It’s that time of year, summer is winding down. The summer festival circuit is coming to an end. Orchestras with 52-week seasons are just ending their 21-22 seasons or just about to start their 22-23 seasons. The weather is hot, the greenery is starting to show stress by getting darker, more muted, and droopy. The people are, too.
Here’s a recap of what I’ve been up to this summer. I had some readers accost me at a recent festival. They were asking why I hadn’t written anything here for so long. So here I am. You’re welcome! 😉
In June, just a few days after the end of the Oregon Symphony season, I traveled down to Eugene for the Oregon Bach Festival. It was a transitional year (no doubt the first of several) for the festival, with three finalists in the search for a new Artistic Director. The three were (in order of appearance) Kazem Abdullah, Eric Jacobsen, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. All were very strong candidates, but my favorite was Eric Jacobsen. No word on when a selection will be made. It was great to see colleagues again (even if in a very reduced modern orchestra) after two years of virtual content. It was especially nice to play with principal violist Gareth Zehngut – now the newest member of the viola section of the Cleveland Orchestra.
After a July spent recovering from the uninterrupted block of playing since December came my favorite weeks of the year. I’m of course referring to the Willamette Valley Chamber Music Festival.
This year’s composer-in-residence was Indian-American composer Reena Esmail, who is one of the rising stars of young composers. Her music magically finds a fusion point between Indian and Western classical music and is a delight to perform.
Now there are just a few weeks before the Oregon Symphony 2022-23 season begins. The first concert (which actually occurs before the official start of our season) is the returning free Waterfront Concert at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. It will be a very enjoyable event and I hope to see you there!