my fall preview

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It’s right at the end of August, Portland has had temps at or above 100°F several times, the homegrown tomatoes are ripening, and the usual early bird maple trees are already starting to get some color on their leaves. That means that the fall arts season must be right around the corner.

Third Angle

Over at Third Angle New Music, we’re already hard at work on Steve Reich’s Triple Quartet (1999), which we’ll be playing at the Oregon Symphony’s day of local music performances at the site of the annual Waterfront Concert on Sept 1st. That will be a preview for our concert on Sept. 30/Oct. 1 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. Also on the program, two other quartets by Reich, his masterpiece Different Trains (1988), and his reaction to the events of September 11, WTC 9/11 (2010). It will be an amazing concert for all of us.

Oregon Symphony

The evening of Sept 1, the Oregon Symphony takes to the outdoor stage at Tom McCall Waterfront Park to play our traditional Waterfront Concert. We’ll be playing a variety of light and serious classical works, partnered with Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland Opera, Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Portland Youth Philharmonic, and Alpha Battery 218th Field Artillery of the Oregon National Guard. It will also be simulcast live on AllClassical Portland (89.9FM), hosted by Suzanne Nance and Robert McBride.

The season pretty much starts with a bang (literally, fireworks and canons), and keeps going like crazy for the first few months. Here are some of the highlights that I’m particularly looking forward to:

  • Renée Fleming sings Strauss’ Four Last Songs on our season opener, Sept. 10.
  • Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle with sets by glass artist Dale Chihuly, Sept. 24-26.
  • Music of David Bowie, Sept. 29.
  • Sibelius Symphony No. 3 and Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto, Oct. 8-10.
  • Ein Heldenleben and percussionist Colin Currie plays Andrew Norman, Oct. 22-24.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark, Nov. 10.

Find out about these and all of the Oregon Symphony’s other concerts at www.orsymphony.org.

Arnica Quartet

My quartet, the Arnica Quartet, is playing a midday concert at the University of Portland on Wednesday, November 2 at 12:30pm. We’ll be performing Webern’s early and Romantic Langsamer satz, and Beethoven’s Op. 131 quartet in C-sharp minor.

Definitely a lot going on this fall, I hope you can join me for at least some of what I’m doing!

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july into august

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Crater Lake – Photo by Charles Noble

This past week I’ve been on a badly-needed vacation to southern Oregon. My fiancé and I went to the Ashland area, and had a wonderful time visiting Crater Lake, wine tasting, walking around the town, and enjoying our time away from everyday life. The fact that our lodging was in the middle of the forest without television also didn’t hurt. Here are a few places that we loved, that you might want to try on your next visit:

  • Green Springs Inn and Cabins – About a half hour east of Ashland (and up a winding, twisty, and sometimes exposed Hwy 66), but it’s in the forest and there are chickens, a good restaurant, and plenty of peace and quiet (until the roosters fire up). The lodge rooms are simple and spacious, the cabins are the size of small houses, several with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Wooldridge Creek Winery – If you like wine tasting that features delicious wines, great views, and wonderful patio, and house made cheeses and cured meats to go with, this is another place you cannot miss. It’s about 30 minutes past Jacksonville in the Applegate Valley, on the way to Grants Pass from the south.
  • Noble Coffee – Yes, I like the name, but even more I like the quality of the coffee that they put out here at their roastery and cafe. Nice ambiance inside, off the main drag and away from the OSF crowds, it’s an oasis.

This week is going to be spent getting reacquainted with the viola (despite my guilty conscience, I refused to bring the viola with me – that is the way one ruins a vacation!) and getting some final preparation done for my concerts at the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival. Last year was pretty intense – I had three works with piano – two piano quartets, and one piano quintet – all of which were major works. This year, it’s a bit less so (although I usually regret making such predictions, especially on the side favoring ease). I’m playing a relatively rare work for piano quartet by Franz Schubert, his Adagio and Rondo Concertante, D. 487; the wonderful Mozart Horn Quintet, K. 407; and Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4.

I’m hoping to have time to do a wrap-up after Methow, then it’s just a very quick turnaround to head out to Sunriver for the Sunriver Music Festival.

arnica quartet in salem this afternoon (past)

Arnica Quartet
Arnica Quartet

It’s time for our virtually annual performance at the Salem Camerata Musica series at the Salem Library this afternoon. It’s a program entitled Beyond Beethoven, and it features three wonderful quartets that one doesn’t get to hear very often. The concert is at 2:30, and is free. We hope to see you there! More information..

David Ludwig String Quartet No. 1 “Pale Blue Dot”
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet Op. 18 no. 3
Dmitri Shostakovich String Quartet No. 2, Op. 63