With the surge of vaccinations to corral the pandemic, we might be seeing the last round of livestream-only productions of classical music concerts. This will especially be a welcome relief to the musicians and singers who want to be on stage again in front of a live audience. But until we get the all-clear signal, the only way to experience live performances is via a transmission to your trusty computer screen. Here are 10 opportunities to experience great music online. Cheers!
Fridays with 45th Parallel – 45th Parallel Universe
Since May, this collective of musicians has presented more than 40 livestreamed concerts on Friday evenings. Drawing primarily from top-tier local professionals and augmented with talent from around the world, 45th Parallel will continue the Friday night specials with chamber music for cello choir (April 2), experimental jazz (April 9), violin duets (April 16), French chamber music (April 23), bassoon music (May 14), Magnus Lindberg’s quintet for clarinet and strings (May 21), the Arcturus Quintet (May 28), Feldman and Cage and radio (June 4), string quartets with musicians from Seattle (June 11), Martha Long flute recital (June 18), and retrospective closeout (June 25). Most of the concerts are an hour long, and you can access them online anytime afterward.
6 p.m. Fridays, through June 25,, free.
PYPFest Vols. 2 and 3 – Portland Youth Philharmonic
Over the past season the Portland Youth Philharmonic commissioned over 30 new compositions, the majority of them from women and composers of color. PYP has agreed to share these pieces with other youth orchestras, including Portland’s own Metropolitan Youth Symphony, as part of a commissioning consortium. On April 10, the many PYP ensembles will present the second set of compositions, written for string orchestra and various combinations of wind, brass and percussion instruments. Commissioned composers include Eduardo Alonso-Crespo, Tatev Amiryan, Jonathan Bingham, Sakari Dixon Vanderveer, Erberk Eryılmaz, Gabriel A. Meneses, Gordon Rencher, Bruce Stark, James Stephenson and Rain Worthington. The June 5 program features works by Nicole Buetti, Alfonso Fuentes Colón, Kamran N. Ince, Nancy Ives, Texu Kim, Isabella Morrill, Reinaldo Moya and Kevin Walczyk.
7 p.m. Saturdays, April 10 and June 5,, pay-what-you-can (orders include a $4 processing fee).
Chanticleer: Love Always – Friends of Chamber Music
This multi-Grammy-award-winning ensemble of male singers will show its amazing ability to beautifully convey a wide variety of pieces that span centuries, styles and languages. Each piece explores an aspect of love from the religious to the secular. The a cappella program ranges from the “Gaude Gloriosa” of Renaissance composer Palestrina to a new piece by Steven Sametz that was commissioned by Chanticleer. You’ll also hear spirituals such as “There is a Balm in Gilead” and gospel numbers such as “Straight Street” juxtaposed with Jean Sibelius’ “Rakastava.” On the lighter side, the men will tickle your ears with Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe,” and Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies.”
3 p.m. Sunday, April 11, available for 72 hours,, free.
Journeys to Justice – Portland Opera
Six contemporary pieces will address racism and other serious issues facing people of color in the United States. Curated by Portland composer-singer Damien Geter, each selection promises to be thought-provoking and poignant. “Songs for the African Violet” relates the experiences of Black women. “Two Black Churches” tells how a congregation deals with grief after confrontations with white supremacists. “Night Trip” takes you to a gas station with a Black family on the road during the era of segregation. “Songs of Love and Justice” draws from the inspiring words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The concert features Portland Opera’s resident artists with members of the company’s orchestra and chorus.
7:30 p.m. Friday, April 16, available for 45 days,, $50 or pay what you can.
Parker Quartet: Inventive & Inspired – Chamber Music Northwest
Winners of the 2010 Grammy Award for chamber music, the Parker Quartet explores verve and tenderness in its program, starting with “Arcadiana” by Thomas Adès. Consisting of seven brief movements, this piece uses extended techniques to evoke paradise. The ensemble will also play Haydn’s String Quartet in B Minor, Op. 33, No.1 and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 132. Beethoven noted the third movement as a “Heiliger Dankgesang” (“Holy song of thanksgiving”) after he had miraculously recovered from a serious intestinal disorder. That seems totally fitting for this past pandemic year.
