Weekend MusicWatch: Winter Songs

December is nigh and holiday concerts are descending like snowflakes on Mount Hood, but there are a few fetching non-holiday shows to catch before the real blizzard begins.

The Shanghai Quartet performs at Portland State University Monday and Tuesday.


Oregon Symphony, Saturday-Monday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland: Young American guest conductor Eugene Tzigane leads the orchestra in Shostakovich’s 1967 Violin Concerto #2, Cesar Franck’s Symphony in D, and the overture to Berlioz’s Shakespearean opera, Beatrice and Benedict.

Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Sunday, Good Shepherd Community Church, Boring: Bring the kids to a program that includes tunes from Downton Abbey and a visually enhanced performance of Howard Blake’s The Snowman.

Portland State University Symphony, Saturday, Lincoln Performance Hall, PSU: The orchestra’s 21st century students play a couple of 20th century classics — Ravel’s alluring Mother Goose suite and Steve Reich’s ingeniously intricate Eight Lines — and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.

Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Sunday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland: New conductor Andres Lopera takes over for legendary Lajos Balogh with Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony, lively crowd pleasers by Borodin (Polovtsian Dances) and Marquez (Conga del Fuego Nuevo) and even a contemporary work by Portuguese composer Luis Cardoso.

Choral Music

Trinity Choir, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Saturday & Sunday, Trinity Cathedral, Portland: The all-Bach program features one of his most beloved cantatas (#140, Wake up, the Watchman Cries) and his equally popular Magnificat.

Portland Symphonic Choir, Saturday and Sunday, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Portland: Kathryn Lehmann leads the singers, along with choristers from Lakeridge High School, in Daniel Pinkham’s Monteverdi-inspired Christmas Cantata, Holst’s Christmas Day, Charles Stanford’s Magnificat and music by John Rutter, Brian Schmidt, and more.

ISing Choir, Friday-Sunday, Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ, Beaverton: the most interesting choral program of the season includes works by Portland native Morten Lauridsen, the great contemporary British composer James Whitbourn, contemporary Scandinavian sounds, and more.

Audeamus, Sunday, United Lutheran Church, Eugene: this new ensemble of UO grad students performs medieval music from some of the most important manuscripts of the European Middle Ages.

Chamber Music

Pianist Valentina Lisitsa performs Sunday at
Portland’s Newmark Theater.

Valentina Lisitsa, Sunday, Newmark Theater, Portland: the excellent Ukrainian born pianist and YouTube phenom plays a diverse program of music by Beethoven, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and more.

Shanghai Quartet, Monday and Tuesday Lincoln Hall, Portland State University: the superb foursome plays two engrossing programs featuring music of Bartok, Beethoven, Penderecki, Schubert, Dvorak and a contemporary Chinese composer.

Chamber Music Amici, Monday, Wildish Theater, Springfield: The fine ensemble primarily composed of present and former University of Oregon music faculty members welcomes guest Portuguese cellist Jed Barahal for a program that includes Bruch’s string quintet in A minor, a Mozart violin sonata, and music by another Portuguese composer, Luiz Costa.


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