Oregon Symphony


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Oregon Symphony News Releases

July 2017

July 26, 2017

Oregon Symphony’s 2016/17 Season goes into the books as the most successful season in history  Wide-ranging musical offerings and energized community engagement efforts help set new records organization-wide.President Scott Showalter announced today the results of the 2016/17 Season, his third as Oregon Symphony President. Titled “Like Never Before” for its groundbreaking SoundSights series, the season set all-time records in virtually every category, including number of concerts, audience attendance, subscription revenue, single ticket sales, the number of sold-out concerts, percentage of first-time ticket buyers, the amount raised at the annual Gala, total number of donors, total number of new donors, and the amount of overall contributions. These high-water marks resulted in the Symphony’s eighth consecutive balanced budget.

June 2017

June 28, 2017

Oregon Symphony set to perform at the Oregon Zoo  The Oregon Symphony’s first performance of its 2017/18 Season will occur with its first-ever performance at the Oregon Zoo on September 2, a fitting start to a season entitled “A New Dimension.” An expected audience of nearly four thousand people will enjoy the outdoor surroundings and the evening air performance conducted by Music Director Carlos Kalmar.

May 2017

May 1, 2017

Oregon Symphony Presents Announces 2017/18 Lineup  With a slate of concerts and presentations that spans the musical and entertainment spectrum from George Takei and Johnny Mathis to Pink Martini and The Tenors, Oregon Symphony Presents is specially designed to satisfy the region’s wide-ranging musical tastes. The Oregon Symphony loves playing music. All kinds of music. From film scores to gospel, blues to rock, this just-announced lineup promises another year of spectacular entertainment, with 25 performances of 18 separate concerts. The Oregon Symphony Presents concerts are in addition to the Symphony’s Classical, Pops, and Kids Series concerts, subscriptions for which have been on sale since February. These new Oregon Symphony Presents concerts bring the Symphony’s 2017/18 performance totals to 85 performances of 41 separate concert programs.

April 2017

April 17, 2017

Oregon Symphony Sets New Ticket Sales Records  President Scott Showalter announced today that the 2016/17 Season – titled “Like Never Before” for its groundbreaking SoundSights series – has also proven to be like never before in ticket sales revenue, tickets sold, and sold-out concerts. Annual ticket sales, which continue to buck national trends, have already reached an historic high of $9.4 million and are expected to finish above $9.5 million when the remaining 14% of the season’s performances are complete. The number of tickets sold is also expected to set a new record of nearly 180,000. This strong attendance has resulted in sold out performances for 28% of the 81 season performances to date.

April 12, 2017

Mahler's Second Symphony, Stravinsky's Persephone with Sets and Costumes by Michael Curry, Ukulele Phenom Jake Shimabukuro, and Disney In Concert conclude Record-Breaking Oregon Symphony Season  The Oregon Symphony winds up its season with a concert lineup sure to amaze and delight audiences of all ages and tastes. The final SoundSights concert features Stravinsky’s ballet Persephone, with puppets and sets by world-renowned designer Michael Curry, and the final Classical Series concert presents Gustav Mahler’s epic Second Symphony, featuring expanded orchestra, vocal soloists, and three of Portland State University’s finest choirs. Also on tap: an evening of Disney’s finest film music, performed live with clips from several smash animated movies, and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro brings his iconoclastic playing and musical style to the Symphony for an evening of hit covers and original compositions for ukulele and orchestra.

April 5, 2017

Oregon Symphony Gala Sets New Record  For the third year in a row, the Oregon Symphony’s annual gala set an all-time gala fundraising record, this time raising over $1 million. The popping of celebratory champagne corks, the Rex Putnam High School Marching Band, and the thunderous applause from the nearly 400 attendees provided a spectacular and fitting end to the Symphony’s annual gala evening last Saturday, which marked yet another first in the organization’s 120-year history – shattering the $1 million gala fundraising mark.

