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February 12, 2019

PORTLAND, OR – The Oregon Symphony welcomes spring with a bouquet of classic favorites and new works. It all begins Sunday, March 3, with Green Eggs and Ham, featuring a musical version of Dr. Seuss’ famous tale. This delightful Kids Concert is followed by two weekends of classical programs, both under the baton of Music Director Carlos Kalmar. March 9–11 renowned American composer Christopher Theofanidis’ Drum Circles, co-commissioned by the Oregon Symphony, will receive its world premiere, on a concert that also features Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony and Concertmaster Sarah Kwak performing Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. March 16–18 audience favorite Pablo Sáinz Villegas returns to Portland with a guitar concerto inspired by the music of Isaac Albéniz. On March 22 Oregon Symphony joins Portland’s own LAIKA Studios in a 10th-anniversary screening of its award-winning animated film Coraline, with the orchestra performing the haunting soundtrack live. The month closes with Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik and a program of timeless hits from the legendary father/daughter duo Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole, performed by vocalists Denzal Sinclaire and Dee Daniels, on March 23–24.




When and Where: March 3 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, Dance West, and the Pacific Youth Choir, with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; Pam Mahon, narrator

The Program:

Mozart: Overture to The Magic Flute
Humperdinck: “Witch’s Ride” from Hansel and Gretel
  Evening Prayer from Hansel and Gretel 
Kapilow: Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham
Ravel: Selections from Mother Goose Suite
Tchaikovsky: Chorus of the Peasant Girls from Eugene Onegin
Williams: “Flight to Neverland” from Hook

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • The second Kids Concert of the 2018/19 Season features magical music sure to appeal to all members of the family, including Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, excerpts from John Williams’ score for Hook, and Rob Kapilow’s hilarious musical adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ beloved Green Eggs and Ham.
  • Narrator Pam Mahon guides the audience through the humorous trials and tribulations of Sam, who does not like green eggs and ham.
  • The award-winning Dance West Ensemble joins the orchestra to breathe magic and movement into three selections from Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, including Pavane of the Sleeping Beauty.
  • The Pacific Youth Choir, directed by Mia Hall Miller, will sing Evening Prayer from Hansel and Gretel and Chorus of the Peasant Girls from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.
  • Other program highlights include the overture to Mozart’s final opera, The Magic Flute.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Pam Mahon: arthousetalentandliterary.com

On Dance West: dancewestcompany.com

On the Pacific Youth Choir: pacificyouthchoir.org




When and Where: [Editors: please note different start times] Mar. 9 at 7:30 pm; Mar. 10 at 2 pm; and Mar. 11 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Sarah Kwak, violin; The Percussion Collective (Ji Hye Jung, Matthew Keown, Svet Stoyanov, Sam Um), percussion

The Program:    

WagnerThe Flying Dutchman Overture
• Christopher Theofanidis: Drum Circles (World premiere)
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, “Italian”

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • These concerts mark the World premiere of Drum Circles, an Oregon Symphony co-commission for percussion ensemble by acclaimed American composer Christopher Theofanidis.
  • Theofanidis’ music has been performed by orchestras around the world, and he has earned numerous honors, including the International Masterprize, the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Fulbright fellowship, a Tanglewood fellowship, and two fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His orchestral work Rainbow Body has been performed by more than 150 orchestras around the world. The Oregon Symphony presented Rainbow Body in April 2009, under the baton of James DePreist.
  • Theofanidis wrote this five-movement work especially for Robert van Sice’s Percussion Collective, a flexibly sized ensemble that regularly transcends the medium of percussion through uncommon performance experiences that engage audiences at a profound emotional level.  
  • Oregon Symphony Concertmaster Sarah Kwak takes center stage to perform the solo violin part in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ exquisite paean to nature, The Lark Ascending.
  • Kwak last performed The Lark Ascending 25 years ago, while a member of the Minnesota Orchestra. “I was asked to play it right after my son was born, so it holds a special place in my heart because I always associate it with his birth,” she says. “It’s beautiful, uplifting, pastoral, peaceful music that fit perfectly with my mood at the time.”

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On The Percussion Collective: thepercussioncollective.com




When and Where: Mar. 16, Mar. 17, and Mar. 18 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Pablo Sáinz Villegas, guitar

The Program: 

Brahms: Serenade No. 1
*Stephen Goss: The Albéniz Concerto    
Turina: Danzas fantásticas

What’s special about this concert:

  • Pablo Sáinz Villegas, who brought Oregon Symphony audiences to their feet at his last appearance with the orchestra in 2015, has been acclaimed by the international press as the successor of Andrés Segovia and an ambassador of Spanish culture in the world.
  • Since his debut with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, Villegas has played in more than 40 countries and with orchestras such as the Philharmonic of Israel, the Spanish and Television Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the National Orchestra of Spain.
  • Plácido Domingo has described Villegas as “the master of the guitar.” In 2018, Villegas and Domingo released a new duo album and Villegas’ tenth CD, Volver (Return), on the Sony Classics label.
  • Villegas has garnered more than 30 international awards, including the Andrés Segovia, Francisco Tárrega, and Christopher Parkening prizes. He has also received the “Galardón a las Artes Riojana” and the “Ojo Crítico” Award from Radio Nacional de España, the first time this distinction has been granted to a guitarist.
  • Villegas performs a concerto by Welsh composer Stephen Goss, which is inspired by the music of Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz. Interestingly, while Albéniz’ music is well known today, particularly among guitarists who perform transcriptions of his music, the composer was himself a pianist who never composed specifically for guitar.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Pablo Sáinz Villegas: pablosainzvillegas.com/en/




When and Where: Mar. 22 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh

The Program:     Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Coraline, created by Portland’s own LAIKA studio. Watch this visually stunning film projected on the giant screen while the Oregon Symphony performs Bruno Coulais’ haunting soundtrack live. 

