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Portland Baroque Orchestra (Baroque Orchestra)

Founded: Early 1980’s - Portland, Oregon, USA


The mission of Portland Baroque Orchestra (= PBO) is to produce fresh and historically informed interpretations of music composed before 1840 for a wide audience, and to educate the community, including its youth, about composers, themes and performance practices of this music through world-class professional performances and community outreach and dialogue.


Emerging in the early 1980’s as a grass-roots cooperative of musicians, the orchestra has matured as a polished, professional organization with a loyal and committed audience that now numbers some 1,000 subscription ticket holders and 1,100 single-ticket purchasers. The group offers performances in downtown Portland at the First Baptist Church and at Kaul Auditorium on the Reed College campus.

PBO inhabits a modest yet critical niche in the Portland arts community. PBO’s highly specialized orchestral mission complements the Oregon Symphony’s broader purpose. Its narrow focus contrasts well with Friends of Chamber Music and Chamber Music Northwest and its vocal offerings are on a different scale from those of Portland Opera. PBO joins the others to offer the classical music lover a multi-faceted array of options.

The Portland Baroque Orchestra specializes in performing baroque and classical music on original instruments, or replicas, from the time the music was composed. These instruments, and the techniques used to play them, produce an orchestral texture very different from that of their modern counterparts. The improvisation and wit of historically informed performance practices add freshness, clarity, and vitality to the music of Dietrich Buxtehude, Arcangelo Corelli, Purcell, Scarlatti, J.S. Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann, François Couperin, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, W.A. Mozart, L.v. Beethoven and many others, linking us directly to a rich and vital past.

PBO’s artistic excellence places it squarely within the ranks of the best baroque orchestras in North America and Europe. Many consider Music Director Monica Huggett to be the premier Baroque violinist performing today. A growing list of the world’s best singers, guest conductors, and instrumentalists in the field of Baroque performance now consider Portland an important addition to their musical resumes.

Significance to the Community

In PBO, Portland has a world-class cultural asset that enhances the area’s potential for economic development and the city’s reputation as a ‘happening’ cultural center. Few USA cities have period instrument orchestras that rival PBO’s high artistic caliber.

PBO is a unique community resource for outreach and education. PBO brings music of the period to life with historically informed interpretations on instruments of the time or replicas - a journey back in time with historical and cultural significance.

PBO provides an excellent starting place to engage new classical music listeners, bringing highly accessible music to the potential audience for all classical music organizations in Portland.

PBO provides musicians from the Pacific Northwest with employment and the opportunity to perform with internationally recognized baroque artists and directors.

PBO employs many other people in different capacities, including office staff, local arts consultants, accountants, graphic designers, printers, and marketing and development professionals.

Source: Portland Baroque Orchestra Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Monica Huggett


BWV 245

Recordings of Bach’s Instrumental Works




Monica Huggett


Violin Concertos BWV 1041, BWV 1042, BWV 1043, BWV 1063R, BWV 1064R

Links to other Sites

Portland Baroque Orchestra (Official Website)

Portland Baroque Orchestra PBO on Facebook

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Last update: ýJuly 17, 2015 ý23:02:36