Classical music performances abound on Portland’s wintery arts scene


Despite the omicron threat, classical music continued a strong revival with an increasing number of performances this winter. Although most events require proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, it is best to recheck the requirements. For those who are still hesitant, many concerts offer a live streaming option.

With that in mind, here are a dozen concerts that include unreleased works and golden oldies.

You will fly! – 45th parallel universe

Composers are known to “borrow” from their colleagues – the sooner the better – and even from themselves. In this master’s flight program for chamber orchestra you will hear a bit of Bach in Brahms’ Serenade No. 2 in A major. Another Bach-type variety appears in Stravinsky’s “Concerto in E flat major Dumbarton Oaks”. The 45th Parallel will also play the world premiere of a play by Marcos-Adrián Ramos.

January 27; PICA, 15 NE Hancock St .; or 503-446-4227.

Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov – Oregon Symphony

San Francisco Opera Music Director Eun Sun Kim returns to conduct this concert, which features fellow returnee Johannes Moser in the world premiere of Robin Holloway’s Cello Concerto. Holloway, who taught musical composition at the University of Cambridge, has a vast body of work known for its modern and lush underlying. Also on the program, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Dukas, known from generation to generation through the antics of Mickey Mouse in the 1940 Walt Disney concert film “Fantasia” and “Scheherazade” by Rimsky-Korsakov, which evokes colorful way several tales from “The Thousand and One Nights.

January 29-31; Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway; or 503-228-1353.

When the Sun Rises – Portland Opera House

Commissioned by the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival, this chamber opera will receive its American premiere with these performances. Set in Fundamentalia, a country where gender and assigned sex roles are ruthlessly enforced, “When the Sun Comes Out” tells the story of two women who rediscover love and challenge those norms. Written by Canadian composer Leslie Uyeda to a libretto by Rachel Rose, the production stars soprano Cree Carrico, mezzo Sandra Piques Eddy and baritone Michael Parham. Conductor Maria Sensi Sellner and director Alison Moritz form a sure-fire combo for this sobering opera.

January 28-Feb. 12; The Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers St.; a digital pass is available for Portland Opera on screen, or 503-241-1407.

Gerald Finley, bass-baritone & Julius Drake, piano – Friends of Chamber Music

Grammy Award-winning Gerald Finley will perform a selection of songs by Franz Schubert, Hugo Wolf, Peter Lieberson and others at this must see concert. The Canadian bass baritone has an extraordinary dynamic range, dramatic capacity and charisma. It has been featured in 47 recordings ranging from JS Bach to Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera on Anna Nicole Smith. Finley will be joined by Julius Drake, one of the best in the business.

February 1st ; Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave; or 503-224-9842.

Angela Hewitt – Portland Piano International

Internationally renowned keyboardist and curator of this season’s performances for Portland Piano International, Hewitt returns to Portland for two concerts with a wide variety of programs. In the first, she will play pieces by Couperin, Messiaen and Brahms. In the second, she will perform Scarlatti and Bach. The Canadian pianist’s pristine technique and graceful artistry are supported by 44 albums and numerous awards, including the Bach Medal of the City of Leipzig and the Wigmore Hall Gold Medal, which rewards her 80 performances in this prestigious London venue. .

February 5 and 6; Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave; or 503-228-1388.

Little Things – Third Angle of New Music

Angelica Negrón’s music has been presented by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Kronos Quartet, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Sō Percussion and the American Composers Orchestra. The composer and multi-instrumentalist of Puerto Rican origin has invented pieces for accordions, robotic instruments, toys and electronic devices. In Portland, she will collaborate with flautist Sarah Tiedemann, cellist Valdine Mishkin, percussionist Chris Whyte and pianist Susan DeWitt Smith to present several electro-acoustic pieces, including the world premiere of “Espacios, objetos, sonidos y tiempo” (Espaces , objects, sounds and time).

February 10-11; Bodecker Foundation 2360 NW Quimby St .; or 503-331-0301.

