Why can’t every Oregon—or American—orchestral program be as cool and relevant to contemporary culture as this one? While the city’s other orchestras gnaw almost exclusively on the bones of dead Europeans, and play to audiences almost as ancient as the dusty museum pieces which they perform, Portland Youth Philharmonic music director David Hattner instead concocts an almost ideal program for PYP’s chamber orchestra. The performance includes a Euro classic (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8
); a 20th-century American classic (David Diamond’s popular 1944 Rounds for String Orchestra
); a recent 2011 Motown- and minimalist-influenced work by a local composer, Portland native and soon-to-be resident Kenji Bunch, called Supermaxium
, inspired by the abusive and racist Southern prison practices; and an American premiere by an American composer, Stephen Dankner’s Meditation for Viola and String Orchestra
. And it’s all performed by the unbelievably accomplished musicians of the nation’s oldest youth orchestra. Why, it’s almost like in Beethoven’s day when orchestras actually played music written in their own time and place. Children, teach your parents well.
Wieden & Kennedy AtriumPhone:
224 NW 13th Ave.