CMNW to Present 2024 Summer Festival THE BEETHOVEN EFFECT

The festival begins June 27.

By: May. 24, 2024
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CMNW to Present 2024 Summer Festival THE BEETHOVEN EFFECT Chamber Music Northwest is gearing up for its 54th consecutive annual summer festival from June 27 to July 28. Themed The Beethoven Effect, Artistic Directors Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim have created a festival celebrating the one and only Ludwig van Beethoven —a revolutionary force in classical music whose ingenuity changed everything.

Musical selections this summer are not only Beethoven's works. Instead of an exclusively Beethoven festival, the more than 60 works performed this summer will also illuminate how Beethoven's genius generated ever-reverberating ripple effects to the world of music. This summer's festival spotlights both well-loved and new music by today's greatest living composers —inspired by Beethoven's revolutionary foundations. This summer's repertoire invigorates understanding of his legacy from the very roots of chamber music into where today's newest compositions have evolved, steeped in his enduring influence.

Spanning the Portland metro region for five weeks, Chamber Music Northwest's 2024 Summer Festival will feature more than 70 of the most exceptional chamber musicians from our region and the world. From piano and horn, to percussion, winds, and strings, this summer's carefully curated festival examines and illustrates Beethoven's powerful impact on the past, present, and future of chamber music.

xFrom Artistic Directors Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim: “Humanity is fortunate to have had great composers and performers throughout history who have gifted our world with music that helps us experience feelings which we struggle to put into words. A few seminal artists among them expanded the possibilities of the art form and inspired future generations to dream bigger. Perhaps no composer shattered more musical barriers than Ludwig van Beethoven. The Beethoven Effect festival will not only include some of Beethoven's important chamber works, but will also feature many composers whose imaginations were sparked by his musical revolution. Each week will focus on the ways in which Beethoven expanded instrumental sounds, virtuosity, musical temperament, and the piano.” 

In crafting this summer's festival, Chien and Kim have envisioned a festival layered with classical repertoire favorites and familiar CMNW festival faces, all while also heralding new commissions and inviting the world's next generation of musicians to our stages. Together, they will bring more than 60 chamber works of boundless variety to life, including:

Seven (just seven) of Beethoven's greatest masterworks, including his epic Grosse Fuge, soaring Septet, revolutionary “Kreutzer” Sonata, and a new chamber arrangement of his complete Second Symphony!

Masterpieces by Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn, Mozart, Bernstein, Bartók, Robert Schumann, Rossini & Grieg.

Exciting World Premieres by Pulitzer Prize winner John Luther Adams, the great Joan Tower, Stewart Goodyear, European innovator Jörg Widmann, Marc Neikrug, and Kyle Rivera.

Superstar musicians including Alessio Bax, Gloria Chien, Jennifer Frautschi, Stewart Goodyear, Bella Hristova, Soovin Kim, Paul Neubauer, David Shifrin, Radovan Vlatković, Paul Watkins, and more!

•  Press Photos Musician/composer/concert composites available. Concert images posted shortly after each concert.
•  Video: 2024 “The Beethoven Effect” Summer Festival Preview with Artistic Directors Gloria Chien & Soovin Kim
•  Education & Free Community Events
•  2024 Summer Festival


With nearly 140 new works commissioned and premiered since 1971, creating opportunity for composers to make new music is a long-standing commitment of CMNW. The 2024 festival boasts seven CMNW-commissioned, or co-commissioned, world and west coast premiere works.

John Luther Adams, Prophecies of Fire —World Premiere —co-commissioned by CMNW's Commissioning Fund

Kenji Bunch, Ralph's Old Records —commissioned and premiered by CMNW in 2015

Stewart Goodyear, The Torment of Marsyas —World Premiere —co-commissioned by CMNW's Commissioning Fund

Marc Neikrug, Oboe Quartet in 10 Parts —West Coast Premiere —co-commissioned by CMNW's Commissioning Fund, Great  Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire

Kyle Rivera, Grimoire I: Laplace's Demon —World Premiere —commissioned by Emerging Voices—a groundbreaking collaboration by Chamber Music Northwest, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and Seattle Chamber Music Society to support young, emerging composers of color

Joan Tower, To Sing or Dance —World Premiere —co-commissioned by CMNW's Commissioning Fund, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and Emerald City Music

Jörg Widmann, String Quartet No. 9 —U.S. Premiere —co-commissioned by CMNW's Commissioning Fund


CMNW has the great honor of producing the World Premiere of Prophecies of Fire, the final major work for chamber ensemble by the legendary, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. Prophecies of Fire will be premiered by the mesmerizing Sandbox Percussion —remembered for their stunning CMNW performances of George Crumb's American Songbook II and Andy Akiho's Seven Pillars two summers ago. This utterly immersive musical experience will be performed in-the-round on the floor at Reed College's Kaul Auditorium.


