February MusicWatch

Our weekly music guide goes monthly.

Welcome to the new, experimental incarnation of our music previews. Inspired by Megan Harned’s monthly ArtsWatch gallery guide, and Bob Priest’s monthly Portland new music guide Ear Trumpet (which fans of 20th and 21st century music should read here), both of which give readers more notice of upcoming events, we’ve decided to take our previously weekly previews monthly, posting in future at the end of the previous month. This curated preview page can’t pretend to comprehensiveness — Oregon’s classical and jazz scenes are far too rich for that, and we have plans for something closer to that idea that we’ll be telling you about soon — but it represents a selection of some of the shows we think our readers will find most worth knowing about. Please feel free to add others in the comments below, and also to let us know, via comments or message, whether you like the new monthly version or prefer the weekly previews.

The Julians perform Feb. 8 in Portland.

The Julians perform Feb. 8 in Portland.

“Carmen,” Portland Opera, February 6, 8, 10, 12 & 14, Keller Auditorium, Portland.

Read Angela Allen’s ArtsWatch preview.


Pepe Romero, February 6, First Congregational Church, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of the great Spanish guitar master’s latest Oregon appearance, which focuses on music of Spanish composers, including his padre, Celedonio.


Matt Haimovitz and Christopher O’Riley, February 5, Sam Bond’s Garage, Eugene.

The cellist and pianist aren’t known for playing classical music on authentic instruments, but all that changed recently when they decided to perform Beethoven’s great cello and piano sonatas on an 1823 fortepiano and 1710 cello. “Nothing could have prepared me and Chris for the revelation of exploring these works using period instruments,” Haimovitz said. “With this setup, the fact that the cello can easily overpower its partner changes everything. Suddenly, the consideration is no longer ‘how can the cello cut through the multi-voiced powerhouse of a concert grand piano, but ‘how can it make room for the nuances of the 19th century fortepiano?’” We’ll find out Feb. 5 when they return to  the scene of so many past Haimovitz classics-in-the-clubs performances in recent years. They’re also performing at a record release party at Portland’s Music Millennium and a Portland house concert the next day.


The Julians, February 8, First Presbyterian Church, Portland.

In the latest entry in FPC’s estimable Celebration Works series, the quartet of some of Portland’s finest classical singers branches out with ingenious arrangements of pop, jazz, and contemporary classical tunes from composers ranging from Alicia Keys and Van Morrison to Gustav Holst.


Oregon Symphony, Pacific Youth Choir; Portland Symphonic Choir, Feb. 7–9, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland.

Three classical music institutions team up to perform one of classical music’s most popular entertainments: Carl Orff’s 1937 evocation of medieval monks’ songs of lust and libations, paired with Richard Strauss’s melancholic final work, Metamorphoses for string orchestra, composed in the wake of his country’s devastating defeat and depravity in World War II.


Cappella Romana, February 7, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, and February 8, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of the great Portland vocal ensemble’s concert of its signature medieval Byzantine chant.


James Edwards and David Rogers, February 8, United Lutheran Church, Eugene.

The historically informed guitarists play 19th century guitar duets by Mozart, Carulli, Sor, and more on authentic instruments.

Portland Chamber Orchestra, Rocky Blumhagen and Ron Spivak, Feb. 9, Jimmy Mak’s, Portland; Feb. 14, Liberty Theater, Astoria; Feb. 15, Lewis & Clark College, Agnes Flanagan Chapel, Portland.

In this fundraiser for PCO, the baritones perform their two-man Broadway revue featuring musical theatre ballads by Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jerry Herman, and more.


David Rothman, February 11 & 25, The Old Church, Portland.

The pianist continues his traversal of Chopin’s solo piano music.


Third Angle New Music, February 12 & 13,  Studio 2@Zoomtopia, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of the first of two very different-from-usual takes on Mozart’s music, and more.


Portland Baroque Orchestra, February 13, First Baptist Church, and February 15, Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of PBO’s all-Mozart concert featuring clarinet star Eric Hoeprich.


Peter Zisa, February 12, Congregation Beth Israel, Portland.

The classical guitarist, joined by singer, harpist and koto player, performs romantic and post-romantic selections for solo guitar, songs from love from Sephardic Jewish tradition, and originals.


Joëlle Léandre & Dana Reason, February 13, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Portland.

