24/7: 24 Concerts in One Day to Mark Seven Years of War

For a few moments, let's step away from the savaging of the Oregon Cultural Trust and the gloom of the coming budget battles. I just learned of an event which is as timely as it is important. The following is from the organizer's press release:

By mid-March, the United States will have been at war in Afghanistan and Iraq for seven years, yet one hardly hears that fact mentioned. To mark this important, if tragic, anniversary, over 150 of the Portland area's best classical musicians are uniting to make a giant musical gift to the city and region. Event curators Bill Crane and Thomas Lauderdale have recruited an amazing roster of performers. The public is invited.

Titled simply "24/7," it will be a series of 24 dramatic concerts, each starting upon the hour, from 7:00 p.m. Saturday, March 21, and continuing through to 7:00 p.m., Sunday, March 22.

All 24 concerts are free and will take place in the auditorium of the Wieden+Kennedy building, 224 Northwest 13th Avenue, between Davis and Everett Streets, in Portland's Pearl District. Wieden+Kennedy join the performing artists to invite sincerely all area residents of good will to these concerts. No tickets are required.

Neither a protest nor a memorial, "24/7" nonetheless is a profound calling by its performers to their fellow citizens to remember that we are a nation at war. The musicians creating 24/7 hope to move their neighbors by their music to "do what must be done" as our city, region, and nation face many challenges. This will be music of encouragement as well as entertainment.

To add to the conviviality of this big occasion, the popular and award-winning restaurant Bluehour, next door to the concert venue, will be open all night and the following day. Restaurateur Bruce Carey and chef de cuisine Kenny Giambalvo are planning a special bar menu just for 24/7 performers and audience members.

"It will be an honor to have these music lovers join us for refreshments before, after, or between the concerts. We are having so much fun planning a menu to go with that much music!," said says Bruce Carey as he considered what it will mean for his restaurant team.

And, what of the planned music itself? --

"I am heartened, thrilled, and humbled by the unparalleled enthusiasm of my musical colleagues to create this musical gift. What a 'Portland' thing to do! Everyone is working so hard and being so creative in their programming. Every program that our audience friends attends will be great" said Bill Crane as he headed off to yet another rehearsal.

Some of the 24/7 performances will be broadcast on Wieden+Kennedy’s new Global Internet radio station, WK Radio, at www.wk.com/radio. The radio station launched in January 2009 and exists to inspire provocative conversations, interviews, and artistic expressions relating to the arts, culture, music and media.

Final scheduling is still somewhat in the works and will be posted in www.wk.com/radio when confirmed, but here are highlights that have been nailed down:

Saturday, March 21
The first program (Sat., 3/21, 7:00 p.m. sharp) A huge ensemble of brass and percussion players opens with Aaron Copland's famous "Fanfare for the Common Man" and continues with music of Gabrieli, Richard Strauss, and others.

Second up (Sat., 3/21, 8:00 p.m.) is the astonishing 17-year year-old virtuoso pianist Rosa Li, most recently heard in Portland in Mendelssohn's First Concerto with the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra. Her solo program will include works of Ginastera, Prokofiev, and Chopin.

At 9:00 p.m., the Portland Gay Men's Chorus, Bob Mensel, music director, will take the stage to present the critically acclaimed extended work "BraveSouls and Dreamers" of composer Robert Seeley.

Other highlights include three hours of particularly adventuresome programming by area new-music ensembles playing in succession:

11:00 p.m., Fear No Music
12:00 midnight, Melegari Chamber Music Ensemble
1:00 a.m., Third Angle New Music Ensemble

Programs in the middle of the night will range from wild to mild:

3:00 a.m., . Thomas Lauderdale of "Pink Martini" in a special, extravagant program;
6:00 a.m., Pianist Ron Potts in an exceptional recital of Scarlatti, Schumann, Ravel, and Bartok.
7:00 a.m., Obo Addy, world beat drummer, in a solo frenzy and Gregory Dubay, cellist, and Bill Crane, pianist, in music of Brahms and Schubert.

And, as the day (Sunday) goes on:

8:00 a.m., Tamara Still, pianist, with Bach's "Goldberg Variations."
11:00 a.m., Pianist Jeffrey Payne of Fear No Music with ten movements from Olivier Messiaen's monumental "Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus."
12:00 noon, Vancouver tenor Les Green in a recital of French art song, including little- known works of Saint-Saëns and Fauré.
1:00 p.m., Soprano Lisa Mooyman and Mezzo-soprano Sherry Olson with Clarinetist David Hattner in a varied program, including the famous "Lakme" duet and Schubert's "Shepherd on the Rock."
4:00 p.m., Alto Angela Niederloh, pianist Janet Coleman, and violinist Julie Coleman in a wide-ranging program best described as "rip-roaring."
5:00 p.m., Violinist Carol Sindell and pianist Janet Guggenheim (two-thirds of The Florestan Trio) in a recital to include both the Franck and Debussy sonatas.
6:00 p.m. All 24/7 artists and other invited musicians will join in the final program to present the last movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the "Ode to Joy." David Hattner, the new music director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic, will conduct the assembled forces, including many singers from the Portland Symphonic Choir and instrumentalists from the Oregon Symphony and other ensembles.
Still shaking out just "who will be when" are these splendid acts to be scheduled:

Portland Taiko, thunderous Japanese drumming;
Cellists Justin Kagan, Adriene Welch, Irving Levin, Gregory Dubay, and Lizzie Adelsheim
Flutist Abby Mages
Violinists Paloma Griffin, Sara Watts, Ron Blessinger, Greg Ewer, Julie Coleman, and Nick Crosa
Sopranos Ida Rae Cahana, Lisa Mooyman, Peggie Schwarz, and Marie Fiorillo
Trombonists John Walling and Robert Taylor
Pianists Carol Rich, Jon Stuber, Jeffrey Payne, Chad Heltzel, Susan Chan, Mike and Elizabeth Strickland, Janet Coleman, Jerry Deckelbaum, Win Hall, and Thomas Mark
I'll post schedule updates as the event approaches.


culturejock said...

Thanks for the post on a great series of concerts. And this reminds me to check out W+K radio, which I haven't done yet.

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