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January 10, 2019

PORTLAND, OR – Throughout February the Oregon Symphony brings music to life with puppets, wizards, taiko drummers, a Motown legend, and world-class musicians. The month begins with the second of the Symphony’s SoundStories series, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Acclaimed production company Manual Cinema tells this legendary tale through shadow puppets, theatrical lighting, and live performers in costumed silhouette on February 1, 2, and 4. Next, the internationally renowned taiko ensemble Kodo takes the stage to dazzle audiences with a powerful one-night-only performance full of pulsing rhythms and athletic virtuosity. The Classical Series continues February 9–11 with violinist Simone Lamsma, an Oregon Symphony audience favorite, who returns for Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto. This concert also features Music Director Carlos Kalmar conducting Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Special Concert featuring the smooth vocal and songwriting skills of the inimitable Smokey Robinson, on February 14. Then it’s time to grab a wand and conjure tickets for the nearly sold-out screenings of Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban™, with the Oregon Symphony performing John Williams’ score on February 16–17. The month closes with pianist Marc-André Hamelin and three performances of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 on February 23–25.




When and Where: Feb. 1, Feb. 2, and Feb. 4 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Editors please note that there is not concert on Sunday

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar;

Manual Cinema, shadow puppetry/theatrical design; Gregory Dahl, Father; Chelsea Duval-Major, Hansel; John Easterlin, Witch; Maeve Höglund, Gretel; Jenny Schuler, Mother; Yungee Rhie, Sandman and Dew Fairy; Pacific Youth Choir

The Program:

HumperdinckHansel and Gretel

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • The Oregon Symphony continues its groundbreaking SoundStories series as award-winning storytellers bring standards of the repertoire to life in unexpected, vividly imagined collaborations.
  • Manual Cinema makes its Oregon Symphony debut with its multi-media production of Hansel and Gretel. In this adaptation of Engelbert Humperdinck’s classic fairy-tale opera, Manual Cinema presents cinematic shadow puppetry performances created with overhead projectors and live costumed actors in silhouette. 
  • Manual Cinema has been presented by, collaborated with, or brought its work to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), The Tehran International Puppet Festival (Iran), La Monnaie-De Munt (Brussels), Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Adelaide Festival (AU), The Kennedy Center, The Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Noorderzon Festival (Netherlands), Handmade Worlds Puppet Festival (Minneapolis), The Future of Storytelling Conference (NYC), the NYC Fringe Festival, the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival, and the Puppeteers of America: Puppet Festival (R)evolution, among others.
  • “Billed as a cinematic puppet show, Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel pits the simplicity of a German folk song against the colourful and intensive nature of a Wagner musical, bringing a bit of Walt Disney to the celebrated fairy tale … In this performance by Chicago-based performance collective Manual Cinema, film projections, shadow puppetry, archaic cinema techniques and live acting all come together to dazzling effect, bringing to life this kids classic in an ingenious and mesmerising manner.” – The Word, December 14, 2015
  • Praise for Manual Cinema: “Incredibly ingenious and utterly unusual: Manual Cinema has invented a new genre.” – Alison Flett, Adelaide Festival Australia, March 2017; “ … one would have to lack a pulse to not be transported back to a state of childhood wonderment at the universe Manual Cinema creates.” – Patrick McDonald, The Advertiser, March 2017; “Ingenious and mesmerizing.” – Nicholas Lewis, The Word, December 2015; “Absolutely remarkable.” – Thibaut Radomme, RueDu Théâtre.eu, December 2015
  • This production of Hansel and Gretel features a gender-bending witch played by tenor John Easterlin. A compelling stage actor, Easterlin’s recent engagements include creating two iconic American roles: Andy Warhol in the world premiere of the Philip Glass opera The Perfect American at the Teatro Real, Madrid, and the English National Opera (ENO), London; and Larry King in the U.S. premiere of the Anthony Turnage opera Anna Nicole.  Easterlin has also garnered critical acclaim for several featured performances at the Metropolitan Opera.

