Portland Fall Classical Picks

Third Angle New Music and Mantra Percussion

For the past few years, Third Angle has been familiarizing Portland with Bang on a Can, the New York ensemble that brought rock energy and 21st-century sensibility to contemporary classical music. This time, it's more "whack on a plank." The mesmerizing percussion piece Timber by Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon uses a dozen mallets striking ancient Greek simantras—or, as we'd call them now, two-by-fours. The simplicity of the instruments contrasts with the complex polyrhythms of the hourlong, five-movement piece. Providing this tidal circle of noise are Third Angle's percussionists and New York's Mantra Percussion, which gave Timber its 2009 premiere.

Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 331-0301, thirdangle.org. 7:30 pm Friday, Sept. 12. $25-$35.

Béla Fleck with the Oregon Symphony

The world's greatest banjo master, 13-time Grammy winner Béla Fleck, joins the orchestra to perform his 2010 Impostor Concerto and Big Country, two welcome infusions of contemporary music. The rest of the all-American concert includes Leonard Bernstein's stirring overture to his great Candide; Danse Nègre by one of the first notable African-American symphonic composers, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor; and a concert suite (or "symphonic picture") arranged from George Gershwin's magnificent Porgy and Bess.

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 228-1353, orsymphony.org. 7:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 13. $25-$95.

Salzburg Marionette Theater with Orion Weiss

New York pianist Weiss has become a regular at summer Chamber Music Northwest festivals, but we've never seen him playing Debussy's charming suite The Toy Box alongside the Austrian company's wooden figures that have been entertaining adults and kids for a century. He'll also play pieces by Robert Schumann.

Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave., 224-9842, focm.org. 3 pm Sunday, Oct. 26. $30 and up.

Project Trio

Cello, violin—and beatbox flutist? Not your standard Friends of Chamber Music act, but the organization's Not So Classic series has been hosting younger, hipper acts for the past few years, and it's bringing back this Brooklyn-based threesome of classically trained virtuosos. Led by Seattle-born flutist Greg Pattillo, Project Trio plays original music, covers everyone from Dave Brubeck to Guns N' Roses, gets millions of YouTube views and actually enjoys talking to audiences.

The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., 224-9842, focm.org. 7:30 pm Friday, Nov. 7. $30.

Simone Dinnerstein

This Portland Piano International concert brings back one of the most popular classical pianists to emerge in recent years. Back in pre-Kickstarter 2007, Dinnerstein got attention as a young Brooklyn mom crowdfunding her first recording. And with her heart-tugging performances of Bach, the New Yorker has remained in the spotlight. Her albums have all topped the classical charts, and she's collaborated with a dozen orchestras and even folky singer Tift Merritt. She'll play Bach at both recitals, but also music by the breezy 20th-century French composer Francis Poulenc, Schubert and (a rarity in this series) two living American composers: 20th-century master George Crumb and hot, young New Yorker Nico Muhly.

Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave., 228-1388, portlandpiano.org. 4 pm Sunday and 7:30 pm Monday, Dec. 14-15. $45-$54.

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