things to look forward to


I’m in the midst of my summer festival season, and as time goes by, I’m gradually starting to turn my attention to the upcoming concert season, looking for both the obvious and the hidden gems it contains.

I wear quite a few hats during the year – quartet violist, new music violist, orchestral violist, teaching violist. There are a few things from each that I’m especially looking forward to.

Quartet Violist

  • The Arnica Quartet is only playing a couple of concerts this year, but the two big works of the year are also two of the greatest string quartets ever written: Dvorak’s Op. 104 in A-flat major, and Beethoven’s Op. 131 in C-sharp minor. There is plenty to sink one’s teeth into as a violist, and some incredible music.

New Music Violist

  • The 2016-2017 Third Angle season starts off with all three of Steve Reich’s string quartets, including a masterpiece of the 20th century, Different Trains. I am beyond stoked to get a chance to play that piece, as well as his Triple Quartet, and WTC 9/11.
  • Later in the season, Third Angle returns to the OMSI planetarium to perform Georg Friedrich Haas’ String Quartet No. 3 “In iij. Noct.” Audiences raved about this piece at the 2013 T:B:A Festival, and it was definitely an out-of-body type performance experience, too!

Orchestral Violist

  • Bartók’s one act opera Bluebeard’s Castle has long been on my bucket list. The fact that the Oregon Symphony’s production uses the huge glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly as part of the concert setting pushes it over the top into amazing.
  • The Oregon Symphony’s woodwind and brass sections have long been world-class, but this season we get to hear them take the solo stage in Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments.
  • Respighi’s Pines of Rome. Just thinking of the Via Appia movement gives me chills.
  • A Kenji Bunch world premiere (commissioned by the Oregon Symphony). Finally, a local commission by my orchestra. And it couldn’t have been by a nicer guy, violist and composer Kenji Bunch. No idea what he’s cooking up, but it will be fun, difficult, and beautiful!

So, that’s what has me excited so far. There are always surprises, things that I don’t expect to be great that are, things that I expect to be great that aren’t. And new things appear from out of nowhere. We’ll see…

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