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • The popular film concerts continue with the award-winning stop-motion animated film Coraline, with a full orchestral performance of Bruno Coulais’ award-winning soundtrack.
  • Based on the 2002 novel by Neil Gaiman, Coraline follows the explorations of a young girl in her family’s new house. When Coraline finds a hidden door leading to a fantasy version of her boring life, she is delighted, but in order to remain in this ideal world, she must make a frighteningly real sacrifice.
  • Coulais’ soundtrack features his own songs and “Other Father Song,” written and performed by John Linnell of the band They Might Be Giants. Coulais score was originally performed by the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra and features choral pieces sung by the Childrens Choir of Nice in a nonsense language. Coraline earned Coulais’ the 2009 Annie Award for Best Score for an Animated Feature.
  • Coraline was first released in United States theaters on February 6, 2009, after a World premiere at the Portland International Film Festival,and received critical acclaim. Coraline also won Annie Awards for Best Music in an Animated Feature Production, Best Character Design in an Animated Feature Production, and Best Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, and received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Animated Feature.
  • A. O. Scott of The New York Times called the film “exquisitely realized,” with a “slower pace and a more contemplative tone than the novel. It is certainly exciting, but rather than race through ever noisier set pieces toward a hectic climax in the manner of so much animation aimed at kids, Coraline lingers in an atmosphere that is creepy, wonderfully strange, and full of feeling.” 

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Coraline: laika.com/our-films/coraline




When and Where: [Editors: please note different starting times] Mar. 23 at 7:30 pm and Mar. 24 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik; *Dee Daniels and Denzal Sinclaire, vocals

The Program: A Nat and Natalie Cole revue starring powerhouse vocalist Denzal Sinclaire and diva Dee Daniels. Relive the finest in the Cole family’s long line of classic hits, from “Stardust” and “Unforgettable” to “Superstition” and “When I Fall In Love.”

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Both Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole put their individual stamp on the jazz and pop music of their day and won multiple Grammys along the way. This concert, featuring award winning vocalists Denzal Sinclaire and Dee Daniels celebrates Nat’s 100th birthday and honors this incredible father/daughter duo whose flexible musical style and undeniable talent continue to influence the best musicians of today.
  • Denzal Sinclaire, one of Canada’s most popular jazz vocalists, is ranked among the finest jazz singers of his generation. A graduate of McGill University’s Jazz Performance program, Denzal is a Juno Award (Canada’s Grammy Award) nominee, a recipient of the 2004 National Jazz Award for “Best Album,” four-time consecutive recipient of Jazz Report Magazine Award for Male Jazz Vocalist, and 2007 Choc Jazzman Award (France).
  • “Denzal Sinclaire embodies the tradition of the great singers I love like Nat Cole, yet definitely has his own voice.” – Diana Krall
  • At an interview hosted by the National Jazz Museum, legendary vocalist Helen Merrill was asked, “What jazz vocalists do you listen to?” Ms. Merrill responded, “Dee Daniels.”
  • Whether accompanying herself at the piano, fronting a trio, big band, or symphony, Dee Daniels’ musical career is as varied as her four-octave vocal range is thrilling. She is a unique talent who transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavoring, to the stage.” Another says, “Daniels’ voice has a hypnotic quality, delivering an impressive range that gives the romantic songs and verse of 50 years ago new life and raw emotion.”

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Jeff Tyzik: jefftyzik.com/

On Dee Daniels: deedaniels.com/

On Denzal Sinclaire: greenbergartists.com/artist/denzal-sinclaire/



Tickets for all concerts can be purchased online at orsymphony.org; or in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St., Portland, OR 97205.

Ticket Office Hours

July–August: (Mon–Fri, 10 am–6 pm); by phone at 503-228-1353 (Mon–Fri, 10 am–9 pm).

September–June (Mon–Sat, 10 am–6 pm); by phone at 503-228-1353 (Mon–Fri, 10 am–9 pm, Sat 10 am–6 pm); and at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall starting two hours before every performance.

Season subscriptions, including the popular Choose Your Own packages and Gift Cards, are available through the Symphony Ticket Office at 503-228-1353.



The multi-Grammy-nominated Oregon Symphony ranks as one of America’s major orchestras. Led by Music Director Carlos Kalmar, it serves over 300,000 people annually through more than 110 performances and award-winning education and community engagement programs. Now in its 123rd year, the Oregon Symphony is the oldest orchestra west of the Mississippi.

The Symphony’s ground-breaking 2017/18 Season set box office and fundraising records and was marked by an initiative to connect more deeply with the Portland community. The organization embarked on the year-long Sounds of Home series, which revolutionized the role of the arts in addressing three of the most critical social issues of the day: immigration, the environment, and homelessness. This series made a powerful impact in the community through innovative art, cross-sector partnerships with 37 organizations, and civic leadership. Sounds of Home community concerts hosted in venues across the city reached nearly 3,000 attendees and were viewed by thousands more through live streaming on social media.

The Symphony reached over 15 million radio broadcast listeners in the 2017/18 Season via All Classical Portland as well as American Public Media’s SymphonyCast and Performance Today. The season additionally featured three world premieres, including the first-ever play commissioned by an American orchestra.

Photos for media use are available at orsymphony.org/newsroom.


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