Bach the House

Some highlights from the musical cornucopia that is the Oregon Bach Festival

Rachel Podger

This summer, Oregon Bach Festival’s theme could have been “Generations.” The fest features a father-and-son team — Jeffrey and Gabriel Kahane; leaders of two generations of historically informed Baroque violin — Monica Huggett and Rachel Podger; old and new music — from Baroque and early Romantic masters to contemporary composers; veteran visitors conductor Anton Armstrong, pianist Robert Levin and organist Paul Jacobs; as well as today’s rising stars — the terrific singer Nicholas Phan and Artistic Director Matthew Halls; and tomorrow’s musical leaders — Youth Choral Academy, Berwick Acade Continue reading 

Puppet Masters

Portland’s Tears of Joy Theatre elevates the art of puppetry with The Jungle Book

What was the last puppet show you saw? An after-school special maybe? Or perhaps a storybook hour staged by librarians with their hands stuck up some glorified socks? Portland’s Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre wants you to throw out that imagery entirely.  “There are so many puppet shows out there that I’ve seen that might be great for kids,” says Emily Alexander, Tears of Joy’s executive director, “but the parents are, how shall I put this — not enjoying it. For anyone whose idea of puppets is either Muppets or socks with googly eyes, we’re out to change that.” Continue reading 

Gabriel’s Guide to the Galaxy

Composer and singer Gabriel Kahane presents the Oregon premiere of 'Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States' at OBF

Gabriel Kahane

Ever since his sly 2007 breakthrough — the witty Craigslistlieder — songwriter-guitarist-pianist-composer Gabriel Kahane has rightly resisted the classical label originally affixed because of his music’s relatively sophisticated arrangements and instrumentation and the fact that his dad, Jeffrey (with whom he’ll share the stage at the Oregon Bach Festival), is a renowned classical pianist and conductor. Continue reading 

Punching Through Genres

Catching up with mando player and new Oregon resident Chris Thile of The Punch Brothers on the eve of Oregon Bach Festival

Chris Thile

Mandolinist whiz Chris Thile did not begin his career with an innate love of classical music. “Until I was 15 or 16, I couldn’t have cared less about classical music,” Thile tells EW. “I grew up playing fiddle tunes where the whole point is getting people’s bodies to move, and I thought classical music was completely divorced from the body.” Although he had family members who played classical music, Thile had already won the national mandolin championship at age 12. Continue reading