Chamber Music Northwest

The mission of Chamber Music Northwest is: to inspire listeners through concerts celebrating the richness and diversity of chamber music, performed by artists of the highest caliber. We value: Producing programs of the highest artistic quality, innovating while honoring the traditional repertoire, and performing in first class venues; Championing the intimacy of the chamber music experience; Collaborating with other organizations.
Dec 29, 2014

Getting ready for 2015!

Kids try out instruments at the "Petting Zoo"
Kids try out instruments at the "Petting Zoo"

Chamber Music Northwest had a pretty amazing 2014 – our first Winter Festival, celebrating the four seasons with music ranging from Vivaldi to Piazzolla and brand new works. Our 2014 Summer Festival was also a huge hit; with over 30 main stage concerts, 3 club concerts, and dozens of educational events like open rehearsals, master classes, and coachings.

We have a blast sharing these programs with you every year, bringing these incredible artists to Portland for five weeks in the summer, performing the best chamber music in the world.

It’s only with the support of music lovers like you that we’re able to bring 70 world-class musicians to Portland every year and produce these concerts. Thanks to your help, we were able to end our 2014 festival season in the black.

In just one month we’ll be in the thick of our 2nd Winter Festival! We have a full line up of concerts and education activities from January 27 through February 1, including:

  • 12 incredible artists presenting 5 concerts in 5 different venues
  • An open rehearsal for the general public to observe how these artists prepare for a concert
  • CMNW artists will coach Portland Youth Philharmonic chamber ensembles
  • Those PYP student ensembles will then perform prior to CMNW main stage concerts

Programming spans the centuries, with repertoire from Mozart and Beethoven to Stravinsky and Barber. We’ll also see the scope of chamber music vary from intimate piano duets to classic trios to larger sextets.

We couldn’t provide any of these music programs to our community without your support. Thank you so much for investing in Chamber Music Northwest and bringing great chamber music to the city of Portland!

David Shifrin presents a master class.
David Shifrin presents a master class.
Oct 9, 2014

CMNW 2014 Protege Artists Break Boundaries at Club Concerts

Bella Hristova & Daniel Schlosberg at Jimmy Mak
Bella Hristova & Daniel Schlosberg at Jimmy Mak's

Chamber Music Northwest brought ten rising-star young musicians to Portland to participate in the 2014 Protégé Project. The cohort included the Dover Quartet (Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violins; Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola; and Camden Shaw, cello), Timothy Gocklin, oboe; Bella Hristova, violin; Jean Laurenz, trumpet; Daniel Schlosberg, piano/composer; Ashley William Smith, clarinet; and Samuel Suggs, double bass/accordion/composer.

The Protégé Artists performed in 13 main-stage concerts, mentored by Festival Artists. In turn, the Protégés coached and mentored young music students at Bravo Youth Orchestra, Community Music Center, and Chamber Music Camp of Portland. They performed in a free-admission community concert at the Portland Art Museum, and gave concerts at three Portland-area retirement homes. Additionally, both Protégé and veteran Festival Artists performed new works composed by the Protégé composers.

Our Club Concert series put the Protégé Artists in the spotlight. These three casual performances featured an eclectic program of diverse music, ranging from world premieres of new compositions and contemporary works, to lesser known masterpieces. Each was held in a nontraditional venue including Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club, the Rock-oriented Doug Fir Lounge, and the Alberta Rose Theater – a home for many of Portland’s alternative performances. More than simply a concert, each evening was emceed by All Classical 89.9 FM’s Christa Wessel, who introduced pieces and musicians, and interviewed the artists between numbers – a very engaging format for the audience.

With the addition of Christa Wessel, All Classical 89.9FM radio personality, as emcee, the Club Concerts became more than just a performance – they were interactive musical experiences where audiences asked questions, and learned more about the musicians and music. James McQuillen, a reporter for the Oregonian, wrote about a moment at the second Club Concert at the Doug Fir: “When flutist Tara Helen O'Connor demonstrated some of the extended techniques in ‘Strange Ancestors’ by Daniel Schlosberg (the project's composer-in-residence), she described one eerie whistling sound as a dog whistle—whereupon one of the audience members barked. It's safe to say that's a festival first.”

The Club Concert programming included 8 pieces that were either premieres or written within the last 25 years, as well as many pieces that are performed less frequently. Charles Noble from Oregon Arts Watch said of the first Club Concert at Jimmy Mak’s, “This concert was, for me, the perfect example of taking a non-traditional venue and making it the catalyst for innovative programming and a more participatory and audience friendly atmosphere. The performances were stellar, the musical choices interesting and varied.”

