on goodness

The past two evenings I performed on a Third Angle New Music studio series concert called “A Family Affair”. It was a concert centered around one of my colleagues in the ensemble (and in the Oregon Symphony), cellist Marilyn De Oliveira. Marilyn is quite a remarkable human being. She is one of the few people I know who is almost relentlessly positive in her outlook, regardless of what is happening both inside her life and in the outside world. She describes herself – somewhat ruefully – as a pollyanna. She is also, perhaps because of this worldview, a tremendous advocate for music to everyone. She, as she put it at a Q&A session last night, was brought up with the view that music has an incredible capacity to bring joy to every single person who encounters it. She is, quite honestly, a musical evangelical. And she’s one of those advocates who doesn’t tell you why music is good for you, she just, by her way of being and inhabiting the music, makes you also want to hear more, do more, maybe even learn more about music.

It’s so admirable, what Marilyn embodies. The audience at the concerts this week were also completely rapt in their attention to what Marilyn and her band of friends and family presented. It’s a rare thing, to be on the receiving end of that sort of audience focus. There really was a give and take that one always hopes for, but seldom gets in larger scale performances in the concert hall. For chamber musicians it’s more common to encounter, but these shows were at a level of interchange between audience and musicians that was way up in the 99th percentile. I’ll close by saying a heartfelt thank you to Marilyn for her musical kinship and friendship these past few years, and for inviting me to perform with her this week. It was a career highlight for me.

Obrigado, Marilyn!

Program:

CAROLINE SHAW | limestone & felt (2012)
JOHN TAVENER | Akhmatova Songs (1993)
ANDY AKIHO | 21 (2009)
SVANTE HENRYSON | Off Pist (1996)
KENJI BUNCH | Adventure Awaits (2017)
Commissioned with support from The Collins Foundation
GIOVANNI SOLLIMA | Lamentatio (1998)

Performers:
Marilyn de Oliveira, cello
Edlyn de Oliveira, soprano
Trevor Fitzpatrick, cello
Charles Noble, viola
Michael Roberts, percussion
James Shields, clarinet

symphony/quartet violinist gives recital tonight

Photo: © Charles Noble
Photo: © Charles Noble

Violinist Shin-young Kwon, who is a member of the Oregon Symphony and also the Arnica and Mousai Remix string quartets (!), gives a recital tonight (Tuesday, January 29th) with pianist Yoko Greeney at Portland State University’s Lincoln Recital Hall (Room 75). The recital begins at 7:30 p.m., and is free of admission charge.

Program:

Arnold Schoenberg – ‘Phantasy’ Op. 47 (1949) for Violin and Piano
Béla Bartók – ‘Tempo di Ciaccona’ from Sonata for Solo Violin, Sz. 117
J.S. Bach – ‘Ciaccona’ from Partita No 2, BWV 1004 in D minor for Solo Violin
Ludwig van Beethoven – Sonata No. 10, Op. 96 in G major for Violin and Piano

triskaidekaphobia

Today is a crazy day, and not only because it’s Friday the 13th (gasp!). It’s one of those days that I knew was coming, and knew would be packed, but there was nothing I could do about it.

This morning I have the dress rehearsal for the Oregon Symphony’s upcoming concerts with guitarist Sharon Isbin (fantastic!) and our wonderful guest conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto. Luckily, it’s not a taxing program, although it is a fun and varied one. Works by Ravel, Rodrigo, Gubaidulina, and Mussorgsky feature the many colors of the full symphony orchestra, and I’d urge you to snap up the remaining tickets quickly.

Right after the concert, my accompanist is picking me up at the stage door and we’re shooting down to a home south of Salem, (about 50 miles away) where we’ll do a small house concert for supporters of the Oregon Symphony Association in Salem. Then, it’s back up to Portland so my accompanist (the wonderful and indefatigable Cary Lewis) can play a flute recital in the evening. I will grab my lunch/dinner at home, then head back down to Salem for our evening runout concert at Willamette University. Phew!

I will be decidedly ready for a stiff beverage when I get home tonight!