More Background Info and Photos:
On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org
On Manual Cinema: manualcinema.com
On the Pacific Youth Choir: pacificyouthchoir.org




When and Where: Feb. 5 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: Kodo Note: The Oregon Symphony does not perform.

The Program: The Japanese taiko drumming troupe returns to Portland for a dramatic performance full of pulsing rhythms, athletic virtuosity, and stirring passion in their One Earth Tour 2019: Evolution.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • The renowned Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble has been expanding the sonic and performance aspects of traditional Japanese taiko drumming since their debut at the Berliner Festspiele in 1981. Since then, Kodo has given over 6,000 performances in 50 countries on five continents. This figure includes 3,900 performances under the “One Earth” banner, a theme that embodies Kodo’s desire to transcend language and cultural boundaries. 
  • Kodo has also headlined major international festivals, contributed to film scores, and has collaborated with a wide variety of global performing artists. In 2001, members of Kodo became the first Japanese artists to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway. The following year, Kodo was featured in the official anthem of the 2002 FIFA World Cup KOREA/JAPAN™, and performed live at official World Cup concerts.
  • In 2003, worldwide acclaim for the Chinese movie Hero drew even more attention to Kodo for its work on the motion picture soundtrack.
  • “Traditional rituals recast as theater, and contemporary thoughts about ancient instruments both figure in Kodo’s performance, which includes ancient and modern compositions. Yet with tense, angular postures, with stylized, frozen gestures and, in one playful piece, with animal-like scampering and slithering, Kodo reminds its audience that, above all, its music is a matter of flesh and blood, wood and stretched skin. Kodo can raise the roof, but the group can also show extraordinary finesse.” – The New York Times
  • More praise for Kodo: “Superlatives don’t really exist to convey the primal power and bravura beauty of Kodo.” – Chicago Tribune


More Background Info and Photos:
On Kodo: kodo.or.jp/en




When and Where: [Editors: please note different start times] Feb. 9 at 7:30 pm; Feb. 10 at 2 pm; and Feb. 11 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Note: This concert will also be performed in Salem on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 pm. For more information, go to orsymphonysalem.org.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Simone Lamsma, violin

The Program:

Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1, “Classical”
*Khachaturian: Violin Concerto
Dvořák: Symphony No. 8

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Hailed for her “brilliant… polished, expressive and intense” Cleveland Plain Dealer and “absolutely stunning” Chicago Tribune playing, Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma is respected by critics, peers, and audiences as one of classical music’s most striking and captivating musical personalities.
  • “Ms. Lamsma … played splendidly, with crisp clarity and brightly radiant sound, conveying both the rhapsodic fervor and intriguing pensiveness of the music.” – Anthony Tommasini, Nov. 30, 2018, The New York Times
  • Although Lamsma has performed with the Oregon Symphony several times, and has also collaborated with Carlos Kalmar in Europe and Grant Park, these concerts mark the first time they have combined their musical talents together with the Oregon Symphony
  • Ms. Lamsma plays the “Mlynarski” Stradivarius (1718), on generous loan to her by an anonymous benefactor.
  • Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony is a musical love letter to the Czech countryside of his native Bohemia. Khachaturian poured all the excitement and anticipation he felt over the impending birth of his son into his vibrant, exhilarating Violin Concerto.

More Background Info and Photos:
On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org
On Simone Lamsma: simonelamsma.com/




When and Where: Feb. 14 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; Smokey Robinson, vocals