In this Creative Music Guild concert, the French double bassist, improviser and composer Léandre, who’s played with avant jazzers like Steve Lacy, John Zorn, and Derek Bailey as well as avant garde classical legends like Pierre Boulez and John Cage, joins Oregon State prof and pianist Reason (a longtime member of Pauline Oliver’s trio who’s also worked with Alvin Curran, Anthony Davis and other innovators) for a duo set, followed by ensemble performances featuring some forward looking Portland musicians including guitarist Doug Theriault, trumpeter Doug Detrick, clarinetist Jonathan Sielaff and more.


Siri Vik, Feb. 14, Majestic Theatre, Corvallis.

Backed by some top Oregon musicians, the Eugene chanteuse celebrates Edith Piaf’s centenary (much worthier of veneration than that postcard fauxliday) with French love songs by composers including Charles Aznavour, Michel Legrand, Yves Montand, and more.


Susan Chan & Elise Yun, Feb. 14, Lincoln Recital Hall, Portland State University.

The PSU prof and pianist joins the professor of piano at the Soochow University School of Music in Suzhou, China to play and discuss music by contemporary Chinese composers (including Zhou Long, Tan Dun, and Chen Yi) and Chinese piano works inspired by the indigenous folk tales and folk tunes about love and nature.


Arnica Quartet, Feb, 15, Buckley Center Auditorium, University of Portland.

In this benefit for Portland’s all-classical radio, the string quartet made up of Oregon Symphony and other top musicians (including OSO violist and ArtsWatch contributor Charles Noble) plays two Portland premieres by Pacific Northwest composers Kenji Bunch (his 2012 String Quartet No. 2 “Concussion Theory”) and Daniel Ott’s 2011 String Quartet No. 2, plus Samuel Barber’s American classic, his 1936 string quartet with one of the most famous and heart wrenching slow movements ever composed.


Stephanie and Saar, Feb. 15, Portland Piano Company.

In this free concert, the piano duo play American composer George Crumb’s Makrokosmos IV, the west coast premiere of a new two piano work written for them by Miami based Jazz pianist Martin Bejerano, a two-piano adaptation of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18, No. 1 from their new CD Beethoven Dialogues and Debussy’s two piano version of “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.”


Stefan Jackiw and Anna Polonsky, February 15, Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon.

The acclaimed violinist and Chamber Music Northwest favorite pianist team up to perform Repertoire will include Ravel’s virtuosic “Tzigane,” Lutoslawski’s Partita, contemporary Finnish composer Kaja Saariaho’s “Nocturne,” and Franck’s great Sonata in A.


VIR, Feb. 15, First Christian Church, Portland.

Portland’s only professional men’s choir sings classical and folk love songs from the Renaissance to Broadway.


Sunnyside Symphony Orchestra, February 15, Sunnyside Seventh Day Adventist Church, Portland.

The orchestra plays Borodin’s popular In the Steppes of Central Asia, Debussy’s sunny Spring, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony #3.


Andreas Klein, Feb. 15, Michelle’s Piano, Portland.

The pianist plays music by Mozart, Chopin, Stravinsky, Ginastera, and more.


Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, Feb. 15, The Old Church, Portland.

In this fundraising event, the singers celebrate classic songs from the movies.


Nordic Voices, February 17, St. Philip Neri Church, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of this acclaimed vocal sextet’s Friends of Chamber Music concert.


Anton Belov and Susan McDaniel, Feb. 17, Illahe Hills Country Club, Salem.

Baritone and pianist perform Middle Eastern-inspired European Romantic music by Schumann, Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Anton Rubinstein, Alexander Glazunov and Rachmaninoff.


Portland Percussion Group, February 17, Aasen-Hull Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene.

The quartet led by Lewis & Clark College prof Brett Paschal takes its mallets south.


Marlise Stroebe, Feb. 18, The Old Church, Portland.

The veteran pianist celebrates Women’s History Month with music by female composers (Hildegard of Bingen, Anna Magdalena Bach, Lili Boulanger, Valerie Capers, Chen Yi and Mary McAuliffe).

and a non token male, Astor Piazzolla.


 Portland Jazz Festival, Feb. 18-March 1, various venues, Portland.

Read Angela Allen’s ArtsWatch preview.


 Vijay Iyer Trio, February 19, The Shedd, Eugene.

The brilliant, MacArthur genius composer and pianist brings his trio to Oregon, including a show at the Portland Jazz Festival.


Eugene Symphony, February 19, Hult Center, Eugene.

Renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson plays a Rachmaninoff concerto, and the band also plays ballet music from Mozart’s opera Idomeneo, and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 7.


Portland State Man Choir, Vox Femina, and Symphony Orchestra, February 20 and 22, First United Methodist Church, Portland.

