I am back in Oregon, and I love it. I moved here with my family from Vancouver, BC, in the 80s, it was my home away from college in the 90s, my escape from the East Coast in the 00s, my location of choice to start a family in the 10s, and after 4 years in Germany, I’ve moved back because it’s the best place I’ve ever lived. Oregon’s wonderful mix of outdoor life, culinary delights, cultural passion, and fantastic people is hard to find anywhere else in the world, and so, what a pleasure it was to be driving down Highway 99 this week between Eugene and Corvallis, for a morning of rehearsal on Beethoven’s Opus 1#2 piano trio.
What brought me to Oregon in the first place? In the 1980s, Vancouver, CA school districts began cutting their public school string programs, and my mother, a public school string teacher, found the strong string programs of the Willamette Valley a fantastic choice to look for employment. As a high school student, I remember being immediately struck with the enthusiasm surrounding the arts, and this enthusiasm made Oregon so inviting and welcoming. It felt immediately like home.
Our program starts with a 26-year-old Beethoven – he wrote the trio we are rehearsing this week, and the expansive nature of the movements, the symphonic nature of a previously innocent chamber music genre, show Beethoven’s compositional personality already in full form. What a great way to spend a crisp November Oregon morning.