March 2017

March 23, 2017

Oregon Symphony’s Latest CD Set for Release  The Oregon Symphony today announced that its upcoming CD – the fourth under the musical direction of Carlos Kalmar – is set for a local release today and an official international release on April 7. This latest CD, entitled Haydn Symphonies, follows Spirit of the American Range (2015) which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance; This England (2012); and Music for a Time of War (2011), which garnered two Grammy Award nominations for Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered album. This latest CD, like its three predecessors, was recorded in hybrid multichannel Super Audio CD format for Pentatone. This recording brings the total number of recordings by the Oregon Symphony to 20.

March 16, 2017

Oregon Symphony Names 2017 Schnitzer Wonder Award Winner and Announces Inaugural Award for Community Engagement  President Scott Showalter today announced that the Symphony’s 2017 Schnitzer Wonder Award will go to Julane Stites, artistic director of Dance West. The award will be presented at the Symphony’s annual fundraising gala on April 1. The Schnitzer Wonder Award was created in 2015 by Jordan Schnitzer to honor his parents, Harold and Arlene Schnitzer, and their commitment to philanthropy, fairness, opportunity, education, and creativity as the heart of a strong and vibrant community. The award honors an individual or organization that directly works to build community through the next generation of artists and/or student musicians. This award comes with a $10,000 monetary prize, intended to help further the honoree’s work.

March 10, 2017

Gil Shaham and Patti Austin highlight April Concerts featuring favorite Classical and Jazz Repertoire, including Mozart’s Requiem, Debussy’s La Mer, Korngold’s Violin Concerto, and a Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald  Spring has sprung at the Oregon Symphony with some of the most beloved music in the classical repertoire on tap for April, beginning with acclaimed violinist Gil Shaham playing in a special performance on April 2, featuring Erich Korngold’s dramatic Violin Concerto. Portland Symphonic Choir and a quartet of talented soloists join guest conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni for Mozart’s Requiem on April 8 – 10, and on April 22 – 24 the orchestra presents a concert of ocean music, featuring Debussy’s La mer. Grammy award-winning vocalist Patti Austin finishes the month in grand style with an evening of standards from the American Songbook, in homage to the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald.

March 7, 2017

The Oregon Symphony features Intel Technology at upcoming Kids Concert  In an innovative partnership between the region’s leading performing arts organizationand a leading technology company, musicians of the Symphony will don new wearable technology from Intel to create music designed to delight a sold-out audience of nearly 3,000 youngsters and their families at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. At a precise moment in the upcoming Kids Concert on March 19, a number of Symphony musicians and BodyVox dancers will slip on some unique musical instruments – gloves, wristbands, and ankle bracelets, all powered by ground-breaking Intel technology. What happens next will definitely have the young audience paying rapt attention.

February 2017

February 28, 2017

Oregon Symphony Presents adds Jake Shimabukuro to 2016/17 Season  Ukulele superstar Jake Shimabukuro, who shot to international fame with his virtuosic covers of “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” joins the Oregon Symphony to perform his many fan favorites plus some of his own electrifying originals for ukulele and orchestra. 

February 14, 2017

Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, John Cleese, The Indigo Girls, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and a Kenji Bunch World Premiere Light Up March at Oregon Symphony  Iconic is the word for this month’s concert lineup at the Oregon Symphony: the world’s most popular cello concerto, by Dvořák, alongside the 35th anniversary screening of Steven Spielberg’s classic tale of boy-meets-alien, shown with live orchestral accompaniment of John Williams’ Oscar-winning score. Comedian/actor/writer/producer John Cleese of Monty Python presents a one-performance-only night of laughs, and the Indigo Girls perform their soulful hits accompanied by full orchestra. The final Kids Concert of the 2016/17 season rounds out a month of unforgettable performances.