The students celebrate the music of the great 20th century American composer Samuel Barber, including his poignant Knoxville Summer of 1915 for solo soprano and orchestra (a century since the moment captured in James Agee’s story) and his rarely performed oratorio, The Lovers, based on Pablo Neruda’s passionate poetry.


Probosci, Feb 21, Performance Works Northwest, Portland.

This fascinating electroacoustic collaboration between France-based violinist Timba Harris (a member of the great prog-rock band Secret Chiefs 3) and New York guitarist Gyan Riley (son of and collaborator with the great American composer Terry Riley, and an award winning composer in his own right who’s worked with musicians from Dawn Upshaw to Zakir Hussain) ranges from improvisation to composition to soundscape.


Oregon Symphony, Feb. 20, Smith Auditorium, Willamette University, Salem, and Feb. 21–3, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

In this welcome departure from the usual star-soloist-plays tired-concerto-standard, Stefan Jackiw heads up I5 to play Rachmaninoff’s Isle of the Dead, Dvořák’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra, and repeat Lutosławski’s Partita, this time with orchestra. For a nightcap, the band closes with a fifth of Beethoven.


Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland sings songs from the movies Feb. 21

Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland sings songs from the movies Feb. 21

Choral Arts Ensemble, Feb. 21, Hollywood Theater, Portland.

The choir sings more songs from the movies, at one of Oregon’s loveliest vintage movie palaces, including famous tunes from Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Frozen, Schinler’s List, Lord of the Rings, Henry V, and more.


Friends of Rain, February 22, Gregg Pavilion, Lewis & Clark College, Portland.

The L&C faculty new music ensemble joins guest performers Post-Haste Duo and pianist Maria Garcia in  by L&C profs and Portland composers Michael Johanson (a world premiere!) and Brett Paschal, American composers Jason Haney, Sara Carina Graef and Marcus Maroney, and an American classic by Walter Piston.


Vox Resonat, February 22, First United Methodist Church, Eugene.

The fine vocal ensemble led by UO prof and Sequentia singer Eric Mentzel sings a Lenten Evensong service and concert of music by William Byrd, Alessandro Scarlatti and other composers, plus anonymous compositions from the 13th and 14th centuries, and music from the Renaissance including works by Gesualdo, Gombert, Richafort, Tallis and Victoria.

Vox Resonat performs in Eugene Feb. 22.

Vox Resonat performs in Eugene Feb. 22.


Salem Chamber Orchestra, February 21 and 22, Hudson Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center, Willamette University.

The orchestra plays Brahms’ Requiem with the Willamette Master Chorus, Willamette University Chamber Choir, baritone Anton Belov, and soprano Amy Hansen.


Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, February 21 and 22, Skyview Hall, Vancouver, WA.

The orchestra plays the world premiere of conductor Salvator Brotons’ Symphony #6, and Portland Piano International director and renowned pianist Arnaldo Cohen stars in Liszt’s piano concertos.


Jordi Savall with Hespèrion XXI, February 23, Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.

In the classical concert of the year, co-sponsored by Friends of Chamber Music, Portland Baroque Orchestra & Cappella Romana, the Spanish viol master and early music pioneer, one of the greatest musicians of the age, makes a rare visit to these shores with his historically informed ensemble to perform music from the Ottoman Empire that influenced and was influenced by music from various Mediterranean traditions: Greek, Sephardic, Armenian. Unfortunately (or is it “fortunately”?), and to the surprise of the sponsoring groups, the concert sold out weeks ago, but you can contact one of them to see if there’s a waiting list option.



 ARCO-PDX, Feb. 27, WOW Hall, Eugene.

Read my ArtsWatch review of ARCO’s Portland show, which sports the same program.


John Doan, Feb. 27,  Marylhurst University, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview of the guitarist’s tribute to Fernando Sor.


Frederic’s Birthday, Feb. 28, Polish Hall, Portland.

Lyrical Strings Duo, Agnieszka Laska Dancers, pianists Coleen Adent and Mitchell Falconer, and more celebrate Chopin.


Creative Music Guild benefit, Feb. 28, Hipbone Studio, Portland.

Read my Willamette Week preview.


Jeffrey Eaton memorial service, Feb. 28, First Christian Church, Eugene.

Friends and colleagues, including some of Oregon’s best classical players, celebrate the life of the late Eugene Symphony cellist and Oregon Mozart Players director with music by Bach, Mozart, and other composers he loved.


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One Response.

  1. bob priest says:

    Hey Brett!

    Wow, thanx very much for this killer listing of Global Village PDX music marvels & sundry heads up & ears open to other concerts in the great nearby . . .

    I think this monthly format is excellent & hope those that you invite to write in with anything not included here will do so.



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