February 23, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portland, Ore. … The artistic highlights of Carlos Kalmar’s 2003-2004 inaugural season as the Oregon Symphony’s 10th Music Director will be marked by a renewed emphasis on standard orchestral repertoire, including a month-long Beethoven Festival, coupled with commissioned Northwest fanfares to celebrate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition and a wide array of acclaimed guest conductors and soloists including pianists André Watts and Christopher O’Riley, percussionist Evelyn Glennie and the Boston Pops’ Keith Lockhart.
In addition, the season will mark James DePreist’s first as Laureate Music Director; he will return for four subscription concerts and recordings. Special Events presentations will include the return of Ravi Shankar, Wynton Marsalis with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and perennial favorite Pink Martini for Valentine’s concerts.
Two major changes for the 2003-2004 season include a new series building on the former Nerve Endings series called Front Row Center and the introduction of Sundays at Two, a reformatted Sunday matinee series featuring shorter (80-minute) concerts and conversations with musicians from stage. Although Associate Conductor Norman Leyden has announced he will take a one-year sabbatical from the Symphony, he will “moonlight” to conduct two Bank of America Pops concerts.
In 2004, Oregon and America mark the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery expedition. To commemorate the occasion, the Symphony has commissioned three-minute fanfares from three prominent Oregon composers: Robert Kyr, David Schiff and Kevin Walczyk. In addition to these commemorative commissions, the Symphony will also give the world premiere of a symphony by Willamette University Professor John Peel.
The Classical season will focus on core symphonic repertoire and such audience favorites as Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies Nos. 4 and 5, Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter,” Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World,” Berlioz’ “Symphonie fantastique” and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection.”
In addition, Beethoven’s two most beloved symphonies (Nos. 5 and 9) will serve as centerpiece works for a month-long Beethoven festival which will cross several Symphony series. The festival will include two Classical series concerts featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (Feb. 20-22, 2004) and Symphony No. 9, “Choral” (Feb. 28-March 1, 2004); a Front Row Center concert devoted to exploring Beethoven’s unique and revolutionary musical style (Jan. 30, 2004) with Guest Conductor Keith Lockhart; a Sundays at Two titled “Musical Personalities” which will feature the overture from “Creatures of Prometheus” (March 7, 2004); and a Kids Concert presentation of “Beethoven Lives Upstairs” (Feb. 15, 2004). Additional Beethoven Festival events will be announced as they are added.
Other Classical Season highlights will include the legendary André Watts performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (April 17-19, 2004); and renowned Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie, whom The New York Times calls “The percussion world’s Segovia or Rampal” with a new concerto for snare drum by Askell Masson (Oct. 18-20, 2003). Pianist Christopher O’Riley, host of the nationally syndicated radio program “From the Top” (heard locally on All-Classical KBPS 89.9), will perform Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F (Nov. 22-24, 2003) and pianist Benedetto Lupo, the 1989 Bronze Medalist in the Van Cliburn competition, will perform Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor (Jan. 10-12, 2004). Violinist Karen Gomyo, who made her acclaimed Symphony debut last year, returns to perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, “Turkish (Nov. 15-17, 2003)” and cellist Mark Kosower, who recorded Walton’s cello concerto with the Symphony last season, returns to perform in an all-Tchaikovsky program (Oct. 11-13, 2003). In addition, Spanish pianist Joaquín Achúcarro, of whom conductor Zubin Mehta said: “I have only heard this sound from Rubinstein,” will play music of de Falla (May 8-10, 2004). Symphony Principal Horn John Cox will make a solo appearance for Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4 (March 13-15, 2004).
The 2003-2004 Classical season also will feature guest-conducting appearances by Andrey Boreyko, Principal Guest Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony; Estonian conductor Eri Klas, the current music director of the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. Other series will feature celebrated Baroque Specialist Robert King; Gregory Vajda, Assistant Conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony; and Marc Taddei, Associate Director of the Auckland Philharmonia and Music Director of the Christchurch Symphony, both in New Zealand.
The Symphony’s 2003-2004 Bank of America Pops series will feature fun and exciting programs that include a semi-staged presentation of “Camelot,” performances by the legendary Art Garfunkel and the return of “Yuletide Celebration,” the Broadway-style holiday show that has become a Symphony tradition. The Pops series also will include a 100th birthday celebration of the music of Glenn Miller conducted by Norman Leyden; a salute to the great ladies of song featuring vocalist Dee Daniels; an evening of British popular music conducted by Jack Everly; and a salute to the music of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, including video from his most suspenseful thrillers.