By The Numbers: 593 people attended the 2014 Club Concerts, a 49% increase over the 2013 Club Concerts. Attendance was over 100% capacity of the venues – all performances were standing room only! This was the first year that all three Club Concerts sold out. We were especially pleased that the performances attracted an extremely diverse audience, with a large portion of the Doug Fir Lounge and Alberta Rose Theater audiences being younger and first-time attendees.

Protégés worked with over 180 young musicians through its 3 workshops with Portland-area music programs: Bravo Youth Orchestra, Community Music Center, and Chamber Music Camp. Over 350 people – a new record high – attended the free-admission Community Concert at the Portland Art Museum, about 100 of whom were children.

These young, virtuosic Protege Artists are definitely going places - but they, and other musicians like them, can't get far at all without the generous support of people like you! Chamber Music Northwest is only able to bring such talented rising stars to Portland with a team of loyal music lovers. Thank you for being on our team and for making these incredible programs possible!

Ashley William Smith & emcee Christa Wessel
Ashley William Smith & emcee Christa Wessel
Dover Quartet and Jean Laurenz at the Doug Fir
Dover Quartet and Jean Laurenz at the Doug Fir
David Shifrin & Ashley W. Smith at Alberta Rose
David Shifrin & Ashley W. Smith at Alberta Rose
Sam Suggs, Daniel Schlosberg, and Jean Laurenz
Sam Suggs, Daniel Schlosberg, and Jean Laurenz

Links:

Aug 7, 2014

44th Summer Festival: 30+ concerts, 14,000+ people, Infinite fun

Club Concert at the Doug Fir Lounge
Club Concert at the Doug Fir Lounge

It’s hard to believe that this year’s Summer Festival has come to a close. It included five weeks of heavenly music, gorgeous summer-evening picnics, delicious desserts, hugs, laughter, and friends – pretty much Chamber Music Northwest in a nutshell!

Total attendance for our 30 Summer Festival concerts was 14,150 people – our highest since 2006. Attendance was 93% of our capacity, and included 12 sold-out concerts and an additional 3 with fewer than 20 tickets unsold. These sell-outs included all three of our Club Concerts featuring our young Protégé Artists.

Our Protégé Artists kept busy this year with dozens of mainstage and three Club Concert performances, outreach concerts at three local retirement homes, one community concert at the Portland Art Museum, and five open rehearsals for the public (including one specifically for families). They also had several sessions with younger music students, where they got to coach, encourage, and share their talents with the upcoming generation of musicians and music-lovers.

This summer, audiences were treated to both innovative new pieces and old favorites. I cannot tell you the number of times our patrons told me “This was the best concert I’ve ever attended at CMNW!” – and I heard it after nearly every concert of the season. Masterpieces such as Mozart’s “Gran Partita” immediately brought the crowd to its feet. There’s a reason they are called masterpieces, after all, and they never fail to move, inspire and thrill audiences, young and old.

In addition to these masterpieces, I think it is well worth pointing out the incredibly diverse repertoire our audiences enjoyed this season:

  • Our mainstage concerts this season featured 6 world-premieres or NW premieres that we commissioned or co-commissioned, including new works by David Schiff, David del Tredici, Stephen Hartke, John Harbison and John Steinmetz.
  • We premiered three new pieces by our Protégé composer Daniel Schlosberg, and also introduced our audiences to Protégé bassist Samuel Suggs’ compositions. BodyVox was so enamored of Daniel’s music that they are considering having him compose new music for a number of their award-winning films.
  • Collaborations with BodyVox and the Portland Art Museum created unique and relevant performance projects – including our free-admission Community Concert – that fostered a deeper connection with the Portland community.
  • We introduced our audiences to CMNW premieres of more than a dozen rarely performed masterpieces, including works by Kodaly, Schnittke, D’Ambrosio, Schoenberg, Hindemith, Carter and even Barber’s newly discovered “Lost Sonata”
  • Our company of artists included 16 musicians from our region, including more than a dozen members of the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, as well as a number of Northwest natives who returned to Portland to play for us this summer.

Creating great chamber music really is a collaboration – and not just between the artists who performed for us.All we do — the music, the exceptional artists who join us in Portland, the incredible variety of music, the fun, our free community events and many educational activities — becomes possible whenyoujoin the ensemble with your gift to Chamber Music Northwest. Thank you so much for your support and for making all these amazing programs come to life!

Bella Hristova & Daniel Schlosberg at Jimmy Mak
Bella Hristova & Daniel Schlosberg at Jimmy Mak's
On-stage interview at Jimmy Mak
On-stage interview at Jimmy Mak's
Instrument Petting Zoo, Family Open Rehearsal
Instrument Petting Zoo, Family Open Rehearsal
Family Open Rehearsal
Family Open Rehearsal
Collaboration with BodyVox Dance Company
Collaboration with BodyVox Dance Company

Links:

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