STORM LARGE, YEFIM BRONFMAN, JEFFREY KAHANE, TANGO CALIENTE, KODO, ELGAR’S ENIGMA VARIATIONS AND DVOŘÁK’S NEW WORLD SYMPHONY HEADLINE NOT-TO-BE-MISSED OREGON SYMPHONY CONCERTS IN FEBRUARY

January 13, 2017

(PORTLAND, Ore.) The year’s shortest month features almost as many standout concerts as there are dates! Whether your taste runs to the sultry song stylings of Portland’s hottest diva, Storm Large, who returns for another unforgettable Valentine’s Day concert; the primal sounds of Japan’s most acclaimed Taiko ensemble, Kodo; the spicy-hot sizzle of tango; the ever-popular Enigma Variations; or Dvořák’s show-stopping New World Symphony, you’ll find a concert – or two! – sure to delight. Also on tap: acclaimed pianists Yefim Bronfman and Jeffrey Kahane perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, respectively, and families with kids will enjoy a magical guided tour through the orchestra in our Kids Concert, the Pied Piper of Portlandia. 

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 1

KODO

When and Where: Feb. 1 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: Kodo, Japan’s most celebrated Taiko ensemble. Note: The Oregon Symphony does not perform.

What’s special about this concert:

  • Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo has given over 5,800 performances in 48 countries on five continents.
  • In 2001, members of Kodo became the first Japanese artists to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway.
  • “Traditional rituals recast as theater, and contemporary thoughts about ancient instruments both figure in Kodo’s performance, which includes ancient and modern compositions. Yet with tense, angular postures, with stylized, frozen gestures and, in one playful piece, with animal-like scampering and slithering, Kodo reminds its audience that, above all, its music is a matter of flesh and blood, wood and stretched skin. Kodo can raise the roof, but the group can also show extraordinary finesse.” – The New York Times
  • More praise for Kodo: “Indeed, if there is such a thing as perfection in music, Kodo comes as near to it as any group in the world.” – The Boston Globe
  • “Superlatives don’t really exist to convey the primal power and bravura beauty of Kodo.” – Chicago Tribune
  • “Balancing a deadly aggression with utter tranquility, their sound stretches from the lightest of rainfall to cataclysmic thunderclaps, from pleasant laughter to discordant fear and from silence to - just once here - a wall of sound, as high, frightening and impregnable as a mountain. Musicians, theatre directors and all interested in the sheer power of sound to feed emotions should take note.” – The Guardian

More Background Info and Photos:

On Kodo: kodo.or.jp/index_en.html

Tickets: begin at $20 and can be purchased online at OrSymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland (M-Sa, 10 am-6 pm); by phone at (503) 228-1353 (M-Fri, 10 am-9 pm, Sat 10 am-6 pm); and at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting two hours before every performance.

 

SATURDAY, FEB. 4
SUNDAY, FEB. 5
MONDAY, FEB. 6

DVOŘÁK’S NEW WORLD SYMPHONY

When and Where: [Editors: please note different starting times] Feb. 4 at 7:30 pm, Feb. 5 at 2 pm and Feb. 6 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. (This concert will also be performed in Salem on Feb. 3 at 8 pm. See orsymphonysalem.org for more information.) 

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Yefim Bronfman, piano.   

The Program:           

            Currier:                      Microsymph

            *Beethoven:               Piano Concerto No. 4

            Dvořák:                      Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”    

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • “It’s safe to say there is no pianist around remotely like Yefim Bronfman. Labor doesn’t seem to ever enter the equation; he is simply everywhere, instantly and all the time. And he does it with none of the narcissistic visual drama, the bang and the flash, of some others.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • The pinnacle of Beethoven’s output in this genre is the Fourth Concerto, which begins, unprecedentedly, with a piano solo … Bronfman played this brief but vitally important passage with just the right weight … Here again, Bronfman opted for the longer and more dramatic of Beethoven’s two cadenzas, and played it brilliantly.” – Classical Source, 2014
  • “Piano Concerto No. 4 begins with one of the most famous of piano chords ever written. Bronfman took this understated opening a little louder and more forcefully than most pianists, without sacrificing the tender qualities of the moment. However, his elegant rendering of the Andante, often read as an allegory of Orpheus taming the furies with his lyre the underworld, was especially mesmerizing. Bronfman’s introspective interpretation melted around the roiling orchestra, dissolving to an ephemeral whisper.” – New York Classical Review
  • “[Sebastian] Currier’s music has been a revelation this year … The opening Microsymph was a model of compressed symphonic form, with a dazzling array of colours, ideas and sounds; not one of which felt ill-judged or extraneous to Currier’s purpose … Microsymph whirled through a genuine five movement symphony in just ten minutes, complete with spectral waltzes, radiant adagio and bravura fanfares intercut by a ticking clock motif (‘a bit like Leonard Bernstein on speed’ according to one enthralled audience member) … Both pieces were adroit and witty in a refreshingly unselfconscious way and were, above all, distinguished by a strongly sophisticated sense of harmony that seems all too rare in contemporary music.” – Wales Art Review
  • “In terms of musical importance – which is to say the presentation of new music – the evening was over 10 minutes after it began. Wolff brought Sebastian Currier’s tiny but elegantly condensed Microsymph to the NSO for the first time. Currier has compressed a five-movement symphony into five well-wrought vignettes … The Adagio is both well-orchestrated and dramatically structured; it creates one of the important illusions of a good slow movement –the suspension of time – in a very brief period, with no excess or longueurs. Surrounding the Adagio is a coy little waltz, deftly rendered, in which the theme is barely heard twice; it is perhaps the best example of reductionism in the work. The fourth movement, a scherzo, is animated by rippling triplet figures and overlays of cross-rhythms that have a delightfully disorienting effect. The last movement quickly reprises the earlier ones and, like its predecessors, does so with astonishing concision.”  – Washington Post

