Downtown Series Concerts

Tales of Love and Justice with Jennifer Higdon

March 5, 2023, 7:30 pm

Newmark Theatre

Pulitzer Prize and three-time Grammy-winner Jennifer Higdon will join MYS for an artistic residency and to attend the March 5 concert, during which MYS will perform the West Coast premiere of Higdon’s Cold Mountain Suite. Winner of the International Opera Award for Best World Premiere in 2016, Cold Mountain debuted as an opera, telling the story of a Confederate soldier grappling with conflicts of violence, love, and redemption. The piece was co-commissioned by MYS through New Music for America in cooperation with The League of American Orchestras and a consortium of 15 professional orchestras.

Accompanying the Cold Mountain Suite are four selections from Margaret Allison Bonds’ The Montgomery Variations (Decision, March, Dawn in Dixie, and Benediction). Based on the African American Spiritual “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” and edited by John Michael Cooper, these variations focus on the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, and resistance to segregationist policies in the Jim Crow era.

Audiences will hear MYS students play the world premiere of a piece by student composer Margot Pullen as part of The Authentic Voice commissioning series. This project provides direct representation of young composers and conductors within the orchestra.

One of the winners of MYS’ annual Concerto Competition will be showcased, displaying mastery of challenging and mature solo repertoire accompanied by a full symphonic ensemble. MYS Sinfonietta Orchestra will also perform.

Tickets are also available on the Portland’5 website.

Against the Grain

May 19, 2023, 7:30 pm
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The season finale will showcase Faust Overture by Emilie Mayer, an underappreciated contemporary of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt. Emilie challenged the expectations of female composers during her time, veering away from salon music in favor of grand form. Despite her eight symphonies and numerous overtures, the Faust Overture was the only work printed during her lifetime.

Wrapping up the 2022-23 season, MYS will play Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story: Symphonic Dances, telling the iconic story of forbidden love and power struggles on the streets of upper west side New York in the 1960s. The narrative will unfold across nine interconnected pieces of music, including Prologue, ‘Somewhere,’ Scherzo, Mambo, Cha-Cha, Meeting Scene, ‘Cool’ Fugue, Rumble, and Finale.

Student composer Elaina Stuppler will finish off this season’s lineup for the Authentic Voice Project with her piece addressing gun violence. This project provides aspiring composers with an opportunity to write and hear their work performed by MYS students, cultivating musical creativity in the next generation of musicians.

One of the winners of the MYS Concerto Competition will perform as well. Each year, the Concerto Competition allows strings, winds, brass and percussion students a chance to demonstrate mastery of challenging and mature solo repertoire. MYS Interlude Orchestra will also perform.

Tickets are also available on the Portland’5 website.

Downtown Series Tickets

  • Tickets are available on the MYS website until 1:00pm the last weekday before the concert. After that time, you will need to purchase your tickets on the Portland’5 website or at the door of the venue on the night of the event.
  • All tickets in Portland’5 venues are reserved seating. Seating maps provided on the MYS website may be used to request seats however, in some cases you may be given seats near your original selection. In that event, we will contact you to inform you of the change.
  • Tickets purchased within 10 days of the concert will be automatically held at the MYS Will Call table.
  • Student, Alumni, and Senior (65+) discounts are offered for Downtown Concerts. Current MYS students are free.
  • Downtown tickets purchased via the MYS website are physical printed tickets, email delivery is not available.

COVID-19 Concert Attendance Policy

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