Weekly MusicWatch

A pair of star solo recitalists and three different orchestral concerts lead this weekend's music calendar

Although the music calendar really starts to heat up next weekend, there’s still plenty of music onstage this week — and on screen as well. Just in Portland, the Mission Theater offers a new series of opera screenings, beginning with Verdi’s The Two Foscari,  based on Byron’s play, on Jan. 16th, and Living Room Theaters screens another Verdi opera, Franco Zeffirelli’s La Scala production of  Aida on January 14, while the Northwest Film Center’s always enjoyable Reel Music Festival begins Friday at the Portland Art Museum’s Whitsell Auditorium, with films about another Aida production (Magicarena) Beethoven; Frank Zappa; John Cage; Mavis Staples; crazy-brilliant producer/composer/performer Lee “Scratch” Perry; Nina Simone; the “exotic” organist Korla; jazz masters Bill Evans, Jaco Pastorius, Ben Webster & Dexter Gordon, and Portland’s Chuck Israels; and less well known but still intriguing musicians like drummer Sam Lay, singer Syl Johnson, piano teacher and composer Seymour Bernstein, and much more.

Oregon Symphony
January 14, 17
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland.
The orchestra continues its series of collaborations with pop musicians on Thursday with folk-pop singer-songerwiter Gregory Alan Isakov, who’s recorded his orchestral versions with the Colorado Symphony. Sunday’s kids concert teams the band with the Pacific Youth Choir and Dance West for a musical zoo featuring music from Ravel’s magical Mother Goose, Saint Saens’s Carnival of the Animals, John Williams’s score to Jurassic Park, and more.

University of Oregon faculty musicians, January 14, Beall Concert Hall, 961 East 18th Avenue, Eugene.
Read my Eugene Weekly preview of this mega-recital featuring various UO faculty ensembles playing some unusual 20th century repertoire.

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin plays music by Tan Dun and other composers Friday in Portland. Photo: Rob Fortunato

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin plays music by Tan Dun and other composers Friday in Portland. Photo: Rob Fortunato

Sharon Isbin
January 15
First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park Ave. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the pre-eminent American classical guitarist’s solo recital.

Beaverton Symphony Orchestra 
January 15-17
Village Baptist Church, 330 SW Murray Blvd. Beaverton.
Travis Hatton leads the orchestra in another chance to hear Ravel’s enchanting 1911 Mother Goose ballet music this weekend, Vieuxtemps’s 1879 second cello concerto (starring soloist Diane Chaplin) and Schubert’s 1825 last symphony.

Grey Gold: A New Myth of Persephone and Hades
January 15-16
The Steep And Thorny Way To Heaven, SE 2nd & Hawthorne, Portland.
Read Maria Choban’s ArtsWatch review of composer Myrrh Larsen’s new made in Portland rock opera.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
January 16-17
Skyview Concert Hall, 1300 NW 139th St. Vancouver, WA.
Salvator Brotons leads the orchestra in one of the great orchestral works of the 20th century, Bartok’s sizzling Concerto for Orchestra, plus Liszt’s 1850 symphonic poem (the second we’ve heard in as many weeks) Prometheus, and Sergei Prokofiev’s dazzling Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring soloist Dimitri Zhgenti.

Nareh Arghamanyan
January 16-17
Lincoln Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave. Portland.
Read my Willamette Week preview of the rising young Armenian pianist’s solo recitals.

Finally, here’s a parting glance at one of our musical heroes.

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