The Program: The Motown legend performs some of his greatest hits, including “The Tracks of My Tears,” “Ooo Baby Baby,” “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me,” among others.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • What better way is there to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with the silky smooth voice and consummate songwriting artistry of Smokey Robinson? Hailed by Bob Dylan as America’s “greatest living poet,” the award-winning singer-songwriter’s career spans more than four decades. During that time, Robinson has received numerous awards, including the Grammy Living Legend Award, NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, the Kennedy Center Honors, and the National Medal of Arts Award from the President of the United States.
  • In addition to these and other accolades, Robinson has also been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
  • Famous for co-founding Motown Records with Berry Gordy, Robinson has been making and breaking records since 1960 when his group, The Miracles, sold one million units of their first hit, “Shop Around.” Over the next decade, Robinson and The Miracles produced 26 top 40 hits, including “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “I Second That Emotion,” and “The Tears of a Clown.”
  • Over his long musical career, Robinson has penned more than 4,000 songs. He continues to thrill sold-out audiences around the world with his high tenor voice, impeccable timing, and profound sense of phrasing. 
  • “With the crowd already in an awestruck tizzy, Robinson launched into ‘Ooo Baby Baby.’ Compared to the version Robinson recorded in 1965 as a member of The Miracles, the 2018 version was a bit slower and stripped down, but Robinson's boogie moves and hip-swinging struts are timeless … even at 78 years old, Smokey Robinson is as suave as ever.” – Aug. 27, 2018, Syracuse.com


More Background Info and Photos:
On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org
On Smokey Robinson: smokeyrobinson.com




When and Where: [Editors: please note different starting times] Feb. 16 at 7:30 pm, and Feb. 17 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with guest conductor Justin Freer

The Program:  Relive the magic of your favorite wizard in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ in Concert. Based on the third book in J.K. Rowling’s classic saga, fans of all ages can now experience the thrilling tale accompanied by live music from the Oregon Symphony performing the John Williams score.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Our Popcorn Package film series continues with the third installment in the blockbuster Harry Potter franchise. Costumes encouraged! Only limited tickets remain.
  • CineConcerts is one of the leading producers of live music experiences performed with visual media. Founded by producer/conductor Justin Freer and producer/writer Brady Beaubien in 2013CineConcerts has engaged millions of people worldwide in live music experience.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, was released in 2004. The film continues the story of wizard Harry Potter during his third year at Hogwarts, where he is told that prisoner Sirius Black has escaped from the notorious wizard prison Azkaban intent on killing Harry.
  • Prisoner of Azkaban grossed a total of $796.7 million worldwide,and received praise for Cuarón's direction. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Original Music Score by the legendary John Williams and Best Visual Effects.
  • Praise for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™: “One of the greatest fantasy films of all time.” – Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com; “A deeper, darker, visually arresting and more emotionally satisfying adaptation of the J.K. Rowling literary phenomenon.” – The Hollywood Reporter; “Not only is this dazzler by far the best and most thrilling of the three Harry Potter movies to date, it’s a film that can stand on its own even if you never heard of author J.K. Rowling and her young wizard hero.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

More Background Info and Photos:
On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org
On Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert: harrypotterinconcert.com

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING’S WIZARDING WORLD™ J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s18)




When and Where: Feb. 23, Feb. 24, and Feb. 25 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with guest conductor James Feddeck; *Marc-André Hamelin, piano

The Program:

Adams: Doctor Atomic Symphony
*Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2    
R. Strauss: Death and Transfiguration

What’s special about this concert:

  • Pianist Marc-André Hamelin possesses a unique combination of technique, artistry, impeccable musical intuition, and a chameleonic ability to inhabit music from any era. As Alex Ross from The New Yorker observed, “Hamelin’s legend will grow; right now there is no one like him.”
  • “With Hamelin, what you get is different — a sober-suited, professorial demeanor at the keyboard, with a riveting focus on the music.” – Terry Blain, Star Tribune
  • Hamelin’s last appearance with the Oregon Symphony, in 2016, featured riveting performances of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto.
  • Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the German Record Critics’ Association. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2017, he was a distinguished member of the jury of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, where each of the 30 competitors in the preliminary round performed Hamelin’s “Toccata on L’Homme armé.” This marked the first time the composer of the commissioned work was also a member of the jury.
  • Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “A gifted conductor who’s clearly going places,” James Feddeck is a winner of the Solti Conducting Award, the Aspen Conducting Prize, and is a former Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra.

More Background Info and Photos:
On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org
On James Feddeck: jamesfeddeck.com
On Marc-André Hamelin: marcandrehamelin.com



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–6pm); 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. 

Season subscriptions, including Choose Your Own packages and Gift Cards, are available through the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office at 503-228-1353. Photos for media use are available at orsymphony.org/newsroom.