A Message from Oregon Symphony President and CEO Scott Showalter


July 8, 2020

Hello, I’m Scott Showalter, President of your Oregon Symphony.

I last recorded a video message to you – our subscribers, patrons, and donors – in March, when the Oregon Symphony was forced to cancel concerts after the onset of COVID-19. Unfortunately for all of us, the pandemic continues. And so today, I announce that concerts for the first portion of our 2020/21 Season – October 1 through December 31 – have been canceled. Our many in-person education and engagement programs during this time also are canceled. We plan to resume programs in January.

The Oregon Symphony’s chief concern since the pandemic began has been the health and safety of our community – audiences, musicians, and staff. Based on guidance from Governor Brown and state health officials, and in accordance with social distancing protocols, it has become clear that large groups of people cannot gather safely for the remainder of this calendar year.

Ours was a straightforward and necessary decision, albeit with painful consequences. The musicians and I are eager to perform again. Like you, we have been looking forward to the dozens of programs planned this fall and to celebrating Carlos Kalmar throughout his last season as our Music Director. But when we return in January, we will have dozens more programs to enjoy and time to honor Carlos.

In the meantime, we will do all that we can to share the joy of music. New digital content and recordings of past performances are available on our website, YouTube channel, and social media. Recently, we’ve launched two new video series, Essential Sounds and Symphony Storytime:

Essential Sounds is an original and timely musical tribute to the organizations and individuals who are holding communities together during the pandemic. Across six 30-minute episodes, we showcase rich musical performances and interviews that honor essential workers like those in healthcare and food service who are risking their own health at this time for us.

Symphony Storytime is a series of 13 episodes designed for young children and their families. Each 15-minute segment includes a popular children’s story accompanied by a musician. Families will learn fun details about instruments, as master storytellers narrate books in English and Spanish.

These two new series, along with more video content and audio recordings, are available, for free, at orsymphony.org. While we are unable to earn revenue, donors are generously making these programs possible. I am grateful to them and to all of you for your ongoing loyalty and support.

If you hold tickets to canceled shows, you may:

  • Exchange them for future concerts or gift certificates;
  • Donate their value and take a tax deduction; or
  • Request a refund.

Season subscribers may opt to have your same seats simply moved to the fall concerts in our 2021/22 Season, with no additional fees.

Our renowned Patron Services Representatives are ready to assist you. Call our box office at 503-228-1353 or send us an email, orsymphony@orsymphony.org

After nearly 125 years, your Oregon Symphony is determined to return to the stage as soon as it is safe to do so. Extraordinary concerts await us – including the World premiere of An African American Requiem by Damien Geter, a bold musical response to violence against African Americans; the continuation of our popular Kids Series and Popcorn Package; Special Concerts like Wynton Marsalis and Pink Martini; and Carlos Kalmar’s final concert with Mahler’s colossal Symphony No. 9.

Have faith. We will get through this. And when we do, we promise to be there for you, as you have been there for us.

Until we gather, I wish the best of health for you and for your loved ones.

Take good care and thank you,

Scott Showalter, President and CEO