mark your calendars

obsolete mayan calendarWhile the Oregon Symphony will always and forever have the keys to my tiny heart, it’s certainly worth shining a light on the rest of Portland’s brilliant classical scene.  Looking to catch some truly alternative shows this new year?  Well, as luck would have it, the classical beaver is here to offer its top 10 picks for the next few months.  And by all means… if something catches your eye, click on the date to collect more deets!

January 11 ~ Cappella Romana > Um, have you heard these folks yet?  They’re basically a gang of angels in the Pacific Northwest who occasionally hide their wings and sing the most transporting music you may ever encounter.  Like, ever.  This Friday night at 8pm is Portland’s chance to catch ’em sing the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

January 27 ~ Rastrelli Cello Quartet > That’s right.  Four (count ’em) four guys from Germany each armed with a cello and a yowzer of a Classical/Jazz set list.  Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saëns on the one hand, Brubeck and Piazzolla on the other.

February 2 ~ FearNoMusic > Join Stumplandia’s most mind-blowing 21st-Century ensemble as it welcomes vocalist Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond to perform a song cycle based on Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey.  Every single time I attend a FearNoMusic concert, I consider myself a human being that just got a little bit more self-actualized.

Februay 3 ~ 45th Parallel > Superbowl, Shmuperbowl.  I say skip “the big game” and head on over to the Alberta Rose Theater for a Club Mod experience like no other.  Wanna know what happens when one of the best music groups in town teams up with one of the best radio programs in town?  Um, yes please!

February 24 ~ Mousāi Remix > Four of the hottest chicks (musically speaking, of course) from the Oregon Symphony string section bust out Felix Mendelssohn’s Quartet #5 and Sergei Prokofiev’s Quartet #1.  Did the Beavs mention this gig is at a downtown jazz club with NO COVER CHARGE?  Well, it’s true… and you better call for reservations right the eff now: (503) 241-6514.

February 28 ~ Third Angle New Music Ensemble > New York City’s Bang-on-a-Can co-founders Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon team up with P-Town’s very own Third Angle.  I’ll tell you what: This ain’t gonna be your great-great-grandfather’s chamber music.

March 1 ~ Parties of Note > A super-duper intimate show benefiting the Friends of the Oregon Symphony.  20 lucky folks get to witness a handful of virtuosos in an unbelievable chamber music setting.  Amazing eats and drinks included!

March 15 ~ Arnica String Quartet > Witness one of Rip City’s most accomplished quartets perform works by two of this rodent’s all-time favorite composers: Benjamin Britten and Osvaldo Golijov.  [sigh]

April 27 ~ Portland Symphonic Choir > Spend a splendid Saturday night with this incredible (and I do mean incredible) powerhouse of 120 voices.  The ultimate SATB gang sings a slew of choral favorites as they celebrate 10 glorious years with Dr. Steven Zopfi at the helm.

April 28 ~ Camerata PYP > Hear Portland Youth Philharmonic’s all-stars bring it on at the Wieden+Kennedy Building.  The kids kick things off on Sunday afternoon with a contemporary piece by Kenji Bunch (awesomely entitled Supermaximum) and then bring down the house with Beethoven’s Symphony #8.  Wow!

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