Chamber Music Northwest’s 2021 Summer Festival

Chamber Music Northwest (CMNW) presents its 2021 Summer Festival at Reed College beginning July 1. The 51st annual festival will feature four weeks of live musical programming, as well as an at-home summer festival series. 

CMNW will offer 17 live, limited seating, in-person concerts July 1 through July 25 at Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium; plus two free outdoor concerts for the community. The AT-HOME Festival begins July 15 with produced recordings of the festival’s 2021 live concerts and continues through August 31. Full 2021 Summer Festival information here.


This year’s festival kicks off with the high-energy East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) whose 15 members – including the acclaimed Jupiter Quartet – dazzle over two programs, including a concerto featuring new Artistic Directors Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim. 

PROGRAM 1: Opening Night with East Coast Chamber Orchestra
Thursday, July 1 @ 7:30pm
Friday, July 2 @ 7:30pm
Reed College, Kaul Auditorium

After a year without live concerts, Chamber Music Northwest’s Summer Festival roars back into the concert hall with a jubilant celebration of music! The captivating energy of the conductorless East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) has made them audience favorites wherever they play. Joined by new CMNW Artistic Directors Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim, ECCO kicks off the festival with an evening of exhilarating chamber orchestra masterpieces by Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky.

  • MENDELSSOHN Concerto for Piano, Violin and Strings
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings

ARTISTS: East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), Gloria Chien, Soovin Kim

Program 2: The Exuberance of ECCO & Jupiter Quartet
Saturday, July 3 @ 7:30pm
Sunday, July 4 @ 4pm
Reed College, Kaul Auditorium

The lush and powerful tone of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) is featured in these colorful works never before performed at CMNW. The ensemble’s versatility is on full display in the wide range of compositional styles on this program. The Jupiter String Quartet joins as soloists in Jessie Montgomery’s scintillating Banner for quartet and orchestra.

  • ELGAR Serenade for Strings
  • JESSIE MONTGOMERY Banner for String Quartet and String Orchestra (2014)
  • HANNA BENN Where Springs Not Fail (2015)
  • BARTÓK Divertimento

ARTISTS: East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), Jupiter String Quartet

OVERVIEW: Chamber Music Northwest 2021 Summer Festival 

CMNW’s Reflect | Rejoice 2021 Summer Festival will feature 68 of the nation’s finest chamber musicians performing a wide variety of works, from classics to new works, including the much anticipated world premiere of Marc Neikrug’s A Song by Mahler that was previously scheduled to premiere at the 2020 Summer Festival. Additionally, the multitalented Israeli pianist and composer Matan Porat will perform improvisational accompaniment for two free Buster Keaton silent comedy movie night performances as outdoor, community concerts in Gresham and North Portland. The live festival concerts will be professionally recorded and streamed online beginning two weeks later on July 15, with access on through August 31.

From Artistic Directors Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim: “After a year without live music, we are so excited to share our joyful and reflective 2021 Summer Festival — our first as Chamber Music Northwest’s new artistic directors! Some of CMNW’s favorite performers will return, such as the Dover and Brentano string quartets, and cellist Paul Watkins of the Emerson Quartet. The East Coast Chamber Orchestra, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, pianist Marc-André Hamelin, guitarist Jason Vieaux, and bass-baritone Davóne Tines headline the star-studded cast who will make their CMNW debuts. Timeless classics such as Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and Copland’s Appalachian Spring will be heard alongside five exciting world premieres. We are proud to present this array of thrilling and deeply moving repertoire, performed by the greatest artists in the world, and that audiences near and far can enjoy both live in Portland or remotely.”


LIVE Summer Festival
Thursday, July 1- Sunday, July 25
VENUE: Reed College — Kaul Auditorium, SE 28th and Woodstock
Advance ticket reservations are required. Limited live seats (max 150 occupants) are available in the 750 occupancy auditorium.
Four-concert LIVE Festival Pass + AT HOME Festival Pass: $325
Single concert ticket: $62.50

Buster Keaton Movie Nights with Matan Porat

July 12 @ 8:30pm | featuring Buster Keaton’s The Playhouse and Sherlock Jr.
VENUE: Gresham Arts Plaza — 401 NE Second St., Gresham, OR 97030

July 13 @ 8:30pm | featuring Buster Keaton’s The General
VENUE: University of Portland — Franz Patio/Academic Quad, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd.

