Oregon Symphony


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Oregon Symphony News Releases

June 2016

June 14, 2016

Oregon Symphony Presents adds Four Concerts to 2016/17 Season  Tony Bennett sings standards; Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman of YES reunite; Japan’s Kodo performs dazzling Taiko; Symphony goes Indie with Denver-based DeVotchKa. Oregon Symphony Presents has expanded its slate of 2016/17 concerts and presentations since it first unveiled the lineup last month, adding shows by Tony Bennett; Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman (ARW); Kodo; and DeVotchKa. 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.

May 2016

May 13, 2016

Oregon Symphony Presents Announces 2016/17 Lineup  With a slate of concerts and presentations that spans the musical and entertainment spectrum from Il Divo and Wynton Marsalis to Renee Fleming and Boyz II Men, Oregon Symphony Presents satisfies the region’s wide-ranging musical tastes. The Oregon Symphony takes pride not only in the quality of its playing but also in the breadth of its musical and entertainment offerings. Now, with sales for its Classical, Pops and Kids subscriptions well underway and selling above last year’s record numbers, the Symphony is pleased to announce its 2016/17 Special Concerts.

April 2016

April 25, 2016

Back to the Future, Music of Queen and The Eagles, Mahler’s Third Symphony and Pianist Garrick Ohlsson performing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 bring the 2015/16 Season to an End  Whatever your musical taste, the Oregon Symphony’s May lineup will be sure to satisfy. We start the month with a screening of the classic 1980s film Back to the Future, presented with its full live orchestral score. Fans of The Eagles and Queen will enjoy lavish symphonic treatments of the bands’ most iconic songs, the Blind Boys of Alabama bring their distinctive sound, and acclaimed pianist Garrick Ohlsson returns to perform Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto. Finally, we end our classical season with Gustav Mahler’s monumental and profound Symphony No. 3.

April 20, 2016

Oregon Symphony Gala Sets Record  The theme for this signature fundraising event—“Like Never Before”—proves true as gala contributions of over $870,000 smash previous record. When the University of Oregon drum line made a surprise entrance as the finale to the Oregon Symphony Annual Gala on Saturday, April 16, even its driving beat was overpowered by the celebratory confetti canons and thunderous applause from the over 400 patrons in attendance as they learned that they had set an all-time gala fundraising record of $870,645.

April 15, 2016

Oregon Symphony Musicians and Administration Ratify New Three-Year Contract  Contract increases musician salaries and adds further momentum to the Symphony’s recent growth. Oregon Symphony Association Board Chair Jack Wilborn today announced that the Symphony and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 99, have ratified a new three-year collective bargaining agreement for Oregon Symphony musicians. The contract begins retroactively from September 2015 and runs through May 2018. “On behalf of the entire Board, I extend my deep appreciation to our musicians, our President, and everyone involved in these negotiations for their diligence and collaborative spirit. With this agreement, we will become an ever-stronger force in our community,” he said.

April 15, 2016

Oregon Symphony and David Douglas School District Partner in Carnegie Hall’s Link Up Program  In what is certain to be an explosive culmination to a year-long program, nearly 3,000 third, fourth, and fifth graders of the David Douglas School District’s nine elementary schools will join forces with the Oregon Symphony, raising the roof of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with their recorders and voices in a live performance titled “The Orchestra Sings.” The concert will be conducted by Oregon Symphony Resident Conductor Paul Kim and hosted by Pam Mahon, both of whom have been working with the school district’s music specialists and the students throughout the past year.

April 1, 2016

The Oregon Symphony partners with Mary’s Woods to launch musicNOW, an innovative program for those living with dementia  The Oregon Symphony has partnered with Mary’s Woods Continuing Care Retirement Community to launch musicNOW, an interactive program designed to enhance the emotional and social well-being of individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Mary’s Woods hosted eight musicNOW sessions in February, and will host an additional eight in April at its Lake Oswego location.

March 2016

March 22, 2016

Two Violinists perform Tchaikovsky and Adès; a Great Jazz Singer pays tribute to Frank Sinatra; a Kids’ Dance Party closes the Kids Series; and The Music of John Williams lights up the Symphony Stage in April  We’re not fooling when it comes to the Oregon Symphony’s April concerts: two young world-class violinists, Simone Lamsma and Augustin Hadelich, both playing Stradivari violins, will present concertos by Tchaikovsky and British composer Thomas Adès, respectively. Other standout classical fare this month: first symphonies by Edward Elgar and Dmitri Shostakovich. Fans of Frank Sinatra will enjoy vocalist Curtis Stigers’ take on Old Blue Eyes’ greatest hits, and kids of all ages won’t be able to keep their seats as we present a toe-tapping Dance Party for our final Kids Concert of 2015/16. And the month of April closes out with Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams.

