As usual, the city’s choirs offer a choice of performances of Handel’s famous “Messiah” oratorio (technically an Easter story), and plenty of other holiday-related sounds abound as well. But by mid-December we’ll likely be overloaded with carols and other holiday tunes, so it’s nice to know that Portland’s vibrant classical music scene offers both spiritual and secular music alternatives to standard holiday fare.
Ken Beare and Maria Choban, Community Music Center, 3350 S.E. Francis St.
The dynamic tenor and pianist present a heated new translation (Warning: not for kids!) of what may be the great song cycle ever written, Franz Schubert’s tale of lost love, Winterreise, which the pair are subtitling “Love’s Lost Journey into Frostbite.”
The Von Trapp Children
“A Von Trapp Family Christmas”
Oregon Symphony, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway
The famous singing family returns with the sound of holidays.
Portland State University choirs, Lincoln Recital Hall, 1620 S.W. Park Ave.
The school’s reinvigorated choral program (including the Chamber Choir, Man Choir and Woman Choir) sings a very affordable program of wintry music from Russia and Estonia, and classical masters from Bach to Debussy.
Chamber Music Northwest, St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1739 N.W. Couch St.
The choir has been at the forefront of early music choral groups since its founding in 1973, and they’ll bring a mostly holiday-themed program of both Renaissance and more recent music to Portland.
“A Holiday Gift of Music”
Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Mt. Hood Community College Theater, 26000 S.E. Stark St., Gresham
This reasonably priced concert features Prokofiev’s famous kids’ classic “Peter and the Wolf,” with puppets by Tears of Joy theater.
Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway
The Cleveland High School chorus and handbell choir join the young players for holiday sounds.
See more holiday music recommendations >>