Happy Returns

Returning musicians mark November music calendars

Much of Oregon’s music is made by immigrants from back East, but a few native Oregonian musicians have reversed the process, going on to glory far from their native Northwest. Case in point: flutist Elizabeth Rowe, the Eugene native and South Eugene grad who now holds down the principal flute position with the Boston Symphony. She returns to her hometown to lead workshops and master classes at the UO, and joins the Oregon Mozart Players for a concert at 7:30 pm Saturday, Nov. 7, at Beall Concert Hall. The chamber orchestra will also play Witold Lutoslawski’s charming 1950 Little Suite, based on folk songs and dances from the composer’s native Poland, and Beethoven’s first symphony.

The next afternoon, Nov. 8, sees another returning visitor — Oregon Bach Festival Music Director Matthew Halls — leading the UO Chamber Choir and University Singers and Symphony in Gabriel Fauré’s ever-popular Requiem and one of the most famous motets by J.S. Bach at First United Methodist Church. On Nov. 15 at First United, opera fans can hear music from Mozart’s Don Giovanni courtesy of Cascadia Concert Opera.

There’s more music by Bach father and son Nov. 15 at United Lutheran Church when the Oregon Bach Collegium plays the Bachs’ sonatas. On Nov. 17, the church hosts one of Eugene’s coolest new ensembles, the Delgani String Quartet, playing a delicious program that includes the world premiere of a new piece by Oregon composer Terry McQuilkin and quartets by Mendelssohn and Prokofiev.

Back at Beall Hall at 7:30 pm Tuesday, Nov. 10, a free concert of new music by UO student composers ranges from piano solos to large chamber ensemble, wind quintet and more.

Then at 7:30 pm Friday, Nov.13, Beall hosts a mixed-media performance featuring UO profs Laura Wayte, pianist Nathalie Fortin and saxophonist Idit Shner that also includes an original art installation and gallery exhibition by Eugene artist Lillian Almeida, and moving shadow projections by lighting designer Bob Durnell. The appropriately autumnal program, which involves themes of maturation and mortality, includes one of the 20th century’s most beautiful vocal works, Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915.

That same night over at the UO’s Aasen-Hull, see the debut of the school’s new JazzArts Oregon Combo. And at 6 pm Saturday, Nov. 14, at Beall, rising-star pianist Henry Kramer plays a new work by the UO’s own David Crumb, inspired by Chopin’s gorgeous Nocturnes, plus a few piano classics. The Oregon Percussion Ensemble plays music by Mozart and one of the greatest living American composers, minimalist pioneer Steve Reich, at Aasen-Hull at 8 pm Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Mark your calendars for 8 pm Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Hult Center: The University Symphony joins the Eugene Symphony in the largest ever assemblage of orchestra musicians on the Silva Hall stage to perform one of the revolutionary works of classical music, Edgard Varèse’s 1921 shocker Ameriques. The show also includes another radical (though much prettier) work from the same time, American composer Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question, and Dvořák’s ever-popular “New World” Symphony No. 9, which teems with American influences. A free after-party follows over at Hi-Fi Music Hall with bluegrass band Head for the Hills.

The Eugene Symphonic Band introduces its new conductor Rodney Dorsey at 7:30 pm Monday, Nov. 16, at Beall in a program of music by Offenbach, American composers Leonard Bernstein (a suite from his lively operetta Candide), Frank Ticheli, Vincent Persichetti and more.

There’s some tasty jazz on tap this month too, including Carl Woideck’s Jazz Heritage Project celebrating the centenary of one of jazz’s greatest composers, Billy Strayhorn (the genius behind some of the Duke Ellington Orchestra’s most beguiling creations such as “Take the A Train”), at 7:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 5, at The Shedd.