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.
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:

Jun 23, 2014

44th Summer Festival Starts Today!

The Dover Quartet, returning Protege Artists.
The Dover Quartet, returning Protege Artists.

Today, Chamber Music Northwest kicks off its 44th annual Summer Festival, featuring 30 concerts with nearly 80 artists, including our up-and-coming musicians in the Protégé Project. The festival will run through July 27, 2014, with performances at Reed College and Portland State University.

Patrons will experience the collaboration of world-renowned artists, from the incomparable Emerson String Quartet, to Edgar Meyer and Mike Marshall’s unique classical-bluegrass fusion, to audience favorites André Watts and BodyVox.

The Protégé Project also continues, with ten extraordinary young artists (announced in our previous post), classical and crossover music’s rising stars, including the return of 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition winners the Dover Quartet. Since its launch in 2010, the Protégé Project has brought to Portland some of the country's most accomplished young classical musicians. Finished with their studies at the highest caliber conservatory and graduate programs, they are now winning awards at major ensemble competitions and building their careers in chamber music. In addition to performing in the popular Club Concert series, the Protégés are mentored by veteran festival artists and present a full schedule of free community outreach concerts. These outstanding young professionals represent the future of CMNW's rich tradition of artistic excellence.

This summer, the Protégés will participate in six outreach events throughout the greater Portland area – a combination of interactive concerts at retirement homes and workshops with young student musicians.

CMNW will also present our annual free community concert at the Portland Art Museum on Tuesday, July 15th at noon, featuring 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition winners the Dover Quartet. In partnership with the museum's Tuileries exhibit, our renowned Protégé artists perform a one-hour interactive concert of French masterpieces, including Debussy's legendary String Quartet in G Minor. This is a family-friendly concert; supervised children ages 5 and up are invited – and encouraged! – to attend.

We so appreciate your support as a member of the Chamber Music Northwest family, and we look forward to seeing you this summer!

The Dover Quartet performing at a retirement home.
The Dover Quartet performing at a retirement home.

Links:

Mar 24, 2014

Inaugural Winter Festival a Success!

Ida Kavafian at the Family Open Rehearsal
Ida Kavafian at the Family Open Rehearsal

Chamber Music Northwest held its inaugural Winter Festival from January 22-26, 2014. We had four concerts of great music inspired by the seasons, from Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle to Piazzolla’s “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.”

One of the most exciting moments of our Winter Festival was our Saturday morning Family Open Rehearsal of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. It was the first family-friendly performance we’ve done in years, and nearly 100 children and parents joined us for an interactive rehearsal with Ida Kavafian, Portland’s own Becky Anderson, the Amphion Quartet and other artists. 

The kids were enrapt. They clapped at “inappropriate” times. Some danced. Others asked questions like “Do you enjoy playing your violin like I do mine?”  And, many expressed bitter disappointment that at the end of the hour that we had only gotten as far as “Autumn.” Can you imagine – children disappointed that they didn’t get to hear all four of Vivaldi’s seasons?

It’s moments like this that really capture why we love chamber music so much. Its intimacy, energy, variety, and infinite range have an enduring ability to move us, whether we are old or young.

Our inaugural Winter Festival served over 1,200 patrons at the four performances, and 236 additional people at the various free education events, including the Family Open Rehearsal. Thank you so much for investing in Chamber Music Northwest as a partner in creating great chamber music in our community. And, thank you for sharing your love of chamber music with more than 60,000 people throughout the year – young and old – through your gift.

Family Open Rehearsal, Saturday Jan. 25, 2014
Family Open Rehearsal, Saturday Jan. 25, 2014

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