Outdoor music and silent film enthusiasts, pack a snack bring your own seats for these comedic Buster Keaton movies, but with enthusiastic, improvised soundtracks by the international-acclaimed, multi-talented pianist Matan Porat. Matan has garnered international acclaim for his “…vivid, propulsive, and fun…” (The New York Times) musical improvisations to silent films. These free evening events are casual concerts that are intended to be enjoyed by everyone in the community.

AT-HOME Summer Festival
Thursday, July 15-Saturday, August 7

Recorded and produced concerts from the LIVE festival will premiere on two weeks after the live concert. These rolling online premieres begin on July 15 and run through August 7 — the entire festival is available on-demand through August 31.
Nine-concert AT-HOME Pass: $150
Single concert online pass (on sale July 9): $20


2021 Summer Festival
2021 Festival Passes & Tickets
Video: 2021 Summer Festival from Artistic Directors Gloria Chien & Soovin Kim
2021 Summer Festival Program—program notes begin on page 20
Press Photos—artist and ensemble photos available upon request or at


Chamber Music Northwest’s 2021 Summer Festival features string quartets, renowned soloists, today’s greatest living composers, local and national musicians, and boasts four new CMNW-commissioned works and a fifth additional world premiere. Creating opportunity for composers to create new music is a long-standing hallmark of CMNW, with more than 130 new works commissioned and premiered since 1971.

For the 2021 Summer Festival, CMNW will present: David Ludwig’s Les Adieux: for clarinet and chamber ensemble commissioned to honor CMNW Artistic Director Emeritus David Shifrin in 2020; the world premiere of Marc Neikrug’s A Song by Mahler, a theatrical chamber opera co-commissioned by CMNW with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the La Jolla, Lake Champlain and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festivals; Matan Porat playing his lilting Piano Quintet premiere with the Dover Quartet; and the unprecedented composition Sweet and Doleful Timbres by Pierre Jalbert, written for saxophonist Branford Marsalis and guitarist Jason Vieaux. The festival will also include the world premiere of Portland composer Kenji Bunch’s new Vesper Flight, commissioned and written for internationally acclaimed flutist Tara Helen O’Connor.



After a year of anticipation, we finally celebrate our internationally-renowned Artistic Director Emeritus and clarinetist David Shifrin for his 40 years of CMNW leadership! Over 30 of CMNW’s most-beloved musicians join forces for audience favorites by Weber, Copland, and Mozart, as well as in multiple world premieres, including Marc Neikrug’s theatrical chamber opera, A Song by Mahler. 


Full of award-winning star performers like Marc-André Hamelin, Branford Marsalis, Jason Vieaux, and the Dover Quartet, this week features two more world premieres of CMNW commissions, along with thrilling masterpieces by Ornstein and Bartók. Monday and Tuesday evenings CMNW presents free Buster Keaton movie nights with pianist and composer Matan Porat on the eastside at Gresham Arts Plaza, and at University of Portland in North Portland.


The final week features the CMNW 2021-22 Artists-in-Residence the Brentano Quartet and the Chien-Kim-Watkins Trio in Classical masterpieces by Haydn, Schubert, and Brahms. The inspired festival finale presents the astounding bass-baritone Davóne Tines in selections from his selections from his deeply moving MASS, and Schubert’s divine cello quintet.



Chamber Music Northwest is committed to making great music and music education accessible in our community. With a consideration given to the pandemic, the 2021 Summer Festival will include two free, outdoor community concerts featuring Movie Nights with pianist and composer Matan Porat at the underserved outer eastside and North Portland locations. CMNW will coordinate short pop-up concerts throughout Portland the first week in July featuring East Coast Chamber Orchestra and other Week 1 musicians. Complimentary AT-HOME passes will be offered to local music education organizations that serve students from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities. The local community is invited to weekly open rehearsals at Reed College on Wednesday mornings (advance reservations required). Each week the public is invited to watch free musical conversations and masterclasses with visiting musicians that will be streamed at


Now in its 51st season, Chamber Music Northwest shares the richness and diversity of chamber music with more than 50,000 people through 80 events annually, including our Summer Festival of outstanding concerts, illuminating outreach activities, educational programs and support of young musicians, and innovative collaborations across the Portland Metro region. 

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.

As one of the nation’s leading chamber music presenters, Chamber Music Northwest brings to our community the world’s greatest musicians and composers, from rising-star members of our Protégé Project and exceptional local musicians to world-renowned artists that include Grammy Award winners, Avery Fisher Prize honorees, and MacArthur ‘Genius Award’ recipients. Together they collaborate to perform the expansive 500-year chamber music repertoire, ranging from beloved classics and hidden masterpieces to contemporary works and less conventional projects. 

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.

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