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