March 21, 2016

Symphony Adds New Concert to the 2015/16 Season  In its ongoing effort to provide the region with musical experiences that span the spectrum of musical genres, the Oregon Symphony announces the latest addition to its “Oregon Symphony Presents” lineup. The Blind Boys of Alabama perform Friday, May 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. When these legendary Gospel titans perform, it’s a roof-raising musical event. Their soaring voices and powerful energy have been thrilling crowds around the world for decades. Stronger than ever, the five-time Grammy Award winners can always be counted on for a truly uplifting experience.

February 2016

February 29, 2016

Oregon Symphony Names 2016 Schnitzer Wonder Award Winner  President Scott Showalter today announced that the Symphony’s 2016 Schnitzer Wonder Award will go to Mia Hall Miller, founder and artistic director of the Pacific Youth Choir. The award will be presented at the Symphony’s annual fundraising gala on April 16. 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.

February 18, 2016

Two More Concerts Added to the Oregon Symphony’s 15/16 Season  The Oregon Symphony’s 2015/16 season continues to grow, adding even greater breadth to an already expansive season with the addition of Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams and The Music of The Eagles: A Tribute to Glenn Frey

February 16, 2016

Debussy’s Prelude to “The Afternoon Of A Faun,” Strauss Don Quixote, and Featured Solos by Orchestra Musicians among March Highlights, along with a Special Performance by Classical Music Comedians Igudesman & Joo  There may be only three Oregon Symphony concerts scheduled in March, but they’re packed full of some of the best and most beloved works in the orchestral repertoire. March roars in with Igudesman & Joo’s “Big Nightmare Music.” Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “the two most brilliantly outrageous characters in classical music since P.D.Q. Bach,” violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-ki Joo bring their singularly zany sendup of classical music to Portland for a special evening of side-splitting musical comedy. Concertmaster Sarah Kwak, Principal Trumpet Jeffrey Work and English horn Kyle Mustain take center stage for works by Bloch and Copland, while cellist Christian Poltéra makes his Symphony debut in Strauss’ Don Quixote.. 

February 12, 2016

The Oregon Symphony names new Associate Conductor  Music Director Carlos Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony have announced the selection of Norman Huynh as the Symphony’s new Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Associate Conductor. Huynh, who will make the move from one Portland to another, is currently the Assistant Conductor of the Portland Symphony Orchestra in Portland, Maine, a position he has held for the past three seasons. He will be the Assistant Conductor at the Spoleto Festival USA this summer and has previously served as Assistant Conductor at Opera Carolina, the Lyric Opera of Baltimore, the Peabody Opera Theatre, and the Peabody Singers. He made his international conducting debut with the Princess Galyani Vadhana Youth Orchestra in Bangkok and has conducted symphonies in Baltimore, Toledo, Charlotte, Virginia, and Macon, in addition to the Peabody Symphony Orchestra. He received his Master’s Degree in orchestral conducting at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where he studied with Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, Markand Thakar, and Edward Polochick. He was the recipient of the 2015 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship to study intensively with the late Kurt Masur in Leipzig, Germany. 

February 5, 2016

Music Director Carlos Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony Unveil Unprecedented Season for 2016/17  Record growth marks the 120th Anniversary Season with a 20 percent increase in the number of classical concerts, a new multimedia series in collaboration with artistic luminaries, two commissioned world premieres, and 16 Oregon Symphony premieres. Music Director Carlos Kalmar and President Scott Showalter have announced the details of the Company’s 2016/17 season. Titled “Like Never Before,” the season, which celebrates the Company’s 120th Anniversary and builds on the records-shattering success of the past two seasons, marks a new era of artistic growth and community collaboration. Armed with another Grammy Award nomination, its third in four years, the Symphony creates new artistic experiences in a signature series titled SoundSights, in which visual art is merged with orchestral sound. In each of the three installments in this series, the Symphony collaborates with some of the Northwest region’s most prominent artists. Renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s works of art provide the setting for the production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle; Pacific Northwest College of Art’s acclaimed animator Rose Bond and her team project dramatic video around the interior walls of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphony; and production design wizard Michael Curry transforms the stage for Stravinsky’s Perséphone.

