Chamber Music Northwest’s latest Summ..." /> Chamber Music Northwest puts younger musicians in spotlight: Review – Panpodium



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Published on July 29th, 2013 | by The Oregonian

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Chamber Music Northwest puts younger musicians in spotlight: Review

To begin Chamber Music Northwest’s latest Summer Club Series concert, at Mississippi Studios July 17, composer and percussionist Andy Akiho invited audience members on stage to see him play up close. Several did, some gathering around his gleaming steel pan on the small stage and others looking down from the balcony above like spectators in an operating theater.

The scene neatly illustrated three aspects of the series, which provides a showcase for the festival’s Protégé Project, the young artist initiative now in its fourth season. One, it features great young musicians and occasionally groundbreaking new music. Two, it has made progress in breaking down classical music formalities in alternative venues, specifically the kind of places that are normally home to indie bands. And three, the project hasn’t made much of a dent in CMNW’s audience demographic — Akiho is 34, and the listeners gathered on stage were at least a generation ahead of him.

To be fair, attracting younger audiences is not what the Protégé Project is about. The primary goal is to bring young players into the festival fold, providing them with mentoring and performance opportunities and offering them for community outreach along the way. But at the risk of sounding ageist, let’s be honest: the advanced age of the audience is one of classical music’s greatest concerns, and a new generation of listeners among its most cherished goals.

 

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