PENDLETON — Symphonic performances, holiday music, chamber music and chorale works are all featured during the upcoming 34th annual concert season of the Oregon East Symphony.
Beau Benson, conductor and artistic director, and the OES board of directors have programmed another exciting season of concerts, said J.D. Kindle, executive director. This year marks the start of a new, two-year initiative to program more works by living composers into the symphony’s major symphonic concerts, he said.
“In contrast to works within the canon of classical music there is a greater diversity among contemporary composers in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, geographic location and having a pulse,” Kindle said. “We want the Oregon East Symphony to be an artistically progressive organization that is expanding the canon of classical music instead of solely being a museum for works of the past.”
Old music, Kindle said, doesn’t have context without the new, and vice versa. The symphony is looking forward to creating space for composers that are currently alive and working by performing their work during their lifetime.
In addition to announcing the 2019-20 season lineup, the symphony is holding a promotional raffle to encourage season ticket orders. Those who purchase a season ticket package prior to Friday, Nov. 1 will be entered into a drawing for an Oregon Symphony Getaway Package, which includes a voucher for two complimentary tickets to several select Classical and Pops performances by the Oregon Symphony, a one-night stay for two at downtown Portland’s Arlington Club and two round-trip tickets from Pendleton to Portland via Boutique Air. The drawing will be held during the Oregon East Symphony’s season-opening concert.
The Sunday, Nov. 10 performance at the Vert Auditorium will feature “Shenanigan” by American-Canadian-Hungarian composer Kati Agócs. It will be performed alongside Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 3.”
In addition, the program will include a to-be-determined piano concerto featuring guest soloist Simon Karakulidi. A young Russian pianist, Karakulidi is coming to Eastern Oregon via Portland Piano International’s Rising Stars program, which highlights the brightest up-and-coming piano talent in the world.
The Dec. 14 Holiday Music Festival offers an ecumenical celebration of the season through music. It features a variety of community music ensembles, including the Oregon East Symphony and Chorale; Our Songs Are Alive, an ensemble from the Umatilla Indian Reservation coordinated by Fred Hill; and the Pendleton Men’s Chorus.
After taking a break during the winter months, the symphony season resumes with “Winter Moons.” It will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at the Vert Auditorium in Pendleton, and Sunday, March 15, 2020, in the Hermiston High School auditorium.
“Winter Moons” by Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate is a four-movement ballet suite based upon American Indian legends from the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountains. The Tate composition will be paired with the original version of Aaron Copland’s ballet suite “Appalachian Spring.”
The Spring Chamber Music Festival is Saturday, April 18, 2020, in the Vert Clubroom. The concert will highlight a variety of chamber ensembles performing in an intimate setting paired with a generous spread of wine and hors d’oeuvres provided by the symphony board.
The season finale is Saturday, June 13, 2020, with “Blow It Up, Start Again!” The concert centerpiece by Jonathan Newman is a piece for orchestra that draws heavily on elements of funk and dub-step. Newman is an American composer born in 1972. The program also features Richard Strauss’ “Suite from Der Rosenkavalier,” Carl Maria von Weber’s “Overture and March from Turandot,” and Paul Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphosis.”
For more information or to purchase season ticket packages, visit www.oregoneastsymphony.org, or stop by the OES office, 345 S.W. Fourth St., Pendleton, or Pendleton Art + Frame, 36 S.W. Court Ave. For questions, call 541-276-0320.