CMNW brings the exciting Wednesday evening contemporary music series NEW@NIGHT (N@N) to The Old Church featuring some of today's most innovative and creative composers for three concerts this summer. Not only do these events offer a pre-concert Happy Hour at 6pm, but the concerts will be followed by a post-show Q&A with a composer. July 3: Soundscapes of Stephen Hartke, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Caroline Shaw program. Post-concert Q&A with Caroline Shaw. July 17: Elemental Keyboards with music from Clancy Newman, Keiko Abe, Juri Seo, and Kyle Rivera's CMNW Co-Commission/World Premiere. Post-concert Q&A with Kyle Rivera. July 24: The Genius of Jörg Widmann program with three pieces of music by Widmann, including one CMNW Co-Commission/U.S. Premiere. Post-concert Q&A with Widmann.


The 2024 Summer Festival Protégé Project Artists are bassist Nina Bernat, pianist Chloe Mun, Swedish-Norwegian string quartet Opus13, and violinist Claire Wells. These incredible artists will be in Portland for several weeks during the summer festival, and perform in a number of concerts alongside master musicians for mainstage and NEW@NIGHT concerts, as well as their Protégé Spotlight Recitals.

Chamber Music Northwest's Protégé Project is a world-class professional residency for emerging musicians —soloists, ensembles, composers —that cultivates and encourages the growth of chamber music's rising stars. Since its founding in 2010, Chamber Music Northwest's Protégé Project has played a key role in launching the professional careers of dozens of America's finest young chamber musicians including the now internationally renowned ensembles Dover Quartet, Jasper String Quartet, Akropolis Reed Quintet, and Viano String Quartet, who we've delightedly brought back to Portland in later years. Individual artists have earned impressive accolades since their protégé time with us, such as: violinists Diana Adamyan, Benjamin Beilman, Nikki Chooi, Bella Hristova, and Anna Lee; pianists Yekwon Sunwoo, Yevgeny Yontov, Zitong Wang, and our own Artistic Director Gloria Chien; cellist Zlatomir Fung; composers Andy Akiho, Alistair Coleman, Kian Ravaei, Chris Rogerson, and Gabriella Smith; and many others.



In addition to mainstage concert programming are CMNW's robust Education and Community Engagement (ECE) programs. For the 2024 Summer Festival, ECE will offer free access to six community concerts (held around Portland, in Newberg, and Vancouver), four open rehearsals and masterclasses, and 10 pre-concert prelude performances featuring the Young Artist Institute (YAI) students and local young musicians. Also planned in a collaboration between YAI and ECE are two days of “pop-up” performances with groups of YAI musicians who will visit dozens community spaces such as farmer's markets, senior living homes, hospitals, care facilities, and more.


Launched in 2022, Chamber Music Northwest's Young Artist Institute (YAI) is an intensive education program for 16 talented string players from around the world, ages 14-18. For the 2024 cohort, the three-week program is held from June 15 to July 6 on the University of Portland campus. During and just prior to CMNW's 2024 Summer Festival, the young musicians are featured in performances throughout the community, including free showcases, pre-concert preludes, pop-ups around town, and on SoundsTruck NW's mobile concert stage for a community concert.

The violinists, violists, and cellists selected for the YAI program are among the top high school string players from North America and Asia. Students in the 2024 YAI cohort have won numerous competitions around the world, and have soloed with orchestras around the U.S. and Europe including the Seattle Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and National Orchestra of Uzbekistan. They hail from prestigious preparatory programs including New England Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, Colburn Academy, The Juilliard School, Korea National University of the Arts, Yehudi Menuhin School, and Portland's own Portland Youth Philharmonic. 

Hand-in-hand with the YAI program is the CMNW Collaborative Piano Fellowship. This fellowship program features the talents of two exceptional graduate-level pianists. Selected from major conservatories, Yandi Chen and Pualina Lim Mei En will rehearse, perform, and learn alongside the young artists to refine their skills in the challenging art of collaborative performance with a soloist.



BEETHOVEN'S SOUND—Inspiring a Sonic Revolution

From convention-breaking instrumentation and structure to earbending polyphonics, brain-twisting chords, and utterly unpredictable progressions, Beethoven boldly redefined the sound of classical music. His revolutionary sonic palette influenced every subsequent composer —his successors and today's composers alike. This week explores the impact of Beethoven's sound.

