Instrument Petting Zoo prior to Family Concert
Chamber Music Northwest celebrated its 45th anniversary this year with an incredible five-week Summer Festival.
In addition to our 25 main-stage performances featuring classic masterworks by composers like Brahms, Bach, and Beethoven, we also produced a new series of contemporary music, Club Concerts in alternative venues, two free community concerts, a family concert, and a large-scale gala dinner and concert. Our education programming expanded dramatically, with a new series of free lunches with our commissioned composers, a class in partnership with Portland State University, a lecture, three masterclasses, and six open rehearsals.
All of these activities took place in various venues throughout Portland. In addition to our primary venues of the picturesque Reed College in Southeast Portland and easily-accessible Portland State downtown, we also had events at the Portland Art Museum, Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, the Alberta Rose Theatre, BodyVox Dance Center, Jimmy Mak’s jazz club, Portland Center Stage, and even visited the city of Eugene. We were all over town, providing excellent chamber music experiences to the greater Portland area.
Our 2015 Protégé Project brought to Portland 12 young rising stars: Jay Campbell, cello; Evanna Chiew, mezzo-soprano; Nikki Chooi, violin; Julia Hsu, piano; Chris Rogerson, composer; Yevgeny Yontov, piano; Angelo Xiang Yu, violin; and the Akropolis Reed Quintet, comprised of Timothy Gocklin, oboe; Kari Dion, clarinet; Andrew Koeppe, bass clarinet; Matt Landry, saxophone; and Ryan Reynolds, bassoon.
These young artists received coaching and mentoring from CMNW veteran Festival Artists, performing side-by-side with them on many main-stage concerts. In turn, the Protégés coached young student musicians at regional music camps and education programs, inspiring a new generation of students.
Some Festival highlights:
- Our concerts this season featured 7 world premieres, West Coast premieres, or NW premieres – many that we had a hand in commissioning – including new works by Kenji Bunch, David Lang, Aaron Jay Kernis, Chris Rogerson, David Fulmer, David Schiff, and John Steinmetz.
- We premiered an exciting evening of electrifying music and world premiere contemporary dance with Northwest Dance Project.
- We introduced our audiences to Tango as chamber music through a sold-out performance featuring the internationally renowned musicians and composers of Tango for Musicians at Reed College.
- A fantastic new “cultural exchange” with the Oregon Bach Festival, whereby we presented their concerts in Portland as a part of our festival, and they presented two of ours in Eugene as a part of their festival.
- We successfully launched our New@Noon series of all contemporary music by living composers – with fantastic attendance for all three of these Friday noontime concerts.
- A wildly successful 45th Anniversary Gala / Peter Schickele Birthday Celebration that was – according to many patrons – the most fun they have ever had at a CMNW event or gala of any kind (and we raised a lot of money for our education programs too)!
Total attendance for our Summer Festival concerts was about 15,500 people – our highest in a decade. For the year concert, education, and community attendance and participation totaled more than 21,000 – a 20% increase over three years. Beyond numbers, we are pleased to see a significantly more diverse audience the past two years – younger, more culturally diverse, and growing.
This year’s Summer Festival would not have been possible – or nearly as successful – without the dedicated support of people like you! Thank you so much for your investment in Chamber Music Northwest, and for bringing chamber music to life in the greater Portland area.
Club Concert: BodyVox with Akropolis Reed Quintet
Protege pianist Yevgeny Yontov demonstrates
Composer Kenji Bunch acknowledges his father
Aaron Jay Kernis discusses his composition
Yevgeny Yontov, Paul Neubauer, and Evanna Chiew