February 3, 2017

Music Director Carlos Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony Announce Groundbreaking 2017/18 Season  New season highlights social and environmental issues; continues multi-media concerts; explores new territory with four commissions/world premieres and 14 other Oregon Symphony premieres; and delivers another major recording. Music Director Carlos Kalmar and President Scott Showalter have announced the details of the Symphony’s 2017/18 Season. In the new season, titled “A New Dimension,” the Oregon Symphony focuses on three social themes: immigration, environment, and homelessness. Scott Showalter, for whom the new season marks his fourth as Symphony President and CEO, highlighted the importance of the just-announced season: “Our SoundSights series in 2016/17 has received international attention, but we aren’t stopping there. We’re building our programs unlike any other orchestra – artistically thrilling, yet unique to our region.”

January 2017

January 13, 2017

Storm Large, Yefim Bronfman, Jeffrey Kahane, Tango Caliente, Kodo, Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Dvořák’s New World Symphony Headline Not-To-Be-Missed Oregon Symphony Concerts in February  The year’s shortest month features almost as many standout concerts as there are dates! Whether your taste runs to the sultry song stylings of Portland’s hottest diva, Storm Large, who returns for another unforgettable Valentine’s Day concert; the primal sounds of Japan’s most acclaimed Taiko ensemble, Kodo; the spicy-hot sizzle of tango; the ever-popular Enigma Variations; or Dvořák’s show-stopping New World Symphony, you’ll find a concert – or two! – sure to delight. Also on tap: acclaimed pianists Yefim Bronfman and Jeffrey Kahane perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, respectively, and families with kids will enjoy a magical guided tour through the orchestra in our Kids Concert, the Pied Piper of Portlandia.

January 3, 2017

Oregon Symphony Presents Adds Two Concerts to 2016/17 Season Oregon Symphony Presents continues to add to its already extraordinary 2016/17 season with the addition of two more concerts, Indigo Girls and Disney in Concert: A Dream is a Wish. Announced separately from subscription concerts, Oregon Symphony Presents’ slate of Special Concerts spans the entertainment spectrum, to satisfy the region’s wide-ranging musical tastes.

December 2016

December 19, 2016

Oregon Symphony Announces Additional Performance of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone™ Film Concert  Third performance added due to overwhelming demand. The Oregon Symphony announced today that they will perform Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in ConcertonJanuary 21 (7:30 pm) and 22 (2:00 pm and 7 pm), 2017 as part of The Harry Potter Film Concert Series. The concert will feature the Oregon Symphony orchestra performing live, to picture, every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film on a high-definition big screen while hearing the orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score. Tickets are available via OrSymphony.org, and by phone (503-228-1353).

December 8, 2016

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Plays and Conducts Vivaldi; The Oregon Symphony Performs Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, Respighi’s The Pines of Rome, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; Violinist Stefan Jackiw, Cellist Alban Gerhardt, Indie-Folk Band Devotchka Join The Oregon Symphony On Stage in January  Take the chill off those cold January nights with an array of sizzling performances from the Oregon Symphony: the fiery passion of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg doing double duty as violinist and conductor in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons; a (mostly) all-Russian program featuring Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and violinist Stefan Jackiw performing Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto; the blockbuster film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, screened to a live performance of John Williams’ award-winning score; the symphonic brilliance of Respighi’s Pines of Rome; and Denver indie rock sensation DeVotchKa, who combine their eclectic folk-ethno style with the rich sound of the full orchestra. 

December 6, 2016

Oregon Symphony Returns to Coffee Creek Correctional Facility  For the third year in a row, Oregon Symphony musicians will add a special brand of holiday cheer for the incarcerated women at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. This season’s December 13 performance promises to be something special as the Oregon Symphony Brass Quintet is joined by the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility Choir, under Creative Director Crystal Akins of the Intergenerational Choir program.