January 2016

January 19, 2016

Joshua Bell, Holst’s The Planets, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Tenors, and Music From The Cotton Club round out February Oregon Symphony Concerts  Superstar – or maybe rock star is the more appropriate term – violinist Joshua Bell returns to Portland with one of the works that launched his recording career, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, as Oregon Symphony launches its February concerts with music from other worlds, starting with Gustav Holst’s ever-popular The Planets. Trekkers can continue their outer-space explorations with a live performance of the score and a screening of the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness, while jazz aficionados can spend an evening at the legendary Cotton Club with music of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and more. Finally, the Canadian singing sensation The Tenors returns to Portland with music from their latest album, Under One Sky.

December 2015

December 15, 2015

Lily Tomlin, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, a Kids’ Musical Zoo, Indie Troubadour Gregory Alan Isakov, and Chris Botti Headline January Performances  Award-winning comedian Lily Tomlin returns to Portland for an evening of her signature comedy, and 23-year-old piano phenom Benjamin Grosvenor makes his Oregon Symphony debut with Chopin’s First Piano Concerto. January also features acclaimed indie singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov, who combines soulful vocals and searching lyrics with symphonic arrangements of his haunting folk songs; a Musical Zoo for kids, with music portraying diverse members of the animal kingdom; renowned French oboist François Leleux, also making his Oregon Symphony debut, with Richard Strauss’ Oboe Concerto; and trumpet sensation Chris Botti and his cool jazz stylings.

December 15, 2015

FamilyCare Health Donates $100,000 Gift to Support Music Education in Schools Donation Inspires Multi-Organization Collaboration  On December 18 from 2-3 pm an All-School Holiday Assembly is set for Earl Boyles Elementary in the David Douglas School District to highlight a generous $100,000 donation to Schoolhouse Supplies from FamilyCare Health’s President & CEO and Oregon Symphony Board member Jeff Heatherington. With this investment of $100,000 from FamilyCare Health, Schoolhouse Supplies will expand the number of school districts eligible to use their services and provide classroom sets of basic musical instruments that will inspire the children to love music, support their daily learning and give them a basis for continuing their music education.

December 14, 2015

Oregon Symphony Plays in Prison  On December 9th Oregon Symphony musicians returned for a second year to Wilsonville’s Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, where an audience of 112 incarcerated women gave them a roaring welcome back. Such performances are one piece of the Department of Corrections Oregon Accountability Model, which provides targeted programs and services to help offenders transition successfully back into communities. “We want to bring a piece of Oregon culture to these women, who are working hard to improve their lives,” said Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter. “It’s heartening to get to know them and share the beauty of music.”

December 7, 2015

Oregon Symphony Adds Two More Concerts to the 2015/16 Season  The Oregon Symphony’s 2015/16 season continues to grow, adding even greater breadth to an already expansive season with the addition of Chris Botti and The Music of Queen.

November 2015

November 5, 2015

Oregon Symphony Hires Leaders to Grow  President and CEO Scott Showalter announced today that the Oregon Symphony has made two senior hires: Steve Wenig as Vice President and General Manager, and Ellen Bussing as Vice President for Development. Wenig and Bussing will be charged with helping to build the programs and capacity of the Oregon Symphony, following the most successful year in its history. In 2014-15, the Oregon Symphony set records for the number of sold-out performances, total ticket revenue, numbers of new patrons and total patrons, total donations, numbers of new donors and total donors, and gala giving. Strategic plans call for growth in artistic and community programs to serve more of the citizens of Portland and Southwest Washington, Showalter noted.

October 2015

October 29, 2015

Celebrate December Holidays with the Oregon Symphony’s Exciting Mix of Seasonal Repertoire, Featuring Handel’s Messiah, Johnny Mathis, Home Alone, Rousing Gospel, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Not-To-Be-Missed Ode To Joy New Year Celebration with Special Guest Meow Meow  Cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs a sold-out solo recital featuring three of J.S. Bach’s cello suites and music from Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Meanwhile, holiday music fills the air in December as the Oregon Symphony presents a sparkling array of concerts celebrating the season: Handel’s Messiah launches the month-long slate of exciting musical fare: Johnny Mathis presents an evening of his classic interpretations of Christmas favorites; the Northwest Gospel Choir returns for the seventeenth year of Gospel Christmas; the holiday film favorite Home Alone with the score played live; Comfort and Joy, designed for the entire family; and Portland’s newest classical music tradition, the New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and cabaret sensation Meow Meow, brings 2015 to a joyful close.