Super Bach Sunday – Bach Cantata Choir

This annual event is a great way to soak up the culture before parking in the recliner with beer and pretzels to watch the big game. The 50-voice choir, masked and spaced six feet apart, will split into two groups for this concert. Each ensemble will present a cantata and an a cappella piece as well as a double choir number which will include all the singers. The program will also offer music for brass and voiceless organ. All plays will be directed by Ralph Nelson. The concert is free and will be broadcast live.

February 13; Rose City Park Presbyterian Church, 1907 NE 45th Ave .; or 503-702-1973.

Christoph Prégardien & Gloria Chien: Poetry in Performance – Chamber Music Northwest

This renowned German tenor has appeared in 150 recordings including art songs, cantatas, oratorios and operas ranging from early music to contemporary music. Its program in Portland will focus on the Romantic era with Beethoven’s “Adelaide”, a selection of “Schwanengesang” by Schubert and “Dichterliebe” by Schumann. The brilliant pianist Gloria Chien, co-artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest, will accompany Prégardien on what should be a memorable evening of German lieder. A recorded livestream will be available two weeks after the live concert with a concert pass.

February 24; The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave .; or 503-294-6400.

It’s a family affair when the orchestra plays “Heirloom”, a new piano concerto by Gabriel Kahane.Eric Engel

Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony – Oregon Symphony

It’s a family affair when the orchestra plays “Heirloom”, a new piano concerto by Gabriel Kahane. That’s because Kahane’s dad, Jeffrey Kahane, will be on the keyboard. This piece, co-commissioned by the Oregon Symphony, is influenced by folk music, the sacred hymns of Germany and the pandemic. Also on the program are Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasy on a Theme by Thomas Tallis” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, the “Pastoral Symphony”. David Danzmayr will direct and the Monday night performance will be broadcast live.

March 12-14; Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway; or 503-228-1353.

Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor & Michal Biel, piano – Friends of Chamber Music

Praised for his recent performance in the Metropolitan Opera’s “Eurydice” production, Polish countertenor Orliński rose to fame after winning international singing competitions, releasing stellar recordings and garnering praise for his breathtaking singing on stages. foreground. Her modeling contracts with Nike, Levi’s and Mercedes-Benz and her breakdancing skills added to her brilliance, earning her sold-out appearances. For his Portland debut, Orliński will team up with pianist Michał Biel to present songs by Fux, Purcell and Handel, as well as gems by Polish composers Mieczysław Karłowicz, Stanisław Moniuszko and Henryk Czyż.

The 17th of March; Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave; or 503-224-9842.

A close up of a man in a white shirt and black suit jacket

Jakub Józef OrlińskiJiyang Chen

Voices Out of the Darkness: Bach Cantatas – Portland Baroque Orchestra

This concert will mark Bach’s birthday (March 21) with selections from his cantatas as well as other similar works by Baroque masters such as Pachelbel. Bass-baritone Jonathan Woody will lead the historically informed period ensemble. It will be completed by an exceptional group of soloists, including soprano Sherezade Panthaki, countertenor Reginald Mobley and tenor Jacob Perry. The PBO will stream the March 21 performance live on YouTube for free.

March 20th; Kaul Auditorium, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd .; or 503-226-6000.

March 21st; Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, 12725 SW Millikan Way # 240, Beaverton; or 971-501-7762.

Locally sourced sounds VII – Don’t be afraid of music

This intriguing concert features an Indonesian-influenced piece for solo piano by Lifia Teguh, a work for clarinet and string trio inspired by the pandemic by James Shields, a solo flute and electronic number by Drew Swatosh, a meditative mixed quartet by Jesse Ehrenberg, a solo marimba gem by Lisa Neher, and a piano quartet with the intriguing title of “Rabbit in the Moon” by Kirsten Volness.

March 21st; The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave .; or 971-220-6366.

– James Bash, for The Oregonian / OregonLive


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