November 2016

November 14, 2016

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and the Oregon Symphony to perform Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in Vancouver  Concert to be presented in special partnership between the Oregon Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Igor Shakhman today announced that the Oregon Symphony and world-renowned violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg will perform at the Skyview Concert Hall in Vancouver, Washington on January 8, 2017. Known the world over for her fiery and emotional performances, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg will both play and conduct the orchestra in one of the world’s most popular pieces of classical music—Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Also on the concert’s program is Bizet’s Carmen Suite, arranged by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin.

November 7, 2016

Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony paired with Video Animation; It’s A Wonderful Life; and Sensational Mix of Seasonal Concerts, including Gospel Christmas and Portland’s Favorite New Year Celebration featuring Beethoven’s Ninth, Highlight December Concert  There’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the holidays with the Oregon Symphony’s December concerts, beginning with the second concert in the SoundSights series: an innovative performance of Olivier Messiaen’s groundbreaking Turangalîla Symphony, performed with video animation created by renowned media artist Rose Bond and members of the Pacific Northwest College of Art and projected on the walls of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for an evening of stunning aural and visual creativity. Celebrate the 70th anniversary of everyone’s favorite holiday film, It’s A Wonderful Life, screened with live symphonic accompaniment, and get your tickets now for the always-popular Gospel Christmas concerts featuring the Northwest Community Gospel Choir’s special high-energy joy.

November 3, 2016

Oregon Symphony’s Performance of Messiaen’s Turangalîla will be a Feast for the Eyes as well as the Ears  Special panel discussion featuring video animator Rose Bond, Portland Art Museum Executive Director Brian Ferriso, and Music Director Carlos Kalmar scheduled for November 15. In the second of the Oregon Symphony’s SoundSights concerts, renowned Pacific Northwest College of Art animator Rose Bond and her team of PNCA students will transform the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in this original production. This production follows the recent semi-staged version of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle featuring Dale Chihuly’s striking glass sculptures and precedes the final SoundSights production in May of Stravinsky’s Perséphone, when the Symphony collaborates with Michael Curry of Lion King fame. The SoundSights series is designed to redefine the classical concert experience for the Symphony’s growing audiences by adding the richness of sight to the pleasure of sound.

October 2016

October 12, 2016

International Percussionist Colin Currie Set to Begin a Busy Week as Oregon Symphony’s Artist In Residence  International percussionist Colin Currie is set to begin his second season as the Oregon Symphony’s new Artist in Residence with a very busy schedule leading up to his October 22, 23, and 24 concerts at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert where he will perform the West Coast premiere of Andrew Norman’s Switch for solo percussion and orchestra with Music Director Carlos Kalmar on the podium. The engaging and energetic Currie, also the Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre, has performed with the Symphony on numerous occasions, establishing a solid fan base and developing a deep affection for Portland and its residents.

October 11, 2016

Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Capitol Steps, Il Divo, Pianist Stephen Hough, Kids and Holiday Concerts Highlight Oregon Symphony’s November Lineup  If the Oregon Symphony were presenting any more concerts in November, a few extra days would have to be added to the calendar! From start to finish, this month offers musical events not to be missed, like Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony; the blockbuster film Raiders of the Lost Ark, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year with live symphonic accompaniment; pianist Stephen Hough playing Saint-Saëns’ “Egyptian Concerto;” The Capitol Steps giving us their unique take on the current state of American politics on Election Night; chart-busting crossover sensation Il Divo presenting their newest album of Latin songs, all performed in their unique blend of opera/pop vocals; ARW, founding members of the legendary progressive rock band Yes performing the group’s iconic hits; and our first Kids and annual Holiday Pops concerts.

September 2016

September 28, 2016

The Oregon Symphony Welcomes New Board Members at Annual Membership Meeting  The Oregon Symphony held its annual membership meeting last week on the stage of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall amid the splendor of the Dale Chihuly glass set pieces that highlighted the classical season-opening production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. The Symphony shared the results of the first-time-ever, online elections, welcoming four new board members for three-year terms.