The innovative Front Row Center, building on the popular Nerve Endings, will include “The Making of Mozart,” an exploration of the roles Mozart’s father, musical colleagues and friends played in his development and creative process, conducted by Carlos Kalmar; “Beethoven the Revolutionary,” in which Keith Lockhart will trace that composer’s rebellious, non-conformist approach to serving the creative impulses that drove him; and “Love Triangle: Music, Marriage and Madness,” which will explore, with guest conductor Paul Mann, the lives of Robert and Clara Schumann and their good friend Johannes Brahms, whose lives and music influenced one another against a background of passion, loyalty, love and madness.
Programs scheduled for the popular Kids Concert series include the acclaimed “musictelling” ensemble Tales & Scales’ presentation of “Arabian Nights;” “Holiday Magic,” with favorite Christmas carols, colorful characters and a visit from Santa; and “Beethoven Lives Upstairs,” based on the award-winning recording by Classical Kids, which introduces young listeners to the life and music of this great composer.
Sundays at Two, formerly Symphony Sundays, will present four 80-minute Sunday afternoon concerts (without intermission) featuring audience favorites and conversations from stage at its new time of 2 p.m. Principal Trombone Aaron LaVere, Symphony violinists Paloma Griffin and Greg Ewer, and Principal Clarinet Todd Kuhns will be featured soloists and speakers.
Not-to-be-missed performances from the legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar (Sept. 13, 2003) and Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (March 4, 2004) will headline the 2003-2004 Special Events presentations. Annual Symphony holiday traditions are back by popular demand with the return of “Yuletide Celebration,” an innovative, Broadway-style holiday pops show; the greatly anticipated “Gospel Christmas,” with stirring performances by guest conductor Charles Floyd and the Northwest Community Gospel Chorus, and the traditional Baroque concert featuring Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2003.
The Symphony offers five subscription series: the 14 concert Classical series (also available as seven-concert Series A or B ), the Symphony’s flagship series, presenting classical works ranging from traditional to contemporary and featuring the superstars of the classical world; the popular Bank of America Pops series, featuring some of the best songs written over the past century with emphasis on Broadway and the Big Band era performed by popular music’s brightest stars; the innovative Front Row Center series offering “A Closer Look at Classical Music;” the Kids Concert series, designed to introduce kids (and adults) to the wonderful world of the symphony orchestra; and Sundays at Two, affordable 80-minute Sunday afternoon performances of audience favorites with no intermission and Symphony musicians speaking from stage. For those who prefer to create their own series, the Symphony provides Music Max, which may be redeemed for 12 tickets to any of the Symphony’s series concerts (Special Events excluded). In addition to series concerts, the Symphony presents Special Event concerts to fulfill a wide range of tastes.
All concerts will be held at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, located in downtown Portland on the corner of S.W. Broadway and Main, unless otherwise noted.
In addition to a full season of concerts at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, the Oregon Symphony addresses the needs of the larger community through statewide Community Music Partnerships, several “run-out” concerts (out-of-town concerts) and free, local community concerts such as “Oregon Symphony in the Neighborhoods,” in which the Symphony partners with the City of Portland and the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) in a series of concert events in neighborhood parks and at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Subscribers get the best seats, don’t have to wait in line for tickets and don’t run the risk of concerts being sold out. They also receive first-choice seating and discounts on all Special Event concerts. Subscribers can exchange subscription tickets to fit their taste or schedule, and save 20 percent on additional single tickets to Classical, Bank of America Pops or Front Row Center concerts. Seniors and students are entitled to discounted subscriptions to Classical series concerts. Additional information on subscriber benefits is available by calling the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office at 503-228-1353 or (800) 228-7343 or by visiting the Symphony’s Web site at www.orsymphony.org.
Subscriptions to the Oregon Symphony’s 2003-2004 season are available in several packages. Subscriptions for all 14 classical concerts are as low as $182; a seven-concert Classical series costs as little as $119. Bank of America Pops subscriptions start at $112; Kids Concerts at $18 for adults and $15 for children 12 & under; and Front Row Center at $36. Sundays at Two is a series of four concerts with general admission seating at $60 for adults and $42 for students/seniors. The Symphony also offers Music Max, a flexible 12-concert package, for $360 or a 6-concert Mini Music Max for $198. Music Max may be redeemed for tickets to concerts on the Classical, Bank of America Pops, Front Row Center, Sundays at Two or Kids Concert series.
Subscriptions may be purchased at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office in downtown Portland at 923 S.W. Washington, or charged by phone at 503-228-1353 or (800) 228-7343 weekdays (and Saturdays, Sept. through May) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Subscription orders also may be placed on-line at www.orsymphony.org beginning in March. Single tickets to all 2003-2004 Symphony events will be available to the general public at 9 a.m. on Aug. 18, 2003.