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Musical Fusion

Pete Springer/OPB

Portland’s Time-Based Art festival kicks off this year on Thursday with a performance by versatile musician Rufus Wainwright backed by the Oregon Symphony. This sort of elaborate show is nothing new for Wainwright. The 37-year-old singer/songwriter comes from a musical family and his accomplishments include six albums of original songs and a tribute concert to Judy Garland. His most recent project is an opera he wrote called “Prima Donna,” which will be part of his performance on Thursday with Scottish singer Janis Kelly, another multi-faceted artist. 

The Rose City is no stranger to blending classical music with other genres. As we’ve talked about on this show, Chamber Music Northwest has found success joining forces with bluegrass musicians. The Portland Cello Project has collaborated with a number of folk and rock musicians and have recently garnered attention outside of Oregon.

Are you a fan of Rufus Wainwright or the Oregon Symphony — or both? What intrigues you about musical collaborations? Are you a musician yourself? What have you learned from genres outside your own?


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