Must-See Shows at Chamber Music Northwest’s 2016 Summer Fest

Beethoven string quartets? Buenos Aires tango? Local musician Ron Blessinger weighs in on the best of the five-week fest.

By Regina Winkle-Bryan June 23, 2016

Death and delight2 photo by michael shay polara studio rqe2ey

BodyVox dancers join forces with Chamber Music Northwest for Death and Delight, a retelling of two of Shakespeare's plays. The double bill includes Prokofiev's rendition of Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, set to Mendelssohn's score for the work.

Image: Michael Shay

Jazz tango played by Buenos Aires musicians? BodyVox performers dancing to Prokofiev? The entire cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets performed by some of the country’s best quartets? With more than 50 concerts offered over five weeks, the possibilities at Chamber Music Northwest’s Summer Festival are nigh on endless—and maybe a little overwhelming.  There’s the [email protected] series, highlighting contemporary melodies by living composers, not to mention Casual Wednesdays, with chamber music performed by Protégé Project members. And yeah, those string quartets, which the festival’s artistic director David Shifrin calls “one of the crowning achievements of human civilization,"

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Ron Blessinger gives his recommendations.

Image: Third Angle

The options are myriad, so we asked Oregon Symphony violinist and Third Angle artistic director Ron Blessinger to share his top CMNW Summer fest picks.

Which concerts will you make sure to catch this year?

I applaud Chamber Music Northwest’s effort to commission new musical work. This summer I look forward to seeing new works by Richard Danielpour and PDX composer Bryan Johanson, as well as Andy Akiho.

What’s one series you’re curious about?

I’m eager to see how the [email protected] series will work. We’ve had good success at Third Angle with this smaller format, and I’m eager to see how this works for CMNW.

Who are you excited to hear play at the festival?

The Emerson Quartet is always an occasion that is not to be missed. Andy Akiho’s show at the Alberta Rose Theatre will also be very cool. Cool venue, great musician.

See the full line-up of Chamber Music Northwest's 46th Summer Festival (June 25-July 31) here.

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