BEETHOVEN NOW—Challenging Today's Youth

Whether being captivated by his Sixth Symphony in Disney's mesmerizing Fantasia, or learning to play Für Elise for a piano recital, Beethoven's music has inspired and challenged millions of emerging artists —including our Young Artist Institute musicians. Be thoroughly amazed throughout the holiday week hearing the next generation of great chamber musicians as they explore Beethoven's works with their own fresh interpretations.

BEETHOVEN'S FIRE—Igniting Explosive Innovation

‘Massive', ‘shocking', ‘controversial', and ‘incomprehensible' are just a few of the words contemporary critics used to describe Beethoven's revolutionary approach to composition. In Promethean style, Beethoven infused his music with previously unimaginable smoldering introspection, white-hot emotion, and blazing joy. This week celebrates Beethoven's genius with a musical bonfire of incendiary works!

BEETHOVEN'S PIANO—Propelling Piano to Center Stage

Bold and powerful, subtle and sublime, Beethoven's unprecedented focus on the piano forever altered the course of musical history. From his piano trios and sonatas to his piano quartets and quintets, Beethoven placed the piano center stage, challenging both pianists and the instrument in unprecedented ways, and propelling it to the forefront of music. This week celebrates Beethoven's powerful piano.

BEETHOVEN'S VIRTUOSITY—Launching Music & Musicians to New Heights

“The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents, 'Thus far and no farther,'” wrote Beethoven —and push further he did. Beethoven demanded more from both instruments and musicians than ever before, thus redefining musical virtuosity. Our final week features some of the world's finest musicians performing virtuosic masterpieces that stretch their limits.


Now in its 54th season, Chamber Music Northwest serves more than 50,000 people annually in Oregon and SW Washington with exceptional chamber music through over 100 events annually, including our flagship Summer Festival, year-round concerts, community activities, educational programs, broadcasts, and innovative collaborations with other arts groups. CMNW is the only chamber music festival of its kind in the Northwest and one of the most diverse classical music experiences in the nation, virtually unparalleled in comparable communities.

Chamber Music Northwest's mission is to inspire our community through concerts and events celebrating the richness and diversity of chamber music, performed by artists of the highest caliber, presenting our community with exceptional opportunities for enjoyment, education, and reflection. Chamber Music Northwest is led by Artistic Directors Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim, and Executive Director Peter Bilotta.

Over the past five decades, Chamber Music Northwest has engaged an incredible range of musicians, composers, board members, staff, volunteers, and audiences from diverse backgrounds, heritages and lived experiences whose contributions have been a vital part of who we are today. CMNW exists to offer listeners and musicians musical encounters that inspire collective appreciation and joy. We will endeavor to use the power of our musical programming and educational programs to include myriad of cultures and perspectives, to embrace every generation, and magnify a broad variety of artistic voices. In actively doing this work to enrich our entire community, we make our stand against hate and discrimination, create opportunities that make meaningful and lasting change, and ensure a multitude of musical voices are elevated, heard, and celebrated.

Chamber Music Northwest embraces the artistry of each individual, and believes that unique cultural heritages and myriad of backgrounds are profound strengths to be celebrated, both in our musical family and in our community at large. We stand firmly against, will not tolerate, and condemn discrimination, bigotry, and violence directed at any persons, or groups of people, based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, country or nation of origin, physical or intellectual ability.

We value all members of our community and will actively work to dismantle systems of exclusion and discrimination. While we will stumble and fail, we will continually strive to embrace, promote, present, commission, engage, and perform the music of an infinite variety of voices of artists, cultures, heritages, traditions, histories, and imaginations to express the universal power to move the human heart and inspire connection through music. Though we will fall short, and will never do enough to right the wrongs of systemic racism and other forms institutionalized discrimination in our culture and art form, we commit ourselves to elevating the work of musicians and composers who are Asian, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, women, LGBTQIA, or of intersectional or other underrepresented identities, to match the emphasis placed on classical music's historically traditional artists.

Chamber Music Northwest is an international leader in celebrating chamber music's enduring relevance and diversity, with more than 100 commissions and premieres of new works as well as its Protégé Project, which cultivates the next generation of dynamic chamber music performers by supporting exceptional, early-career chamber musicians and composers in their professional development. In June 2022, Chamber Music Northwest (CMNW) launched the Young Artist Institute (YAI), an intensive education program for 16 talented string players from around the world, ages 14-18. The three-week YAI program includes a faculty of esteemed musicians and teachers. This groundbreaking program also includes a Collaborative Piano Fellowship for two international pianists.      



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