September 14, 2016

Tony Bennett, Colin Currie, Wynton Marsalis, Itzhak Perlman and Marc-André Hamelin headline Oregon Symphony October concerts.  The best of the best: that’s what the Oregon Symphony is serving up in October, as jazz and classical music superstars grace the stage of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The legendary Tony Bennett, who sings the American Songbook like nobody else, and multiple Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, along with the top-notch Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, present unforgettable evenings of vocal and instrumental jazz. Artist-in-Residence Colin Currie returns to perform the West Coast premiere of a new American percussion concerto, while acclaimed pianist Marc-André Hamelin tackles the monumental Third Piano Concerto by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

August 2016

August 23, 2016

Oregon Symphony continues Winning Streak with Another Strong Season  The 2015/16 season, with its wide-ranging musical offerings and energized community engagement efforts, sets more new records. President Scott Showalter announced today the results of the 2015/16 season, his second as the Symphony President. In addition to exceeding its revenue goals, the Oregon Symphony set a number of new records, including total season subscription revenue, total classical ticket revenue, percentage of first-time ticket buyers, the highest grossing single concert, and the amount raised at the annual gala. Consequently, the Symphony balanced its budget for the seventh consecutive season.

August 18, 2016

The Oregon Symphony adds Pokémon to its Season Lineup  Pokémon Go fans won’t want to miss this! This show has become the must-see video game concert of the year, giving audiences of all ages the chance to experience the evolution of the Pokémon franchise, now with a few exciting interactive connections to Pokémon Go.

August 9, 2016

Oregon Symphony’s 120th Anniversary Season kicks off with Star-Studded Lineup: Renée Fleming, Boyz II Men, Music of David Bowie, Shanghai Acrobats and Bluebeard’s Castle with Sets by Dale Chihuly  The Waterfront Concert on September 1 opens the Symphony’s 120th season with a month full of exciting performances to delight both the eyes and the ears. The award-winning Shanghai Acrobats return, along with superstar Renée Fleming and four-time R&B Grammy winner Boyz II Men. Fans of the Legend of Zelda series will welcome the newest installment in Symphony of the Goddesses: Master Quest, and legendary musician/artist David Bowie’s music gets symphonic treatment in The Music of David Bowie. The Classical Series opens September 24 with a semi-staged concert performance of Bartók’s only opera, Bluebeard’s Castle, with sets designed by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly.

August 9, 2016

Oregon Symphony’s Waterfront Concert set for September 1  The Waterfront Concert—one of Portland’s favorite summer events and the largest free concert in the state—to be broadcast live for the second year in a row on All Classical Portland (KQAC 89.9 fm). On September 1, the skies above Tom McCall Waterfront Park will once again light up following Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with military cannons from the Oregon Army National Guard 218th Field Artillery. An expected audience of over 20,000 spectators will enjoy the dazzling fireworks finale and celebrate what is expected to be the largest-ever Waterfront Concert.

July 2016

July 28, 2016

Oregon Symphony announces Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone™ Film Concert  The Oregon Symphony announced today that they will perform Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on January 21 (7:30 pm) and 22 (2:00 pm), 2017 as part of The Harry Potter Film Concert Series. The concert will feature the Oregon Symphony orchestra performing live, to picture, every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film on a high-definition big screen while hearing the orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score. Tickets go on sale to the public Sunday, July 31, via OrSymphony.org, and by phone (503-228-1353) starting Monday, August 1. They are currently on sale now exclusively to Oregon Symphony subscribers.

July 1, 2016

The Oregon Symphony Extends Music Director Carlos Kalmar’s Contract Through The 2020/2021 Season Carlos Kalmar announces that the 2020/21 season will be his last, providing a five-year period in which to select his successor. The Oregon Symphony Board of Directors Chair Jack Wilborn today announced a three-year extension of Music Director Carlos Kalmar’s contract. Previously set to expire in June 2018, that contract will now continue through the 2020/21 season, ensuring Kalmar’s artistic leadership for another five seasons.