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Peter and Kara Dugan (Jacob Blickenstaff).jpeg

Love Stories

Monday, February 14, 2022 | 6:00 PM

Mechanics' Hall Ballroom, 519 Congress St | Portland


Pianist Peter Dugan, heard across America as the host of NPR’s beloved program “From the Top,” and his wife, the acclaimed mezzo soprano Kara Dugan, will perform a special Valentine’s Day program featuring love songs from a wide range of musical styles. From their favorite Schubert lieder to their wedding song “I’m Glad There is You,” the program will feature an intimate collection of highlights of the past decade performing together as a married couple. Violist and PCMF Artistic Director Melissa Reardon will join the Dugans for Brahms’ beloved Zwei Gesänge for voice, viola, and piano. To continue the Valentine’s Day celebration at home, all patrons will receive complimentary “Sweet Heat” drink infusion kits courtesy of Vena’s Fizz House.

Stevie Wonder If It's Magic from Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
Clara Schumann Liebeszauber (1844)
Amy Beach Ah, Love, But a Day (1899)
Florence Price The Heart of a Woman (c. 1950)
Franz Schubert 

Abendstern, D. 806 (1824)

Frühlingsglaube, D. 686 (1820)

Liebhaber in allen Gestalten, D. 558 (1817)

Johannes Brahms Zwei Gesänge (Two Songs for Voice, Viola and Piano), Op. 91 (1884)

George Gershwin

Embraceable You (1928)

Three Preludes for Piano (1926) 

Leonardo Dugan It's Not Me, It's You (2012)

Oscar Straus My Hero from The Chocolate Soldier (1908)

Jimmy Dorsey I'm Glad There Is You (1941)

William Bolcom Amor from Cabaret Songs (1978)

Program will run for approximately 90 minutes without intermission.

Please note our in-person Covid safety policies: To ensure the safety of staff, audience, musicians, and our community, Mechanics’ Hall requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (or an appropriately time-stamped negative COVID-19 test) for all persons attending the event. All persons must be masked for the duration of their time in the Hall, regardless of vaccination status.

All attendees must either:

  • Present a physical copy or a photo of their COVID-19 vaccine card along with a valid photo ID (state, government, or school ID); or

  • Provide a time-stamped printout, photo, or email of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of the event or a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken within 36 hours of the event, along with a valid photo ID (state, government, or school ID).

Meet the Artists

Melissa Reardon (Lauren Desberg).jpeg

Melissa Reardon


Grammy-nominated violist Melissa Reardon is an internationally renowned performer whose solo and chamber playing spans all musical genres. Melissa is the Artistic Director of the Portland Chamber Music Festival, Artist in Residence at Bard College and Conservatory and a founding member and the Executive Director of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO). As a member of the Ensō String Quartet from 2006 until its final season in 2018, Melissa toured both nationally and internationally, with highlight performances in Sydney, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center to name a few. Lauded by Classical Voice for her “elegant” and “virtuosic” performances, Melissa won first prize at the Washington International Competition, and is the only violist to win top prizes in consecutive HAMS International viola competitions. Melissa has appeared in numerous festivals across the United States and around the world, and has toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and with Musicians from Marlboro. Melissa is married to the cellist Raman Ramakrishnan and they live in New York with their son Linus.

Kara Dugan (Jacob Blickenstaff).jpeg

Kara Dugan
mezzo soprano

Mezzo soprano Kara Dugan has been praised by The New York Times for her “vocal warmth and rich character.” Her diverse career ranges from baroque oratorio to world premieres. Her work with living composers includes In a New York Minute: Miniatures for Voice and Piano, her newly commissioned song cycle for WQXR, which highlights the voices and perspectives of women and everyday New Yorkers. This spring she will make her Kennedy Center debut singing Michael Tilson Thomas’ Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind with the National Symphony and the composer at the podium. As a passionate recitalist she performs often with her husband Peter Dugan, pianist and host of NPR’s From the Top. The husband and wife duo’s recent appearances include PBS Great Performances’ “Now Hear This,” New York Festival of Song, and a New Year’s Eve special with genre-bending string trio Time for Three at Sun Valley’s Argyros Theater. Recently, Ms. Dugan won first place in the Rochester International Vocal Competition, was named a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s Laffont Competition, and was selected to be a member of WQXR’s Artist Propulsion Lab.

Peter Dugan.jpg

Peter Dugan

Pianist Peter Dugan’s debut performances with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony were described by the Los Angeles Times as “stunning” and by the SF Chronicle as “fearlessly athletic.” He is heard across America as the host of NPR’s beloved program From the Top. He has appeared as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across North America and abroad, and can be heard as the piano soloist on a new release of Ives’ Fourth Symphony from Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. In 2020, he joined violinist Joshua Bell for At Home With Music, a national PBS broadcast and live album release on Sony Classical. A sought-after multi-genre artist, Mr. Dugan has performed in duos and trios with artists ranging from Itzhak Perlman and Renee Fleming to Jesse Colin Young and Glenn Close. The Wall Street Journal described Mr. Dugan’s collaboration with violinist Charles Yang as a “classical-meets-rockstar duo.” This season Yang and Dugan are Artists in Residence at New York’s Kaufman Music Center and the Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. Prizing stylistic versatility as the hallmark of a 21st century musician, Mr. Dugan is equally at home in classical, jazz, and pop idioms.

Program Partners:

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