February 5, 2016



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.

(PORTLAND, Ore.) – 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.

Music Director Carlos Kalmar, commenting on the season—which marks his 14th at the artistic helm—said: “This is the most exciting season in my tenure. It is exactly what we should be doing—providing new musical experiences for our audiences.”

SoundSights concerts headline a Classical subscription series that grows from 40 performances to 48 performances, a 20% increase over previous seasons. That growth allows all classical programs to have three performances—on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays—providing patrons with more choices and opportunities.

In addition to that classical performance growth, all subscription packages expand to include eight classical performances, half of the season’s classical offerings.

Monday classical concert start times move from 8:00 pm to 7:30 pm, aligning the start times of all evening concerts.

Noting the Company’s changes, President Scott Showalter, for whom the 2016/17 season marks his third, said: “Our growth reflects the support of our subscribers, donors, ticket-buyers, and artistic partners. The Oregon Symphony is responding to what we’ve heard from our community and preparing for further growth. It’s an exciting time to make music and art.”

The 2016/17 120th Anniversary Season, which opens on September 10, 2016 and closes on May 22, 2017, includes 48 performances of 16 Classical subscription concerts, 8 performances of 4 Pops subscription concerts and 3 performances of 3 Kids subscription concerts, for a total of 59 performances of 23 different subscription concerts.

In addition to the subscription concerts, the season includes three renowned classical performers in Special Concerts: Soprano Renée Fleming kicks off the season on September 10; violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg performs and conducts Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on January 7, 2017; and violinist Gil Shaham joins the orchestra on April 2, 2017.

Every season, the Oregon Symphony performs between 20 and 30 concerts beyond its subscription series. These Special Concerts—under the Oregon Symphony Presents banner—span a wide range of genres. Patrons can expect the full slate of these Special Concerts to be announced in May.


2016/17 Season Highlights
Classical Concerts:

Percussionist Colin Currie returns for his second year as the Oregon Symphony’s Artist in Residence, a position that involves performing onstage as well as working around the community. Currie is an extraordinary classical music ambassador, deploying  an array of percussion instruments, including his own body, to perform and teach in venues throughout the region.

Audience Favorites
The season includes many classical favorites like Mozart’s Requiem, Dvořák’s New World Symphony, Debussy’s La Mer, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Respighi’s The Pines of Rome, Barber’s Violin Concerto, the Bach/Stokowski Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, among many others.

Oregon Symphony Premieres
In addition to those favorites, the season is spiced with 16 Oregon Symphony debut pieces, including world premieres of Oregon Symphony-commissioned works by Portland’s own Kenji Bunch and Chris Rogerson, along with Stravinsky’s Perséphone, Messaien’s Turangalîla-Symphony, Rouse’s Supplica, Norman’s Percussion Concerto “Switch,” Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 3, Dutilleux’s A Whole Distant World cello concerto, and Hosakawa’s Circulating Ocean, among others.

Returning Soloists
The 2016/17 season sees the return of some of the world’s best-known classical stars as well as performers who have won favored status with Portland audiences, including percussionist Colin Currie, cellist Alban Gerhardt; violinists Stefan Jackiw and Simone Lamsma; and pianists Marc-André Hamelin, Stephen Hough, Steven Osborne, Yefim Bronfman, and Jeffrey Kahane.
Debuting Soloists
Guest artists making their Oregon Symphony debuts include Joseph Swenson, violin; Harriet Krijgh, cello; and Cynthia Millar, ondes martenot. Vocalists joining the Symphony for the first time are Viktoria Vizin, soprano; Amanda Majeski, soprano; Elizabeth DeShong, mezzo soprano; and Gábor Bretz, bass.

Orchestra Soloists
In addition to the many international performers who join us as soloists, Oregon Symphony musicians Martha Long, principal flute; Martin Hébert, principal oboe; James Shields, principal clarinet; Carin Miller Packwood, principal bassoon; Jeffrey Work, principal trumpet; and John Cox, principal horn enjoy the solo spotlight in Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments.
Returning Conductors
Christoph König, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and Jun Mӓrkl return to the Oregon Symphony podium following past successes leading the orchestra.

