Oregon Symphony Narrative
The Oregon Symphony currently has 76 professional musicians on contract, and is led by Music Director Carlos Kalmar. Each year it engages dozens of guest conductors and artists, both popular and classical, to perform with the orchestra. The organization’s operating expense budget is approximately $15 million a year, of which just over 50% is spent on artistic fees, salaries and benefits.
The Oregon Symphony is managed by a staff of 35 who are responsible for concert production, marketing, public relations, education, community engagement, fundraising, customer service, accounting and financial reporting.
It is governed by a volunteer board of directors who, together with the trustees of the Oregon Symphony Foundation, last year contributed thousands of hours and almost $750,000 in support of the organization.
The Oregon Symphony produces more than 80 concerts a year, mostly at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland. It programs a wide range of music to suit many tastes and preferences. It presents two end-of-summer outdoor concerts in Portland and travels regularly for performances in Salem, Newberg and smaller communities elsewhere in the state. It also provides an award-winning program of educational and community engagement activities.
The Oregon Symphony’s programs serve more than 225,000 people annually. It is supported by thousands of individuals, businesses and foundations and receives funding from the Regional Arts & Cultural Council, the State of Oregon Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Symphony’s principal volunteer organization, Friends of the Oregon Symphony, supplies valuable volunteer assistance and fundraising revenue in excess of $100,000 each year to support the Symphony’s programs.
Now in its 117th season it is the oldest orchestra west of the Mississippi, and ranks 20th in budget size among the professional orchestras in the country.