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Yefim Bronfman: yefimbronfman.com

Tickets: begin at $23 and can be purchased online at OrSymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland (M-Sa, 10 am-6 pm); by phone at (503) 228-1353 (M-Fri, 10 am-9 pm, Sat 10 am-6 pm); and at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting two hours before every performance.

 

SUNDAY, FEB. 12

PIED PIPER OF PORTLANDIA

When and Where: Feb. 12 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, Dance West, the Pacific Youth Choir, and students of the Oregon Suzuki Association, with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; *Pam Mahon, narrator.

The Program: Experience a musical adventure inside the orchestra with Benjamin Britten’s A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, plus selections from Italian operas, Richard Wagner, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • The second Kids Concert of the season features Britten’s classic Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
  • Narrator Pam Mahon guides the audience through the different sections of the orchestra and introduces kids to the distinctive sounds of strings, winds, brasses and percussion.
  • The award-winning Dance West Ensemble, led by Julane Stites, will join the orchestra to present dance treatments of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol.
  • Other program highlights include students of the Oregon Suzuki Association performing music by Shinichi Suzuki.
  • The Pacific Youth Choir, directed by Mia Hall Miller, will join Dance West and the orchestra for a chorus from Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman and Britten’s Friday Afternoons.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Pam Mahon: arthousetalentandliterary.com/?p=958

On Dance West: dancewestcompany.com

On the Pacific Youth Choir: pacificyouthchoir.org

On the Oregon Suzuki Association: oregonsuzukiassociation.org

Tickets: begin as low as $10 and can be purchased online at OrSymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland (M-Sa, 10 am-6 pm); by phone at (503) 228-1353 (M-Fri, 10 am-9 pm, Sat 10 am-6 pm); and at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting two hours before every performance.

 

TUESDAY, FEB. 14

A STORM LARGE VALENTINE

When and Where: Feb. 14 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; *Storm Large, vocals.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Portland’s favorite sultry diva of song returns for another unforgettable night of love songs and standards performed as only Storm Large can sing them.
  • Storm Large made her debut as guest vocalist with the band Pink Martini in April 2011, singing four sold-out concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
  • Storm boasts an eclectic list of musical collaborators, including Grammy winner k.d. lang, pianist Kirill Gerstein, punk rocker John Doe, singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton.
  • She debuted with the Oregon Symphony in 2010 and has returned for sold out performances each year thereafter. Storm made her Carnegie Hall debut in May 2013, singing Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins with the Detroit Symphony as part of the Spring for Music festival. The New York Times called her “sensational.”
  • In the autumn of 2014, Storm & Le Bonheur released a record designed to capture their sublime and subversive interpretations of the American Songbook. Entitled simply “Le Bonheur,” it was released on Pink Martini’s Heinz Records.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Storm Large: stormlarge.com

Tickets: Begin at $40 and can be purchased online at any time from the orchestra’s website, OrSymphony.org; at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office, 909 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland (M-Sa, 10 am-6 pm); by phone at (503) 228-1353 or (800) 228-7343 (M-F, 10 am-9 pm); and at the concert hall lobby starting two hours before the performance.

 

SATURDAY, FEB. 18
SUNDAY, FEB. 19

TANGO CALIENTE

When and Where: [Editors: please note different start times] Feb. 18 at 7:30 pm and Feb. 19 at 3 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik; *Tango Pacifico; *Pepe Raphael, vocals; *Héctor Del Curto, bandoneón; *Patricio Touceda, dancer; *Eva Lucero, dancer.

