David Stabler, the classical music critic of the Oregonian newspaper, has listed his top classical music happenings of 2007. Here’s a link to the complete story. I hope this will also soon be posted on David’s blog as well.
It’s a good overview of what’s happened this year (the high points, at least) and I’d like to excerpt what Stabler had to say about the OSO’s new principal flutist David Buck’s recital last March 16th:
In his first solo concert, the Oregon Symphony’s new principal flutist showed that he is everything you want in a flutist, combining supple tone, rhythmic dynamism and technical chops. Like the best musicians, his instrument is simply an extension of his personality.
Now that’s something for the clippings file! Way to go David (Buck, that is)!
In addition, local new music ensembles Third Angle and FearNoMusic also earned well-deserved kudos for their joint concert from October 5th.
The Old Church pews pulsed to music that throbbed, wailed, scrubbed and trickled down like rain. Adventures by Oswaldo Golijov, Tomas Svoboda and Bryan Johanson unfolded in spine-snapping performances. A night of epic string playing by Portland’s two audacious groups.
What is encouraging about this roundup is just how many and varied the highlights are – Portland’s music scene is finally starting to come of age, both in complexity, sophistication, depth and execution.
This newfound depth and variety is what most likely has the greatest impact upon the ability the most “traditional” of ensembles to compete for eyes and ears, including the Oregon Symphony. With such an array of both domestic and imported talent, and with smaller, more nimble local ensembles both willing and able to be daring and innovative, it’s harder for a larger, more conservative organization to make its mark.
I think that the turning point is just about here, where you’ll start seeing some more innovative and interesting presentations by the OSO, with more effort to engage audiences, while still being true to the traditional experience of the formal symphony concert experience.