Angela Allen

A beginner every day: Considering Zlatomir Fung

The 23-year-old cellist’s recent visit to Oregon for Chamber Music Northwest included concerts, a master class, an afternoon with four cellists even younger than him, and “one of the best string recitals” Soovin Kim has ever heard.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch July 2022

In 2019, Zlatomir Fung–who has been playing his cello around Portland this summer–won the International Tchaikovsky Competition, among the most prestigious honors awarded to young classical musicians. Read More

Worth a crowd’s attention: A review of David Schiff’s ‘Prefontaine’

Schiff’s latest, a tribute to the esteemed runner, was premiered by the Eugene Symphony.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch June 2022

Portland composer David Schiff’s much anticipated Prefontaine premiered with the Eugene Symphony June 4 at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon. The concert was not sold out at the cavernous 2,448-seat Silva Concert Hall, a big place to fill. But the stunning music was worth a crowd’s attention. Read More

From exhilaration to exhaustion to final victory: David Schiff’s summer premieres

The retired Reed College composition professor’s “Prefontaine” and “Vineyard Rhythms” come to Eugene and Portland.

Originally Published in Classical Voice North America and Oregon Arts Watch May 2022

David Schiff is one of Oregon’s– well, America’s – most prolific composers of chamber and symphonic music. Add to those genres his knack for writing jazz, opera, Irish folk, rock ’n’ roll, klezmer, Jewish liturgical, pop and art song. Yet, to accomplish this huge body of work, he has not lived the isolated life of a self-absorbed artist. 

Just the opposite. Read More

Imani Winds premieres northwest composers at Alberta Rose Theatre

The restless wind quintet’s blissful concert featured new music co-commissioned by CMNW, OBF, and Anima Mundi.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch May 2022

Neither a note of Bach nor Beethoven, Mozart nor Mendelssohn was played–but three world premieres by Pacific Northwest composers of color amply compensated for Old World nostalgia at Imani Winds’ sold-out concert April 28 at the Alberta Rose Theatre in Northeast Portland.  Read More

Opening our ears: Fear No Music’s concert of Asian music

FNM performs music by Asian and Asian-American composers at The Old Church.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch May 2022

Fear No Music’s“Asian Resilience and Joy” concert May 9 at The Old Church in downtown Portland was partly about the surprising happiness that occurs when we open our ears to more than Western sounds and rhythms. Read More

Wielding Terrible Swift Sword Of Words In Art Pitched Against Racism

Originally Published in Classical Voice North America April 2022

PORTLAND — Call it a collage, a spoken-word piece, a one-man show, or a multi-media chamber collaboration. My Words Are My Sword fits all of those descriptions. Written and performed by spoken-word artist, actor and self-proclaimed “inspirationalist” Phil Darius (duh-REE-us) Wallace, the Portland world premiere delivered a trenchant message about America’s Black history and appalling legacy of racism. Read More

Glad to be swinging: Shif, Schiff, and Miró at The Old Church

Music for clarinet and strings by Benny Goodman, Schiff, Schickele, and Mozart in Chamber Music Northwest concert.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch April 2022

It was almost all Shifrin and Schiff at Chamber Music Northwest’s “Rendezvous with Benny” on April 3 at Portland’s The Old Church.

The two Davids—David Shifrin, the master clarinetist and former artistic director of CMNW, and David Schiff, the Portland composer–are Goliaths at collaboration. Read More

The appalling miscarriage of justice: ‘Central Park Five’ at Portland Opera

PO’s dramatic, harrowing staging of the Pulitzer-winning opera.

Originally Published in Oregon ArtsWatch March 2022

Absolutely stunning. Riveting. The best and most ambitious production Portland Opera has presented in my 31 years of reviewing. PO continues to up the ante.

I’m referring to the 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning The Central Park Five, which has two more performances March 24 and March 26 at the Newmark Theatre. Read More