Portland Ovations brings the Swedish folk group Vasen to Portland for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16. The performance will be at Hannaford Hall at the University of Southern Maine. Darol Anger and Friends will open the show.

Vasen is comprised of three of Sweden’s best musicians: Olov Johansson, Mikael Marin and Roger Tallroth. Johansson became the first nyckelharpa world champion in 1990, Marin plays the viola with influences that oscillate between Schoenberg and The Beatles, and Tallroth plays a specially-tuned 12-string guitar as well as the Swedish bouzouki and octave mandolin.

Among them, they have been featured with dozens of international groups, including the Kronos Quartet.

Ovations Offstage offers a pre-performance lecture, “New Perspectives on New-Folk Music,” at 6:30 p.m. at Hannaford Hall with June Vail, professor emerita of dance at Bowdoin College. She will present an illustrated lecture that looks at changing forms in folk dance and music in Sweden. In conjunction, Vasen will perform a mini-concert at 12:30 p.m. at Bull Moose in Portland.

This Saturday, the Maine Historical Society will show the documentary film “Old Maine’s Swedish Farms” every 30 minutes from 1 to 5 p.m.

Tickets for Vasen cost $34; a limited number of $10 student tickets are also available. To purchase tickets, call PortTix at 842-0800 or visit the box office at Merrill Auditorium.

The Portland Symphony Orchestra’s Tuesday Classical concert on Feb. 14 is the ultimate Valentine’s Day extravaganza.

Under the direction of Robert Moody, the orchestra will perform some of the world’s most evocative, romantic music. The concert features guest pianist and Maine native Henry Kramer and guest artists from Portland Stage Company. The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. at Merrill Auditorium.

The program opens with Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy. Kramer will be the featured soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major. The evening concludes with selections from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet score, “Romeo and Juliet.”

The movements are arranged in dramatic order, beginning with the ominous “Montagues and Capulets” and moving into the sweeter “Young Juliet” and onto “Masks,” “Balcony Scene,” “The Death of Tybalt” and “Friar Lawrence” before concluding with the heartbreaking “Romeo at Juliet’s Tomb.” Interspersed throughout and corresponding with the music, four actors from Portland Stage will narrate selections from Shakespeare’s play.

A native of Cape Elizabeth, Kramer is a recent winner of the National Chopin Competition. He has performed in Maine with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and in recitals across Europe. Kramer is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School, where he is currently working on his master’s.

Tickets are available through PortTix.com or 842-0800. Single tickets cost $20 to $70.

 


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