Oregon Artswatch, Dec. 2016

Everything is out of context at this week’s pair of Portland State University Orchestra concerts. Instead of their usual venue, PSU’s lovely Lincoln Performance Hall, the orchestra will perform at the historic Mission Theatre in Northwest Portland. Instead of standard orchestral fare, the student orchestra, led by PSU Director of Orchestral Studies Ken Selden, will play music by David Bowie, George Bizet, and Astor Piazzolla. The Piazzolla suite will feature PSU’s new violin professor, Tomas Cotik, performing Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov’s arrangement for orchestra and violin. Cotik, an Argentinian, comes to Portland via Miami and Berlin. “Part of my understanding of this music is from my own perception of that noisy, dirty, crazy yet wonderful megapolis of Buenos Aires,” he said. “Another part is from listening to and studying Piazzolla and the older generation of tango musicians (la guardia vieja, and a good portion might be just simply a personal approach.” READ MORE