As part of the Symphony’s commitment to bring the joy of music to as many people as possible, musicians will add a special holiday cheer with return performances in two important venues—the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Salem and the St. Mary’s Home for Boys in Beaverton. Previous outings in these venues have been very special performances, for the audiences and for musicians.  

October 16, 2015

Sara Evans, Melissa Etheridge, and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Headline a Busy Month of November at the Symphony  November marks the Oregon Symphony’s first foray into country music as superstar Sara Evans joins the orchestra for an evening of symphonic arrangements of her greatest hits, while rocker Melissa Etheridge performs selections from her latest album, This is M. E. Pianist Kirill Gerstein returns to perform Rachmaninoff’s perennial favorite, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, while pianist and Mozart specialist Francisco Piemontesi makes his Symphony debut with Mozart’s last piano concerto. Also on tap: our first Kids Concert of the season takes the audience on a tour of the solar system, and Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik kicks off the holiday season with our rousing Holiday Pops concert.

September 2015

September 17, 2015

International Percussionist Colin Currie set to Begin a Busy Week as Oregon Symphony's Artist In Residence International percussionist Colin Currie begins his three-year tenure as the Oregon Symphony’s new Artist in Residence with a very busy schedule leading up to his September 26, 27, and 28 concerts at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert where he will perform MacMillan’s Veni, veni, Emmanuel. 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 people. As the Artist in Residence, he is the organization’s ambassador-at-large, putting his artistic muscle and charismatic personality to work, helping the Symphony share the joy of music with as wide and as diverse a population as possible. To that end, he—along with a truckload of percussion instruments—will be performing in a variety of schools and public places during the week of September 21-28.

September 17, 2015

Lang Lang Headlines a Month of Stellar Performances In October that also includes Beethoven’s Eroica, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Disney in Concert: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Broadway Favorites Superstar pianist Lang Lang returns to Portland to perform Edvard Grieg’s lush Piano Concerto in A minor, in what is sure to be a sold-out performance with the Oregon Symphony. Tim Burton’s macabre animation gets a fresh sound with the Symphony’s screening of his classic 1993 film, The Nightmare Before Christmas, complete with a live performance of Danny Elfman’s award-winning score. Other highlights include an evening of favorites from the American Songbook, sung by Lisa Vroman and Ron Raines; violinist Vadim Gluzman performing Sofia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium, based on music from J. S. Bach’s Musical Offering, and a rare opportunity to see the harp take center stage, as Yolanda Kondonassis performs Alberto Ginastera’s Harp Concerto.

August 2015

August 10, 2015

Waterfront Concert Leads a Spectacular List of September Concerts as Oregon Symphony Opens the 2015/16 Season The September 3 Waterfront Concert signals the opening of the music season in Portland and the 2015/16 Symphony season. And what a September it is! There’s something for everyone in the opening month which features its most eclectic offerings yet, with seven events ranging from Spanish classical guitarist Pablo Villegas performing Rodrigo’s Fantasía para un gentilhombre and Chinese acrobats to soul diva Patti LaBelle and acclaimed percussionist Colin Currie. Also on tap in September: an evening of Pink Floyd’s music arranged for symphony orchestra, accompanied by an eye-popping light show; and a fun-filled concert for the whole family featuring music from the Pokémon video game franchise.

August 5, 2015

Oregon Symphony’s Waterfront Concert – Set for September 3 – Will be Bigger than Ever The Waterfront Concert – one of Portland’s favorite summer events and the largest free concert in the state – to be broadcast live on All Classical Portland (KQAC 89.9 fm). 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 some 20,000 spectators will enjoy the dazzling fireworks finale and celebrate the largest-ever Waterfront Concert. The afternoon music festival begins at 1 pm with a stellar lineup of musicians and youth orchestras, with the Oregon Symphony performance beginning at 7 pm. Radio audiences around the world will enjoy the Symphony concert, thanks to the first-time-ever broadcast by All Classical Portland.