Present inspiring chamber music in Portland OR

by Chamber Music Northwest
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PYP Coaching with Ida Kavafian
PYP Coaching with Ida Kavafian

Our second annual Winter Festival took place from January 27 through February 1, and it was incredible!  It was a week filled with amazing experiences and brilliant music: five concerts in different venues, three pre-concert performances by Portland Youth Philharmonic chamber ensembles, pre-concert talks, an open rehearsal, coaching sessions with young music students, and more – and you helped make it happen.

Here are just a few highlights from the action-packed week:

  • 1,423 people attended the five concerts of the Winter Festival, held at various venues throughout Portland.
  • The award-winning Dover Quartet visited a music history class at Reed College, where they discussed and demonstrated passages of the Beethoven String Quartet in E-flat Major, K. 407 for 22 students.
  • Peter Wiley, cellist, joined the Dover Quartet for a performance of Schubert’s Cello Quintet at All Classical 89.9 FM live on the air and for a studio audience of 47 people.
  • 34 people of all ages enjoyed an open rehearsal of the Bartok String Quartet No. 6, rehearsed by the Dover Quartet

And our biggest educational partnership of the Festival: Festival Artists violinist Ida Kavafian, violist Steve Tenenbom, and clarinetist David Shifrin coached chamber ensembles from the Portland Youth Philharmonic. These PYP ensembles then performed prior to each of CMNW’s main-stage concerts during the Winter Festival. The students had an incredible experience:

“Thank you so much for allowing us to learn from, and perform for you. There are few better ways to improve as a chamber player than from actual chamber players, and I feel like we learned a great deal from the coaching we were given.” – Brian Swihart (PYP student since 2012)

“… Working with Ms. Kavafian was unforgettable; the insights that she shared with us were invaluable and deeply memorable. She knew so much about the piece and everything she suggested took an immediate beneficial effect. I cannot thank you enough for allowing us to learn from such an esteemed individual.

I sincerely hope that this partnership between PYP and CMNW will continue to grow and flourish. Ms. Kavafian’s musical ideas made our performance on Sunday infinitely more powerful, and watching the audience give us a standing ovation was a moment of great joy. I hope many more musicians will also be able to experience something similar through future collaborations.” – Fumika Mizuno, violin (PYP student since 2008)

These kinds of programs will continue this spring when the Amphion String Quartet visits for a week-long residency in late May. They will be visiting schools, coaching ensembles from Portland Youth Philharmonic, Metropolitan Youth Symphony, and Portland State University, visting Bravo! Youth Orchestra, and more.

Thank you for all your support in making these programs possible, and for being a valuable partner in creating great chamber music experiences for our community!

Intermission at Disjecta Art Center
Intermission at Disjecta Art Center
Open Rehearsal with the Dover Quartet
Open Rehearsal with the Dover Quartet
Opus One performs Schumann Piano Quartet, Op 47
Opus One performs Schumann Piano Quartet, Op 47

Links:


Attachments:
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.
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:

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:

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:

 

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Organization Information

Chamber Music Northwest

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.cmnw.org
Project Leader:
Leslie Tuomi
Development Director
Portland, OR United States

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