Spring is in the air and the 2019 Classical Up Close festival of free musical events is almost here! Just as classical music is ever renewing itself with fresh ideas and inspiration, so are we. Last September, we launched a new monthly series of Pop-Up Performances in locations that worked with underserved communities in our city. And now we’re excitedly planning a concert in wine country this May. For our seventh season, we have a fresh look for the website and our merchandise, with a new logo and a fun pop of color. We see our original t-shirts all over town, and now they’re on their way to becoming collector’s items. You can see the new styles above.
We have kept the features that have made our series so successful in fulfilling our mission to make great music accessible, you can count on that! The Kids’ Concerts — created by our musicians (led by Emily Cole) to be both kid-friendly and fun for the grown-ups — are an important part of the festival. This year, they’ll take place at the Multnomah County Central Library (April 7) and the Tigard Public Library (May 5). See the Events page for details! All Classical Portland is our media sponsor once again, and their CEO Suzanne Nance will be wearing her other hat as an extraordinary soprano in a guest appearance on the April 23 concert at St. Mary’s Cathedral in NW Portland. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy her gorgeous singing! Also, we’re happy to announce that All Classical host Christa Wessel will emcee every full-length concert this year. We couldn’t be more pleased to have her warm, welcoming presence with us!
We often hear from audience members (please keep filling out those surveys; we love reading them!) that hearing Oregon Symphony musicians performing musical works of their own choice is one of the best parts of Classical Up Close. You’ve told us that you can feel the passion and excitement when a musician is sharing a personal favorite with you in our friendly format. Once again this year, we have an exciting array of composers in addition to well-known favorites: living composers, including Andy Akiho and Pulitzer Prize winner Carolyn Shaw; women including unjustly neglected African-American composer Florence Price; and composers from South America and China. Groups will vary from duos to octets, and as always, we’ll invite you to sit as close to the musicians as possible, take pictures and post to social media if you feel like it, and we’ll make sure to answer your questions.
We continue to have a broad base of financial support from businesses, foundations, organizations and individuals who contribute money and in-kind donations — you can see many of them in the footer of our website. With their help (and yours) we look forward to ensuring that every single one of our events is FREE!
Up Close and