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Oregon Symphony Names 2022 Schnitzer Wonder Award Winner

PORTLAND, Ore., February 15, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. (February 15, 2022) - Today, Oregon Symphony president Scott Showalter announced that the 2022 Schnitzer Wonder Award will recognize the Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP), represented by Musical Director, David Hattner. The award will be presented at the Oregon Symphony’s 125th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, April 9, 2022.

The Portland Youth Philharmonic was established in 1924, and as the organization approaches its 100-year anniversary it continues to uphold the structures and standards it did at its inception almost a century ago. Thousands of musicians have been a part of the PYP’s ensembles over the years and have continued on to become accomplished musicians, music teachers and avid supporters of the arts in their communities. Participants have played in leading music institutions such as the Oregon Symphony, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, New York Philharmonic, as well as Juilliard and American String Quartets.

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 in the Portland community. The award honors an individual or organization that works with the next generation of artists and student musicians to build a supportive community with similar interests and goals. This award comes with a $10,000 monetary prize, intended to help further the work of the winning  organization.

“It is an honor to present the 2022 Schnitzer Wonder Award to the Portland Youth Philharmonic, in recognition of the organization’s achievements as our region’s prestigious ensemble for young musicians,” said Showalter. “David Hattner and his students show the potential of our community’s talented youth when they are provided access and opportunity by virtue of scholarships and exceptional training.”

In the coming months, the Portland Youth Philharmonic will be presenting a wide range of concerts featuring young musicians from the Portland community. On March 5th, 17-year-old Michael Gu, Portland Youth Philharmonic Piano Concerto Competition winner, will be performing a work by Sergei Prokofiev in Russian Winter: Tchaikovsky & Prokofiev.

The Portland Youth Philharmonic has spearheaded a new project, working with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and New Jersey Youth Symphony, to create the Youth Orchestra Commissioning Initiative. A principal goal of this initiative is to address the exclusion of composers of color and female identity from the conventional repertoire, by featuring music composed primarily by professionals who identify with those groups. During the 2020-21 season, the Portland Youth Philharmonic commissioned 31 pieces developed for this collaborative project.

“We are thrilled and grateful to be recognized as this year’s Schnitzer Wonder Award recipient,” said Hattner. “Over the last 97 years, we’ve built a community that makes excellent music education available to all young people, and this award will help us continue that work as we near our centennial anniversary.”

The Portland Youth Philharmonic joins past recipients of the Schnitzer Wonder Award including Dan Bosshardt of Mariachi Una Voz of the Hillsboro School District, Diana Scoggins and Raúl Gómez of Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Julane Stites of Dance West and Mia Hall Miller of Pacific Youth Choir.

About Oregon Symphony
Led by Music Director David Danzmayr, the multi-Grammy Award-nominated Oregon Symphony ranks as one of America’s major orchestras. It produces several hundred concerts and award-winning education and community programs each year, serving more than 250,000 people in-person and tens of millions more people through broadcasts and recordings. The Oregon Symphony has broken attendance and fundraising records in recent years, while innovating on stage through multimedia series such as SoundSights, Sounds of Home and SoundStories. Celebrating its 125th anniversary in the 2021/22 season, Oregon Symphony is committed to building the audiences of tomorrow through breakthrough artistic programs with a wide-ranging coalition of cultural thought-leaders and musical innovators. For more information, visit www.orsymphony.org.

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Contact Information:
Ashley Clark
Grady Britton