Weekend MusicWatch: Back in Action

It's open season for Portland's classical and contemporary music scenes.

After that little August lull, the Oregon music scene is heating up again even as temperatures begin (noooo!) to drop, with several promising concert of contemporary music leading the way.

The made-in-Oregon opera Canticle of the Black Madonna premieres this weekend at Portland's Newmark Theatre.

The made-in-Oregon opera Canticle of the Black Madonna premieres this weekend at Portland’s Newmark Theatre.

Unit Souzou, Thursday, Zoomtopia, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview of the debut of Oregon’s newest taiko-fueled dance and music company.

Canticle of the Black Madonna, Friday and Saturday, Newmark Theatre, Portland. Read Gary Ferrington’s ArtsWatch preview of the most anticipated Oregon opera production of the year, and his interview with its composer, Oregon’s own Ethan Gans-Morse.

Portland Classic Guitar Opening Gala, Friday, Mt. Angel Abbey. The essential classical guitar series opens its new season with performances by four fine Oregon guitarists, including PCG proprietor William Jenks playing Vivaldi with members of the Portland Chamber Orchestra, Peter Zisa playing Sor and Tedesco (with help from flutist LeeAnn McKenna), Mario Diaz performing preludes by veteran Portland composer Bryan Johanson and more, and Dan Cosley premiering his own latest solo composition, a “cubist blues.”

Bennie Maupin, Thara Memory, Terell Stafford, Rebecca Kilgore, Winningstad Theatre, Portland. The renowned saxophonist Maupin comes to town to join local jazz stars in this benefit for Portland trumpeter and teacher Memory’s American Music Program.

Oregon Symphony with Brandi Carlile, Friday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland. The folk-rocking singer songwriter with the big pipes returns for her third appearance with the orchestra in as many years.

Kathleen Supové, Saturday, Brunish Theatre, Portland. Read Jana Hanchett’s ArtsWatch preview of the coolest piano performance of the season, and by a Portland native, no less.

Seattle composer and multi-instrumentalist Stuart Dempster performs at Portland's YU Contemporary art center Saturday.

Seattle composer and multi-instrumentalist Stuart Dempster performs at Portland’s YU Saturday.

Stuart Dempster, Saturday, Yale Union, Portland. Read Claire Sykes’s ArtsWatch preview of a rare Oregon appearance by one of the Northwest’s living musical legends.

Ezra Weiss Sextet, Saturday, Jimmy Mak’s, Portland. At this album release concert, the excellent Portland pianist and bandleader plays music from his new sextet CD, Before You Know It.

Taylor Ho Bynum’s Acoustic Bicycle Tour, Sunday, Central Hotel, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview of the avant jazz cornetist’s show with the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, co-presented by the Creative Music Guild.

Qiuling Ruan, Monday, Newmark Theatre, Portland. Portland State University pianist Susan Chan accompanies the soprano in popular Chinese folks songs and opera arias by Puccini and Mozart.

Oregon Symphony with Trey Anastasio, Tuesday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview of the latest in the symphony’s increasing embrace of orchestral indie rock.

Opera On Screen, Friday and Sunday, Empirical Theater, Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, Portland. Portland Opera and OMSI bring high-definition films of San Francisco Opera productions of Madame Butterfly Friday and Don Giovanni Sunday.

Finally, Portland Audiences for Cultural Exploration (PACE), a new affiliate of Business for Culture and the Arts (BCA), is inviting art lovers to its launch party Friday at Portland’s Enso Winery (1416 SE Stark St.) celebrating Portland’s creative community. Co-hosted by Portland Emerging Arts Leaders (PEAL), the free, open to the public party feature sa pop-up art gallery curated by Duplex Gallery, live music from members of the world-fusion ensemble râz, and more.

Want to read more about Oregon classical music? Support Oregon ArtsWatch!

Want to learn more about contemporary Oregon classical music? Check out Oregon ComposersWatch.

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