The Winter Series concerts focus on talented individuals and string quartets. Launched in the winter of 2018-19, the Winter Chamber Music Concert Series features high school string quartets performing alongside professional quartets. The Winter Chamber Music Concert Series provides an opportunity for talented high school students to perform in front of a live audience in a real concert hall – outside their home town. This experience is a marvelous learning and growth opportunity, a wonderful addition to the student’s resume, brings recognition in their local community, and strengthens and sustains these important high school string orchestra programs.

Prior to the evening performances by the high school students and the professional musicians, the professional musicians conduct a 3-hour “master class” for the high school quartets.  Motel rooms and meals are provided for the students, their teacher, and the professional musicians.. The Festival also makes a small donation to the high school’s music “booster club” and the professional musicians are given a small stipend.

While there are many excellent classical music performances available along the Oregon central coast, attendance at these concerts requires the purchase of a ticket. This limits access to cultural experiences for many. The Festival provides the Winter Chamber Music Concert Series to improve the community’s access to cultural experiences.

Newport is recognized throughout the Pacific Northwest as a center for excellence in classical music. The Festival’s Winter Chamber Music Concert Series provides the Newport area community and the central Oregon coast with greater access to professional classical music experiences by providing this Concert Series free of charge to the public.

Watch a performance of the Grants Pass High School String Ensemble from May 2021 here. They’re playing the first movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s Concert Opus 3 No. 8, Concerto in A minor for Two Violins. Vivaldi was a master of the concerto form, writing some 450 different concertos. He most likely composed this Concerto in A minor for Two Violins around 1711. Bach was so impressed with this particular concerto that he copied it and wrote a version for the organ. In the first movement performed by the Grants Pass Ensemble, we get to enjoy tutti statements of the various themes followed by virtuosic violin solos.

Grants Pass High School String Ensemble
Jessica Luaders & Henry Goff – violin solos
Daniel Kerr & T.J. Snyder – violin
Dalton Burchette – viola
Adam Jenson – cello

Alongside Grants Pass High School, watch the Elsewhere Ensemble perform a musical adaptation of E. E. Cummings’s “Moon Balloon” from May 2021. American Poet E. E. Cummings published the poem “Moon Balloon” in 1925. The string trio performed here by the Elsewhere Ensemble features music written by Collin Pip Dixon that compliments the narration of the poem. Short rapid bow strokes (called tremolo), ascending scalar passages and buoyant pizzicato create the beautiful sounds one might associate with a balloon-like moon rising into the night’s sky.

Elsewhere Ensemble
MacIntyre Dixon – narrator
Colin Pip Dixon – violin
Arnaud Ghillebaert – viola
Kathryn Brunhaver – cello

Alongside Grants Pass High School, watch the Salem String Quartet perform Richard Strauss’s Quartet in A Major Opus 2 in April 2021. Strauss composed this quartet in 1881 when he was just 16 years old, in many ways following the musical style of famous earlier composers. Notice the straightforward four movement form typical of Haydn quartets (100 years earlier) and the harmony that sounds very similar to early Beethoven quartets (80 years earlier). Strauss went on to become a cutting-edge modern composer in the 20th century. 

Caius Oprea – VIolin I

Sigrun Oprea – Violin II

Brandon Correa – Viola

Katherine Parks – Cello

Watch a performance of the Sprague High School String Quartet from February 2021 here. In this video, the Sprague High School String Quartet performs the String Quartet No 5, Movement 1 and 2 by the modern composer Philip Glass, famous for his highly repetitive music that is often associated with a movement called minimalism. In this piece, he combines these repeated bits of music with a more classical form to create an amazing series of sounds.

Sprague High School String Quartet
1st violin, T.K. Dart
2nd violin, Chloe Russ
Viola, Miles Wierer-Huling
Cello, Aimee Baldwin

Side by side with the Sprague High School, watch the University of Oregon Faculty Ensemble perform Rossini’s String Sonata No. 3 in February 2021. Rossini composed his String Sonatas in 1804 when he was only 12 years old. He wrote these sonatas for 2 violins, cello and bass because he knew people who played these instruments (Rossini himself played 2nd violin). Rossini combines lyric melodies with virtuosic runs in this exciting Sonata.

University of Oregon Faculty String Ensemble
1st Violin, Fritz Gearhart
Viola, Arnaud Ghillebaert
Cello, Steven Pologe
Bass, Tyler Abbott