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Notations: M. Ward

“I think music is able to illustrate or color your understanding of eras that came before you.”

In the first episode of Oregon Symphony’s digital series Notations, which bridges culture and music through the personal journeys of local artists, singer/songwriter/guitarist M. Ward shares how his Mexican-American heritage influenced him as a musician. As a descendant of immigrants, and surrounded by Mexican-American culture, M. Ward discusses his family story and the inspiration he found from Latin-American artists and songs.

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Notations

Notations - M. Ward

“I think music is able to illustrate or color your understanding of eras that came before you.”-M.WARD In the first episode of Oregon Symphony’s digital series Notations, which bridges culture and music through the personal journeys of local artists, singer/songwriter/guitarist M. Ward shares how his Mexican-American heritage influenced him as a musician. As a descendant of immigrants, and surrounded by Mexican-American culture, M. Ward discusses his family story and the inspiration he found from Latin-American artists and songs.

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Classical Sessions

Classical Sessions: Caroline Shaw: Through the Looking Glass

Composer Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte is a refreshing blend of traditional harmony, contrasting dissonance, and impressive string effects. Shaw wrote Entr’acte after hearing a string quartet play Haydn’s Op. 77 No. 2. As she describes it, “I love the way some music (like the minuets of Op. 77) suddenly takes you to the other side of Alice’s looking glass, in a kind of absurd, subtle, technicolor transition.”

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Classical Sessions: Osvaldo Golijov: A Tribute to the Tango

During the 18th century, serenades were played to honor an important person, and usually performed in the background at large, festive gatherings. The unique scoring for strings and timpani sets 1776’s “Serenata Notturna” apart from Mozart’s other serenades, as does its three movements, instead of the usual six to eight. Its playful writing transforms music expected to be in the background into foreground listening pleasure.

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Classical Sessions: Pianist Stephen Hough Performs Schumann, Liszt, Bach, and Busoni

Celebrated pianist Stephen Hough shares the thrilling recital recently recorded in London, which begins with Busoni’s majestic reimagining of Bach’s Chaconne. From Robert Schumann, Hough plays the famously dreamy Träumerei, along with the emotional Fantasie in C major, Op. 17, one of the canon’s greatest works for solo piano. The performance concludes with two captivating works from Liszt.

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Symphony Storytime

"Drum Dream Girl" featuring the Timpani and Percussion

Inspired by the true story of a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke a taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl is a brave musical journey for young dreamers everywhere!

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"When the Moon is Full" featuring the Flute

Written by Penny Pollock and illustrated by Mary Azarian. Hosted by Amy Haroldson and featuring Alicia DiDonato Paulsen, Assistant Principal Flute. The twelve full moons of the year, with traditional Native American names, are described in lyrical poems and illustrated with hand-colored woodcuts.

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"Harlem's Little Blackbird" featuring the Trumpet

Written by Renée Watson and illustrated by Christian Robinson. Hosted by Shalanda Simas and featuring Doug Reneau, Trumpet. Florence Mills was an internationally-recognized and multifaceted performer during the Harlem Renaissance, and her story is a timeless one about justice, equality, and the importance of following one's heart and dreams.

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minute for music

83. Colin Corner

With summer temps on the rise, what better way to stay refreshed than with a #minuteformusic? Today’s performance features the Oregon Symphony’s principal bassist, Colin Corner, playing an invigorating version of Bach’s Fugue in A minor (BWV 543). Originally written for organ, the song is nicknamed “The Great” despite being a lesser-known piece of the composer's work.

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82. Principal Cello Nancy Ives

Today's minute 𝘧𝘰𝘳 music features Oregon Symphony Principal Cello Nancy Ives and pianist Susan DeWitt Smith performing an excerpt from Dvořák's Cello Concerto. This piece is particularly close to Nancy's heart, being the last piece of music she heard her father perform. Her father was also particularly fond of dogs, so it's only fitting that Takkie gets a front-row seat to this performance.

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81. Principal Percussion Michael Roberts

This minute for music features a tribute to our familiar feathered friends as Oregon Symphony musician Michael Roberts, Marimba, plays Henri Dutilleux's "Blackbird (for piano)."

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Essential Sounds

Episode 6 | Community

Welcome to the season finale of Essential Sounds, playing tribute to our community. In this episode, you’ll hear our violinist Gregory Ewer’s story of how music connects us when we can’t be together physically. Portland songwriter Holcombe Waller sings his song “Hardliners” with an Oregon Symphony quartet, and Principal Cello Nancy Ives performs a tribute for her sister as she watches live, remotely.

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Episode 5 | Educators

Hear a moving rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come” by vocalist Alonzo Chadwick, as well as performances by Oregon Symphony musicians and a conversation about creating art during the pandemic with Andrew Norman, described by the Los Angeles Times as “the leading American composer of his generation.”

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Episode 4 | Medical Research

Hear performances by Oregon Symphony musicians, Blind Pilot frontman Israel Nebeker, and a conversation with American composer Jessie Montgomery, as well as Principal Bassoonist Carin Miller Packwood’s story of how her friend, a cellist and pathologist in New York City, is using skills she initially developed as a musician to identify patterns in our blood that could help fight the coronavirus.

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Listening Room

Luigi Cherubini: Overture to Ali Baba

Recorded live at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon on September 26, 27 & 28, 2015. Carlos Kalmar, conductor.

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Felix Mendelssohn: Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream

Recorded live at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon on April 9-11, 2016. Carlos Kalmar, conductor.

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Dvořák: The Water Goblin, Op. 107

Recorded live at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon on March 17-19, 2019. Carlos Kalmar, conductor.

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More to Explore

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The 2018 world premiere of Gabriel Kahane’s 𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮 provoked immediate reaction. Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter said, "In the diversity of impassioned responses, we see a piece that, for all its inventiveness, belongs squarely in a tradition of art that has invited debate." The concert is an oratorio that examines the scourge of deep poverty in America through the lens of homelessness and housing insecurity.

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Studio to School Project: Year Three in Review

A look back at this program that brings high-quality music education, staff development, and arts-integrated learning into schools.

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Oregon Symphony & NW Community Gospel Chorus: “Hallelujah”

An audio excerpt from the 2018 CD Gospel Christmas

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