Portland’s alt-classical scene thriving

Posted on: December 13, 2011

In Tuesday’s (12/13) Wall Street Journal, Brett Campbell writes, “ ‘We love classical music. We love playing classical music. We love listening to classical music. We are tired of the elitist and inaccessible nature of the classical world. We believe that there are many that would enjoy classical music if they could access it in a setting that is comfortable for them.’ … So began a 2006 posting on Portland’s Craigslist that became the manifesto for Classical Revolution PDX, which today draws on a roster of more than 200 classical musicians for its chamber jams and other performances, including a concert called ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ featuring music associated with you-know-who. That show was a co-production with Portland’s Electric Opera Company, which plays classical music on electric guitars and other rock instruments. More than a dozen such alt-classical ensembles have emerged here in the past few years. … The city teems with organizations presenting new music, old music in clubs, or both. … What’s fueling Portland’s alt-classical surge? ‘There’s a growing sense with the current generation of performers that those jobs they trained for aren’t there, so you have to make your own opportunities,’ says Katie Taylor, former producing artistic director of Opera Theater Oregon, ‘and while you’re at it, build a new audience.’ ”

Posted December 13, 2011