45th Parallel Universe is a collective of musicians who come together to celebrate great chamber music with intimate artistic experiences. Passion for great music is what defines us and Portland is our stage.
Since 2009, 45th Parallel has happily demolished distinctions between old and new chamber music, bluegrass and jazz, fiddle and folk. By bringing fragmented audiences together, 45th Parallel reflects Portland’s surging creative communities in fresh and imaginative ways.
45th Parallel executive director and violinist Ron Blessinger is a proud Oregonian, with degrees Oberlin Conservatory and a Masters with distinction in performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. Ron joined the Oregon Symphony in 1990, and has been a frequent soloist and chamber music performer. In 2014, he was elected as a player representative to the Oregon Symphony’s Board of Directors. Ron is a passionate advocate for the music of living composers, producing and performing on fourteen recordings of new music, with a special emphasis on the music of Oregon composers.
Violist Greg Ewer, hailed by The New York Times for his “refinement and spirit,” has been a member of the Oregon Symphony since 2001. Greg is also well known to Portland audiences for his regular appearances with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Pink Martini. He is also the founder and previous artistic director of 45th Parallel. Greg has appeared as a guest recitalist at Yale University, and at the National Library in Mexico City. He has performed at numerous summer festivals, including the Tanglewood Music Center, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Moab Music Festival, and the Montana Baroque Festival.
Brazilian cellist Marilyn de Oliveira has been the assistant principal in the Oregon Symphony cello section since September 2009. Prior to joining the Oregon Symphony, Marilyn was a member of the San Antonio Symphony for three seasons, during which she was both a member of the section and acting assistant principal.
Marilyn received her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University under cellist Emilio Colon and her Master of Music degree at Rice University with Norman Fischer. Some of her live solo performances can be heard regularly on National Public Radio’s Performance Today. Marilyn is married to Oregon Symphony cellist Trevor Fitzpatrick.