This past weekend, I played six performances of Magnus Lindberg’s craggy and forbidding (and insectile) Clarinet Quintet with my colleagues of Third Angle New Music (with the magnificent Louis DeMartino on clarinet) at Alvar Aalto’s magnificent library at Mount Angel Abbey. The reviews were glowing, and equally glowing are the photos that photographer/architect Tom Emerson delivered from the event – take a peek in the slideshow here.
I was given a rare opportunity to tour the partially completed studios of Portland’s beloved classical music station, Allclassical FM 89.9, with CEO Jack Allen, Program Director John Pittman and Edmund Stone, the host of the nationally syndicated film music show produced at Allclassical, The Score. I’m working on a feature post that should go up this coming Tuesday morning. I’m excited to tell you what’s going on down by the river at the Hampton Opera Center building, where KQAC will relocate this June. For now, a photo of the plans of the new station.
Brian Libby writes on his Portland Architecture blog that Allied Works, a Portland architectural firm, has won the design competition for the new National Music Centre in Calgary. It’s a striking structure, and looks like something that would easily fit into the tight blocks of downtown Portland. And I love the way that the team thought about bringing the building to life. There’s so much of that interconnectedness “thing” that runs through the more enlightened circles in Portland’s artistic life, that would engender a new era for the fine arts in Portland. What a resource this will be for Calgary, and one that is desperately needed here in Portland. At least we know that we’ve got home grown talent that could make it happen if only we had a few angel donors and administrators who could gamble (and a gamble it would be) on a high-stakes level for a potentially huge payoff.
Which still makes me wonder, if we really want to bring major new money into the arts arena, if it’s actually the right time to really launch a campaign to build a new performing arts center in Portland – with a purpose-built symphony hall and recital hall among its primary features. People want to put their name on something, and while more ladies’ restrooms in the Schnitz are great (and needed, from what I hear), a new home for the symphony and the local chamber music and piano series (at least) with a reasonable seating capacity (no more than 1,800) would provide some major deep pockets in the region to have something to put their names on for posterity (are you listening Phil Knight and Nike?).