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Bach's music fires OBF's Power and Passion

  • Mar 18, 2012
[caption id="attachment_6219" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Helmuth Rilling. Photo: Michael Latz"][/caption] Tickets are now on sale for the 42nd Oregon Bach Festival, June 29-July 15, 2012 in Eugene, Portland, and five other cities. Conductor Helmuth Rilling, superstar violinist Joshua Bell, keyboardist Angela Hewitt, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and harpsichordist/conductor Matthew Halls explore Bach’s spellbinding Goldberg Variations and his monumental St. Matthew Passion within the theme “The Power and the Passion.” Guest artists include pop orchestra Pink Martini, the Joe Powers Tango Quintet, and piano-playing siblings The 5 Browns. Bach’s towering Passion influences the Festival throughout. In his next-to-final season as artistic director,... read more
The OBF proudly presents Pink Martini with Storm Large under the stars at the Cuthbert Amphitheatre in Eugene July 1.

Pink Martini to take Cuthbert by Storm

  • Mar 16, 2012
[caption id="attachment_7195" align="alignright" width="168" caption="Storm Large. Photo: Jennie Baker, Photo Mandala"][/caption] OBF's first-ever concert at the beautiful  Cuthbert Amphitheatre Sunday, July 1 features one of our state's great natural resources: Pink Martini! And another first: making her Eugene debut with the band is lead singer Storm Large. BUY TICKETS Storm Large fills in for China Forbes, who's taking this tour off to spend some summer with her little one. Storm's been busy too: her new book Crazy Enough was an Oprah book of the week, she starred in Randy Newman's Harps and Angels at the Mark Taper Forum in LA, and will travel... read more
The quartet's cellist talks with Caitriona Bolster of KWAX about how Ebène came together, insights into their Sunday concert, and an upcoming project based on the concept of water.

Audio: Raphael Merlin of Ebène

  • Mar 1, 2012
Cellist Raphael Merlin of the Ebène Quartet (second from left) was Caitriona Bolster's guest on the Wednesday, Feb 29 Artsline interview program on KWAX. Merlin and his colleagues perform this Sunday March 4 in the final ChamberMusic@Beall concert of the year. In the first part, Raphael explains about how the group was formed and how the member's interests led to the acclaimed CD Fiction. In part two, Raphael talks about this Sunday's concert and the progression from one of Mozart's Haydn Quartets, and makes a "trip" between the classical Vienna of Schubert and the golden age of St. Petersburg in Tchaikovsky's... read more
Named one of the "hottest chamber groups in the world" by NPR Music, France's Ebène Quartet plays Beall Hall Sunday, March 4 at 5 pm

High rising French quartet arrives in Beall

  • Feb 23, 2012
Named one of the "hottest chamber groups in the world" by NPR Music, the Ebène Quartet has won accolades from the Wall Street Journal to Gramophone magazine for their artistry and talent. And while the players are equally at home with Miles Davis and Springsteen as they are with the classic quartet repertoire, Mozart, Schubert and Tchaikovsky are on the program when the Ebène Quartet concludes the ChamberMusic@Beall season Sunday March 4 at 5 pm (note a later start than usual). Their latest CD, FICTION, made NPR's 2011 list of the Top 10 Classical releases and the Top 50 of any CD. Hailed... read more
Fans can vote for the latest disc by Matthew Halls and his Retrospect Trio in the annual BBC Music Magazine Awards.

Halls CD a finalist in BBC music awards

  • Feb 2, 2012
A recording of Purcell sonatas by the Retrospect Trio, with OBF artistic director designate Matthew Halls as harpsichordist, has been nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award as record of the year in the category of Chamber Music. Fans can vote in the awards, which present 21 nominations over seven categories, selected by a jury of BBC Music Magazine critics from almost 300 five-star recordings reviewed during 2011. The disc of 12 Purcell Sonatas displays the composer's innate ability at blending influences from French, Italian and English music; exotic dissonances can be heard alongside the unique use of counterpoint to create these... read more

Joshua Bell headlines Festival opener

  • Jan 22, 2012
Superstar violinist Joshua Bell will be featured when the 2012 Oregon Bach Festival opens Friday, June 29 in Eugene and June 30 in Portland with three masterworks by Felix Mendelssohn. Helmuth Rilling, in his 42nd and penultimate year as artistic director, conducts both concerts. Bell’s OBF debut was announced at the January 22 annual meeting of the Friends of the Festival. The Festival also announced a return of Juilliard-trained, piano-playing siblings The 5 Browns, headlining a July 12 musical tribute to Hollywood in Eugene’s Silva Concert Hall. Bell and the Browns join a lineup that already includes harpsichordist/conductor Matthew Halls, keyboardist... read more
Tickets are on sale for the February 5 concert by the Salzburg Chamber Soloists, a 16-piece group with guest soprano Karine Polverelli.

Salzburg soloists destined for Beall

  • Jan 22, 2012
The Salzburg Chamber Soloists, led by violinist Lavard Skou Larsen, will perform works by Mozart, Dvorak, and Janacek Sunday, February 5 at 3 pm as part of the ChamberMusic@Beall series. Tickets are on sale online and through the Hult Center and UO ticket offices. Soprano Karine Polverelli joins the group for Britten’s Les Illuminations, a setting of poems by Arthur Rimbaud. Perpetuating the legacy of Mozart, the ensemble is a regular performer in its home city as well as a powerful force in frequent world tours. The 16-piece orchestra was founded in 1991 by the Brazilian-born Skou-Larsen and a handful of colleagues... read more
Bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff, who made his American debut at the OBF in 1995, has announced his retirement from the concert stage.

Cheers to TQ, now a retired bass-baritone

  • Jan 11, 2012
[caption id="attachment_6677" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Thomas Quasthoff sings jazz at the OBF's 40th anniversary gala in 2010, backed by Dave Williamson. Photo: Jon Meyers"][/caption] The news traveled swiftly today—from a story in the New York Times, to a blog by Norman Lebrecht, a call from David Stabler, then via email and Facebook—that Thomas Quasthoff  has decided to say farewell to the concert stage, ending his performance career. All of us at the OBF, and certainly audiences in Eugene, have fond memories of a singer who made his American debut here in 1995 as an unknown, amazing us as a soloist in the St.... read more