What: High Desert Chamber Music’s 2018-19 season


• Sept. 28 — Christopher O’Riley; 7:30 p.m.; Bend Church, 680 NW Bond St., Bend; $42

• Nov. 10 — Eleventh annual Gala; 6 p.m.; Bend Golf & Country Club, 61045 Country Club Drive, Bend; $85

• Dec. 1 — Crown City String Quartet; 7:30 p.m.; Wille Hall, 2600 NW College Way, Bend; $42

• Jan. 19 — Neave Trio; 7:30 p.m.; Wille Hall, 2600 NW College Way, Bend; $42

• Feb. 14 — Oregon Guitar Quartet; 8 p.m.; Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St., Bend; $48

• March 29 — Michelle Kim, 7:30 p.m.; Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St., Bend; $42

Contact: highdesertchambermusic.com, info@highdesertchambermusic.com or 541-306-3988

What do Radiohead, Tears for Fears and Tori Amos have in common?

While the music artists don’t share much in common stylistically, concert pianist Christopher O’Riley will perform his original arrangements of tunes by all three acts when he kicks off High Desert Chamber Music’s 11th season on Sept. 28 in Bend.

Along with offbeat musical arrangements, O’Riley is known for his work hosting the National Public Radio program “From the Top,” which celebrates classically trained young musicians and is broadcast by more than 220 stations and has more than half a million listeners, according to fromthetop.org.

“In the classical world, he’s extremely pedigreed with the performers that he’s played with, and his history,” said Isabelle Senger, founder and executive director of High Desert Chamber Music. “He’s actually more widely known for his transcriptions of contemporary rock music — bands like Radiohead. The first half of the program is going to include his original solo piano transcriptions of Radiohead and Tori Amos and Tears for Fears. So, that’s going to be very different for my audience, but it’s also something that’s very important to him, and it’s a part of his musical personality and being.”

For classical music buffs hoping to hear something a little less up to date, as it were, O’Riley will also be performing his original piano transcription of 19th century French composer Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique” on the back half of the program. It’s often described as epic, and written for a very large orchestra. According to classicfm.org, Berlioz even wrote a part for the ophicleide, which looks like gibberish, perhaps, but is actually an almost-extinct brass instrument. A tuba player now usually picks up the lines — but not, of course, when “Symphonie Fantastique” has been distilled for piano.

“(It’s) a huge orchestral work,” Senger said. “I think the pairing of those two — the first and second halves — (is) going to be very interesting for our audience.” (While in town, O’Riley will also give a school presentation at Bend High School.)

The rest of the season promises to be interesting as the first concert. Violinist Senger’s own group, the Crown City String Quartet, will makes its annual appearance, this time joined by clarinetist Donald Foster, who performed here during High Desert Chamber Music’s 2009-10 season.

“He is an incredible performer,” Senger said. As a live performer, Foster is a busy musician, serving as second clarinetist in the LA Opera Orchestra, as well as principal clarinetist of the Santa Barbara and Pasadena symphonies. Foster is also principal clarinetist for film composer John Williams.

“He records on all of his soundtracks and all of his movie recordings,” Senger said. Audiences can expect to hear two clarinet quintets, by Mozart and Brahms, on that concert program.

“That’s just going to be a rare treat for our audience to hear both of those works,” Senger said.

For Crown City’s concert, as well as the Jan. 19 performance by the Neave Trio, an up-and-coming group from Massachusetts, HDCM will be at a new venue, Wille Hall at Central Oregon Community College.

“We’re excited to expand our locations,” Senger said. The Neave Trio (“Neave” rhymes with “weave”) is an acclaimed group featuring piano, violin and cello.

“They’re based out of a town outside of Boston, and they’ll be doing a Pacific Northwest tour. We were happy to be able to grab them,” Senger said. “We’re happy, as always, just to introduce new groups to the community.”

The season continues with the yearly Valentine’s Day concert on Feb. 14 at the Tower Theatre, which will feature the Portland-based Oregon Guitar Quartet.

“They have the standards, but then they also have their classic repertoire,” Senger said. “On their website, they say, ‘You’ll never hear the same program twice.’”

The 11th season concludes with violinist Michelle Kim, performing March 30 at the Tower Theatre. In keeping with HDCM’s ever-important educational mission, Kim, New York Philharmonic’s assistant concertmaster, will also lead a master class. Open to the public, it takes place on March 29.

“I’m so excited to bring (her) here,” Senger said. She and Kim attended high school together at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles.

“She is just a dynamic, powerful, incredible performing artist. She is putting together a program that will be extremely worthy of our season finale,” Senger added.

High Desert Chamber Music’s annual gala on Nov. 10 will be at Bend Golf & Country Club. KTVZ weatherman Bob Shaw will once again emcee the event, as he has the last few years. It’s the organizations main fundraiser of the year.

“Every year it gets a little bigger. It’s always been a successful event, but it’s always been a nice option,” Senger said. “We have kind of a different crowd that goes to our fundraisers than our normal concertgoers.”