The Program: The spiciest concert of our season, featuring world-renowned tango musicians Pepe Raphael and Hector Del Curto, dancers Patricio Touceda and Eva Lucero, and Portland’s own Tango Pacifico.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • This concert features some of Portland’s hottest tango specialists, including dancer and songwriter Pepe Raphael, of Pepe and the Bottle Blondes
  • Praised by The New York Times as a “splendid player,” Argentinean bandoneonist Héctor Del Curto’s career, spanning for more than twenty-five years, has encompassed traditional Tango, New Tango, Jazz, Classical, and World music. As one of the world’s most sought-after bandoneonists, he has performed with luminaries across many musical genres, including tango legends Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Pugliese.
  • One of Portland’s premiere tango ensembles, Tango Pacifico, joins the Oregon Symphony for this exciting Pops concert. Tango Pacifico, founded by Oregon Symphony Assistant Concertmaster Erin Furbee, features some of Portland’s best tango musicians, including bandoneón virtuoso Alex Krebs.
  • Seattle-based dancers Patricio Touceda and Eva Lucero, of allseattletango, have been partners since 2001. They have appeared with Cirque du Soleil’s ZAIA, the only Argentine tango dancers to do so.
  • Touceda and Lucero were also featured in Luis Bravo’s acclaimed show, Forever Tango.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Pepe Raphael: bottleblondes.com/band.htm

On Tango Pacifico: tangopacificotheband.com/musicians/musicians.html

Tickets: begin at $23 and can be purchased online at OrSymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland (M-Sa, 10 am-6 pm); by phone at (503) 228-1353 (M-Fri, 10 am-9 pm, Sat 10 am-6 pm); and at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting two hours before every performance.

                                                                                                    

SATURDAY, FEB. 25
SUNDAY, FEB. 26  
MONDAY, FEB 27

ELGAR’S ENIGMA VARIATIONS

When and Where: Feb. 25, 26, and 27 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with guest conductor Christoph König; *Jeffrey Kahane, piano       

The Program:           

                        Adams:                       Slonimsky’s Earbox

                        *Schumann:               Piano Concerto in A minor

                        Elgar:                          Engima Variations          

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • König was Principal Conductor of the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música from January 2009 until December 2014) and is currently the Principal Conductor & Music Director of the Solistes Européens Luxembourg.
  • “König is a conductor who is taking his career calmly. And this is evident when you see him come onto the stage in an assured manner; without rushing, with a firm step and with a hint of a smile. His technique gives an even stronger impression of confidence: entirely unlike the ostentatious techniques of many young conductors, König knows how to conduct a phrase – more than just beating time – using restrained but always elegant and effective gestures … However, more than anything, it is his overall concept of the music which reminded me of the great conductors.” – mundoclassico.com
  • Jeffrey Kahane has a distinguished career as both pianist and conductor – sometimes performing both roles at once, as when he conducts Mozart or Beethoven concertos from the keyboard.
  • “[Kahane] has always been a superb but underappreciated pianist, and this concerto offered a good overview of his strengths, not least a perfectly regulated, silken tone that at times — particularly in the quick ascending runs of the first movement — had the shimmer of a harp.” – The New York Times
  • John Adams’ 1996 Slonimsky’s Earbox was co-commissioned by the Oregon Symphony and the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, England.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Christoph König: christophkoenig.at

On Jeffrey Kahane: cmartists.com/artists/jeffrey-kahane.htm

Tickets: begin at $23 and can be purchased online at OrSymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland (M-Sa, 10 am-6 pm); by phone at (503) 228-1353 (M-Fri, 10 am-9 pm, Sat 10 am-6 pm); and at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting two hours before every performance.

 

Beyond the Schnitz

Oregon Symphony Community Engagement Programs

The Oregon Symphony and its musicians are deeply involved in the community in places that stretch far beyond the confines of our concert hall. Here are a few of the things happening in that arena during the month of February.

“Collaborations” Young People’s Concerts

February 7 and 9 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

February 10 at Willamette University’s Smith Hall

Conducted by Associate Conductor Norman Huynh, these concerts will demonstrate some wonderful collaborations in orchestral music. Students will hear themes from beloved operas, ballets, musicals and movies. Featured will be 17 year-old Fumika Mizuno, Portland Youth Philharmonic’s violinist and concert master, as she performs Sarasate’s virtuosic “Carmen Fantasy.” Guest singers Pam Mahon and Stacey Murdock will perform selections from Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The program also includes excerpts from major works by Bernstein, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Stravinsky, and John Williams.

Teachers will be provided with a CD with the program selections, along with a teacher’s guide to prepare grades 3-8 students in advance. Tickets are priced so that the music is accessible to all. There is no fee for students in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program or for chaperones. Tickets are set at $3 for others.

musicNOW program returns to the Rose Schnitzer Manor

Wednesdays in February

The Oregon Symphony’s musicNOW program, aimed at raising the level of social and emotional health through music and movement for those members of the community no longer able to come to the concert hall, will be held at Rose Schnitzer Manor each Wednesday in February.

In partnership with Earthtones Music Therapy Services, Alzheimer’s Association of Oregon, Marylhurst University’s Music Therapy program, and Mary’s Woods Continuing Care Retirement Community, this fun and music-interactive program was thoughtfully developed in the 2015-16 season with Mary’s Woods memory care and assisted living residents, along with Oregon Symphony musicians and Earthtones music therapy interns enrolled at Marylhurst University.

Photos for media uses can be accessed at: www.orsymphony.org/newsroom/artists.aspx

Season subscriptions, including the popular Choose Your Own Passes and Gift Cards, are still available through the Symphony Ticket Office at (503) 228-1353.

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