Debuting Conductors
Nicholas Carter and Hans Graf step to the podium in their Oregon Symphony debuts.

Debuting Stage Directors
Mary Birnbaum directs the Symphony’s first semi-staged opera, Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle.


Pops Concerts:

The popular Jeff Tyzik continues his ninth year as Principal Pops Conductor, curating and conducting the Pops Series. The 2016/17 Pops season includes eight performances of four separate Pops concerts, spanning the musical spectrum.

“Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander leads the parade of Pops when he joins the Symphony, singing Broadway favorites spiced with his unique comic take on the world, in October; baritone Doug LaBrecque lights up a traditional Holiday Pops concert in November; Pepe Raphael, along with Portland’s hottest tango musicians, sizzles in Tango Caliente in February; and Grammy Award winner Patti Austin pays homage to Ella Fitzgerald in April.

Kids Concerts:

Young audiences are an important part of the Oregon Symphony family. This year’s Kids Concerts again feature Pam Mahon as narrator and performer in programs designed especially for the young and the young at heart: Frozen Fairy Tales, featuring music from Disney’s hit movie, along with music from The Snow Queen, The Nutcracker and more in November; Castles and Wizards with music from Harry Potter in March; and the Pied Piper of Portlandia, featuring Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra in February.

Education and Community Engagement:

Beyond the concert hall, the Oregon Symphony continues its work throughout the community, bringing moving musical experiences to over 50,000 additional people in schools, libraries, hospitals, correctional facilities and public gathering spaces throughout our region.

During the 2016/17 season, 12 Symphony Storytimes are scheduled in local libraries in three counties for preschoolers; 36 Kinderkonzerts, representing all four sections of the orchestra, occur in three area host schools for K-2nd graders; and six Young People’s Concerts take place at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on 3 school days for the 3rd through 8th grade students in Portland and Salem.

Oregon Symphony musicians return for the third year of the five-year “Studio to School” partnership with the David Douglas School District, offering professional development for teachers, providing private lessons for string students, and presenting the second of three yearly “Link Up” concerts.

During the 2016/17 season the Symphony continues its all-important partnerships with Bravo Youth Orchestra, Portland Youth Philharmonic, and Metropolitan Youth Symphony by partnering, mentoring, and side-by-side performances.

The “MusicNOW” program continues, as the Symphony works with some of the most experienced practitioners and educators in the fields of dementia and music therapy in the area. Throughout the season musicians will perform in community venues, offering interactive music enrichment to elders and their caregivers, dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Oregon Symphony ensembles also bring holiday cheer in December to places where it isn’t always found, at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and the St. Mary’s Home for Boys.


A complete list of 2016/17 concerts can be viewed at: www.orsymphony.org/season

A 2016/17 Season Brochure can be viewed at: www.orsymphony.org/seasonbrochure

Subscription Details

Oregon Symphony subscribers will receive their renewal packages beginning today and have until March 31 to renew their seats or request seating changes. New subscribers may purchase their season ticket packages beginning immediately.

Tickets to the Renée Fleming, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Gil Shaham Classical Specials are available at this time only to patrons renewing their subscriptions and patrons purchasing new subscriptions.

Tickets to all Oregon Symphony series concerts will go on sale to the general public in August.
Classical Series season tickets are priced as follows:
8-concert series, beginning at $168
16-concert series, beginning at $320

Pops Series season tickets begin as low as $84 for the 4-concert package.

Kids Concert Series begin as low as $27 for the 3-concert series.

Subscriptions may be renewed or purchased online at OrSymphony.org; by phone at 503-228-1353; or in person/by mail at 909 SW Washington, Portland.

For more information, go to www.orsymphony.org or call the Ticket Office at 503-228-1353.



Jim Fullan
Vice President/Communications, Marketing, Sales