the top ten of twenty-twelve

enjoying a beaver tailwell faithful readers, we’ve just about made it to another new year, so you know what that means: the 2012 golden beavertail awards!  every december, we here at the home office gather ’round the yule log and hash out the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the top of the heap of portland’s all-time best classical moments of the year.  after much civilized debate (and a few instances of uncivilized fisticuffs), here are the classical beaver’s picks for the most spine-tingling moments of twenty-twelve:

#10 ~ guest conductor hugh wolff flying into p-town like some glorious swan to lead the oregon symphony in a brilliantly crisp performance of sibelius’ fifth symphony  [november 19]

#9 ~ fiddler stefan jackiw skipping the kilt but bringing some stellar violin chops to the scottish fantasy by max bruch  [february 6]

#8 ~ mahler 6… ’nuff said  [november 5]

#7 ~ arnica quartet and 45th parallel teaming up to unearth an unforgettable octet from max bruch at the old church  [november 13]

#6 ~ the best band in the land busting out a brilliant bit of benjamin britten: four sea interludes and passacaglia  [may 14]

#5 ~ coach k. and the oregon symphony testing the arlene schnitzer concert hall’s seismic fortitude with a heart-pounding fifth symphony from dmitri shostakovich  [april 2]

#4 ~ violin powerhouse nadja salerno-sonnenberg whirling into stumptown and delivering a knockout show with ástor piazzolla’s the four seasons of buenos   aires  [april 30]

#3 ~ our beloved orchestra swelling its ranks with the portland symphonic choir, 3 vocal soloists, and sarah kwak in the concertmaster seat (for the very first time!) to re-create the creation oratorio by joseph “papa” haydn  [january 21]

#2 ~ fear no music celebrating the john cage centennial like no one else in the country with a thought-provoking, musical happening at the gorgeous yale union building… a one-night-only, never-to-be-duplicated, veritable postcard from heaven!  [february 17]

#1 ~ sax god timothy mcallister sitting in with the insane oregon symphony to deliver a shockingly intense, mind-blowing performance of city noir by american composer john adams  [may 21]

oh dear, please tell me you witnessed at least one of these miracles!  as always, my furry little ears are perked up to catch your two cents as well, so feel free to leave a comment here, or on the facebook, or on the twitter.  one thing that isn’t debatable: ’twas one helluva year, eh?  see y’all in 2013!

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2 Responses to “the top ten of twenty-twelve”


  1. 1 Joe Cantrell December 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Brian, thank you for reminding us what an incredible musical year it has been. I tried to respond with a list and couldn’t, I could have put together a list of almost 10 just from the FNM John Cage extravaganza. Carlos reading poetry in musical meter for 1:45 or whatever it was, was almost unbelievably rich. We are so very fortunate to share this!

  2. 2 calderbennett@mac.com December 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Well, not quite in PDX, but hearing Angela Meade sing Norma at Astoria at a distance of about 8 feet was a heart-stopping, how often do you get to be this lucky evening.
    Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


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