Eugene Weekly : Bravo : 9.25.08

Bravo! EW’s Fall Guide to Performing Arts


Loves Music, Loves to Dance
Fall offerings leap off the page
by Suzi Steffen

Eugene: packed with music, and surprisingly full of dance as well. Our regular music and dance previewers bowed out of BRAVO this year because of other commitments, but here are some of their recommendations, along with a few of my own.

The Kronos Quartet
Natalie MacMaster

Looking at the array of choices on the music side causes a dizzying pile-up on the calendar. At the busy UO, there’s Chamber Music@Beall, the former Chamber Music Society transformed in name by a new association with the Oregon Bach Festival. The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble blows in Oct. 19 for that program, and Bach Fest fave pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane comes to town Nov. 9. At the UO, you’ll also find superb music faculty performances like that on Oct. 16, when soprano Laura Decher Wayte performs with pianist Nathalie Fortin, or two nights later when new flute prof Molly Barth combines forces with trumpet guru Brian McWhorter and others in a Beta Collide concert. Horn prof Lydia Van Dreel takes the stage Nov. 20, and guest artists dot the schedule as well. Student ensembles include the forward-thinking Eugene Contemporary Chamble Ensemble (ECCE) just before Thanksgiving on Nov. 25. But the biggest scoop of the fall may be The Kronos Quartet at the EMU Ballroom, also on Oct. 16. 

Music abounds at the Hult Center, of course, starting early with Yo-Yo Ma and the Eugene Symphony Sept. 30 and the (Branford) Marsalis Brasilianos Oct. 2. The Symphony continues its run of free concerts with the Fauré Requiem Oct. 12, in addition to its regular schdule that includes Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony Nov. 13. The Oregon Mozart Players have a new executive director, Larry Wayte, at the helm, and the steady hand of artistic director Glen Cortese on the tiller. OMP’s first performance of the season is An American Portrait Oct. 4 and 5, featuring John Frohnmayer narrating Copland’s Lincoln Portrait. Staying on the U.S. theme, the Eugene Concert Choir presents American Celebration: Bernstein & Barber Nov. 7 and 9. That’s just after the OMP’s Nov. 1 and 2 Love and Marriage, in which there’s more of Laura Decher Wayte along with pianist Anne Marie McDermott. As always, the Shedd’s fall schedule includes a staggering number of internationally known stars in a variety of musical genres, from Natalie MacMaster Oct. 14 to pianist Gabriela Montero Oct. 24, Randy Newman Oct. 25, Keiko Matsui Nov. 1 and Joan Baez Nov. 21. 

On the improbable-feats-of-the-body side of things, the Eugene Ballet presents the campy but scary Dracula beginning, you guessed it, Oct. 31 (through Nov. 2). Fresh dance comes with the Oct. 26 performance of the Ronald K. Brown Dance Company’s EVIDENCE. The UO and LCC dance departments kick in at the beginning of next term, though the UO’s Nov. 21-22 MFA Concert always provides evidence of strong brains working alongside strong bodies.

Look for more previews throughout the season as Brett Campbell and Rachael Carnes keep the EW audience up to speed on everything from bells to belles of the ball.

Spinning the On-Ramp Playing it by ear at KWAX with Caitriona Bolster 

What’s On Theater scene, down a company, moves on

Loves Music, Loves to Dance Fall offerings leap off the page

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