Weekend MusicWatch: Happy Homecomings

FearNoMusic plays music of Oregon composer Kenji Bunch Friday.

FearNoMusic plays music of Oregon composer Kenji Bunch Friday.

Holiday celebrations dampen Oregon musical offerings a bit this weekend (but wait till next week!), but we welcome a few happy returns: a terrific Portland native composer and one of the University of Oregon’s most promising recent graduates both celebrate their returns to Oregon from New York, and a longtime Oregon Symphony pops conductor returns to the Schnitzer Concert Hall.

Eugene Symphony, Hult Center, Eugene. The orchestra plays three 19th century Euro-classics: Sibelius’s tone poem Finlandia, Schumann’s Piano Concerto (featuring the esteemed soloist Antonio Pompa-Baldi), and Mendelssohn’s Symphony #3.

Oregon Symphony, Monday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland. Heeeere’s Norman! The orchestra honors Laureate Associate Conductor Norman Leyden with a big-band program featuring Oregon-born trumpeter Doc Severinsen (he preceded The Roots leading the Tonight Show band, for you whippersnappers) and the Norman Leyden Singers.


FearNoMusic, Friday, Alberta Rose Theater, Portland. Read my ArtsWatch preview of this highly recommended concert featuring the music of the fab Oregon composer Kenji Bunch.

Cartography Trio, Friday, Jazz Station, Eugene. Another composer/performer who recently moved back to Oregon from New York, UO alumnus and trumpeter Douglas Detrick, joins two other rising young Portland jazzers, guitarist Bill Marsh and drummer Barra Brown in a project that explores the intersection of improvisation, classical, and American roots music. The opening duo, Seattle’s Syrinx Effect, blends improvised chamber music (trombone, sax) with electronics, ranging from ambient to noise.

Josh Feinberg & Aditya Kalyanpur, Friday, Evans Auditorium, Lewis & Clark College, Portland. The Portland-based sitar devotee joins the rising star tabla player in Hindustani music.

Classical Up Close, Friday 1 pm, Powell’s Books, Portland. Oregon Symphony musicians’ admirable and delightful free chamber performances return, this one featuring a quartet of some of the orchestra’s top players.

Dia do Choro, Saturday, The Old Church, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview.

Tai Hei Ensemble, Monday, Aasen-Hull Hall, University of Oregon. The group plays contemporary chamber music from around the Pacific Rim, including works by UO composers.

Duke Ellington Birthday Celebration, Monday, Beall Concert Hall, University of Oregon. UO jazz faculty and guests celebrate the birth of one of America’s greatest musicians.

Classical Up Close, Tuesday, Eliot Chapel, Reed College, Portland. Oregon Symphony concertmaster Sarah Kwak and pianist Cary Lewis play the ever-gorgeous Violin Sonata by Cesar Franck, while other OSO musicians play music by Edgar Meyer and Mark O’Connor, Bach, and more.

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

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