.

olga kern by Chris Lee

Pianist Olga Kern performs at the University of Oregon. Photo: Chris Lee.

Olga Kern
January 10
Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of the renowned Russian pianist’s recital of music by Mendelssohn, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Liszt and Schumann — plus a new piece written especially for her.

Bach Cantata Vespers
St. James Lutheran Church, 1315 S.W. Park Avenue, Portland.
As the end of days — the days of Christmas, that is —  draw nigh, vocal soloists Chistine Welch-Elder, Laura Thoreson, Les Green, and Kevin Walsh join the St. James chorus and orchestra in the fifth cantata in J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, plus Michael Praetorius’ “Quempas Carol.”

The Elixir of Love
January 11
Portland Opera to Go, Antoinette Hatfield Hall. 1111 SW Broadway, Portland.
The free, family friendly noontime show (bring a sack lunch!) features an abbreviated version of Donizetti’s Wild West opera.

Pacifica Quartet
January 11 & 12
Lincoln Performance Hall, Portland State University.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the popular string quartet’s latest Portland appearance.

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