Weekend MusicWatch: Summer Festival Season

With summer’s official arrival Saturday, the salvo of seasonal music festivals really gets underway, with Astoria’s continuing for the second weekend, the Shedd’s Theatricals series entering its twelfth season, the Oregon Music Festival opening its second, and, on Monday, Chamber Music Northwest commencing its 44th.

Keith Clark leads the orchestra at the Astoria Music Festival.

Keith Clark leads the orchestra and cellist Sergey Antonov at the Astoria Music Festival.

Astoria Music Festival, Friday-Sunday, Liberty Theater, Astoria. The coastal classical fest continues Friday night with a chamber music concert led by pianist Cary Lewis and featuring Mozart’s own favorite among his chamber works, his Piano and Winds Quintet (later imitated by Beethoven), Korngold’s Piano Quintet, and one of the apotheoses of chamber music, Schubert’s grand String Quintet in C. Members of Third Angle New Music, FearNoMusic, Russian cellist and festival fave Sergey Antonov, and other accomplished Oregon classical players will do the honors.

On Saturday afternoon, organist Hector Olivera gives a recital, and that evening, music director Keith Clark celebrates the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss’s birth by conducting (for the first time in Oregon in a half century) Ariadne on Naxos, the composer’s 1916 meta-before-meta-was-cool opera within an opera, with a strong cast including Oregon’s own Angela Niederloh and rising soprano star Maria Aleida. That show opens with Mozart’s most popular piano concerto, #21, with former Portlander and current Londoner Andrew Bronwell at the keyboard.

Olvera and Antonov join the orchestra for Sunday’s concert featuring Dvorak’s ever-popular Cello Concerto and a relative rarity, French Romantic composer Félix Alexandre Guilmant’s first Organ Symphony, from 1878, which kicks off a bon mois for fans of French Romantic music, as we’ll discover next week.

Oh, Kay!, Friday-Sunday, The Shedd, Eugene. Read my Eugene Weekly preview of this new production of the Gershwins’ 1926 musical — but not like anyone’s ever seen it before. ArtsWatch will have the story behind this unique revival this weekend.

Oregon Music Festival, Saturday, First Baptist Church, Portland. Read my Willamette Week preview of the Orpheus Academy Orchestra’s opening concert in the second annual OMF.

Chamber Music Northwest, Monday, Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, and Tuesday, Lincoln Hall, Portland State University. Read my Willamette Week preview of the highly recommended opening concerts in CMNW’s 44th season, a musical complement to the French themed art now showing at the Portland Art Museum.

Portland Symphonic Girlchoir, Saturday, First Methodist Church, Portland. The award-winning collection of choruses celebrates its 25th anniversary.

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