7 p.m. Saturday, April 24, available through May 1,, $20 or included with all-access pass ($99 – for the season).
Headliner Concert – Fear No Music
To highlight a season dedicated to works by Black composers in this concert from Polaris Hall, Inés Voglar-Belgique will perform Jessie Montgomery’s “Rhapsody No. 1,” which pays homage to Bach’s solo violin Sonatas and Partitas. Percussionist Michael Roberts will play Marcos Balter’s “Descarga,” which is inspired by the composer’s Brazilian heritage and the drumming that he heard as a child during carnival parades. Cellist Nancy Ives will play James Lee III’s “Abraham’s Sons,” which he wrote after the death of Trayvon Martin. The BRAVO Youth Orchestras is featured in the world premiere based on Nina Simone’s interpretation of “Tomorrow Is My Turn.” Also featured is a surprise rendition of “Hip Hop Studies and Etudes” by Daniel Bernard Roumain.
7:30 p.m. Monday, April 26, available for 72 hours,, $25 general, $10 students and seniors.
Tetiana Shafran – Portland Piano International
Winner of the 2019 Olga Kern International Piano Competition and 18 other international keyboard competitions, Tetiana Shafran will make her PPI debut with this recital. The 31-year-old Ukrainian has said that she loves music from the Romantic period and has an affinity for Ravel’s works. So, her program will play to her strengths with Chopin’s Rondo op.16, Ravel’s “Gaspard de la Nuit,” and Rachmaninoff’s Sonata No. 2 (first edition). But Shafran is also game for new compositions and will perform the world premiere of “Ephemeris” by Katie Palka, a young Portland composer and violinist.
4 p.m. Sunday, May 9,, $100 subscription includes series concerts, concerto competition, and newsletter.
Kenari Quartet: Transforming Perceptions of the Sax – Chamber Music Northwest
This saxophone ensemble, whose name comes from the Malay word for songbird, returns with another adventurous program that starts with Carlos Simon’s “Catch on Fire,” a stirring number that reflects Pentecostal emotion. A sense of perpetual motion and train-like sounds permeate Nina Shekhar’s “Eastbound.” French composer Jean Rivier’s “Grave et Presto” invokes sounds from a nighttime walk by the Seine River to recess at a school playground. An improvised jazz piece and an invigorating arrangement by David Maslanka of J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” will close out the concert.
7 p.m. Saturday, May 15, available through May 22,, $20 or included with all-access pass ($99 – for the season).
Season Finale with Zuill Bailey – Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Concluding a season of chamber-ensemble concerts, the orchestra will host one of the nation’s premiere cellists Zuill Bailey for its season finale. Bailey, who won a Grammy in 2016 in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category, will perform Haydn’s First Cello Concerto, one of the greatest works for cello and orchestra in the repertory. This concert might mark the return of maestro Salvador Brotons. He has been waiting in his hometown of Barcelona, Spain, for an opportunity to lead his orchestra again. Other works on the program are Max Bruch’s “Kol Nidrei” (for cello quartet), Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” (Suite for 13 Instruments), and Ernest Bloch “Concerto Grosso” No. 1. Bloch wrote this piece in 1950 when he lived in Agate Beach, Oregon.
7 p.m. Saturday, May 22, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 23,, $30 or free with season subscription.
Pepe Romero and Celino Romero – U.S. Classical Guitar
Even though this concert does not feature The Romero Guitar Quartet, it should more than satisfy aficionados of the classical guitar with two of its members: Pepe and Celino. Pepe is the elder statesman of the famous ensemble, and Celino is his nephew. The Romeros are acclaimed for their impeccable technique and richly hued sound, concertizing all over the globe and releasing more than 80 recordings. The program will feature rousing flamenco music as well as other pieces imbued with Spanish influences, and there will be a meet and greet opportunity on a separate zoom link after the concert.
6 p.m. June 13, available for 72 hours,, $20 general, $15 students and seniors.
— James Bash, for The Oregonian/OregonLive
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