Party on the Plaza: Eric Stern

Hult Center Plaza
Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm
Free; no ticket required

Hult Presents

Eric Stern, the Northwest’s own premiere operatic tenor, accordionist, pianist, oudist, and consummate showman, tells stories with music. He’s appeared on NPR and performed at the Kennedy Center, The Great American Music Hall, Joe’s Pub in NYC in San Francisco, throughout the Northwest, and internationally from Portland to Paris to Poland. For this concert he will be showcasing some of his unique international instruments (the accordion, the Arabic Oud), and music from around the world, as well as rare originals, featured on his new EP "Ashes of Rembetiko."

Eric Stern is best known for being the founder and artistic director of Vagabond Opera (an ensemble that has achieved worldwide success), and as the main voice of Vagabond Opera, a cutting edge ensemble. Although Mr. Stern has won accolades for his hybrid operatic creation his vocal training was rooted deeply in the “Bel Canto” operatic tradition.

Eric Stern is an active and prolific composer. In 2010 he composed the critically acclaimed opera Queen Of Knives and in 2014 the opera, Flour Salt and Moonbeams. Other composing credits include original music for the Portland Revels 2013 as well as writing and arranging for Vagabond Opera ensemble and film and television projects.

Eric Stern is a fine pianist and accordionist. He has worked on numerous occasions with acclaimed Middle-Eastern Dancers Rachel Brice and Zoe Jakes. He has studied the Balkan, Arabic, and Turkish repertoire receiving instruction from Souhail Kaspar (as well as performing onstage with the master percussionist), Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Elias and George Lammam and Souren Baronian.

Eric Stern also plays the Oud an Arabic/Turkish, instrument in the lute family. He has appeared with Eugene's Ala Naar ensemble, Portland's Arabesque, and Brothers of the Baladi, as well as solo performances. He has had the honor to study the instrument with master player Yurdal Tokcan.


“Eric Stern, a mustachioed 36-year-old operatic tenor and accordion player…has a back story nearly as bohemian as the music he plays.” - The Washington Post

“Stern has found an exuberant and satisfying place where operatic vocal technique and popular idioms intersect… while also exposing unlikely audiences to the visceral pleasures of a Bel Canto voice.” - The NY Press

“…maniac, razor-sharp…delightfully nuts.” - The Toronto Star

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