Emanuel Ax, Pink Martini and Meow Meow, Peter and the Wolf, Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, Sci-Fi at the Pops, and a Concert for the Community Light Up April

March 7, 2019 

PORTLAND, OR – The Oregon Symphony’s April concerts feature the best and most exciting soloists across multiple genres, with Oregon’s own Pink Martini with guest vocalist Meow Meow leading things off April 1 in an evening of new songs from her collaborative album with band leader Thomas Lauderdale, Hotel Amour. On April 2, artists from the Monterey Jazz Festival including 2019 Grammy winner Cécile McLorin Salvant will perform an evening of standards and original compositions. The 2018/19 Classical Season continues April 6–8 with concerts featuring Emanuel Ax performing Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D and Stravinsky’s Capriccio. On April 13 the Oregon Symphony continues its much-loved tradition of hosting a free public concert prior to its annual gala event. This year’s Concert for the Community: Music of the Americas is sure to be a joyful celebration. Children and audiences of all ages will delight in the final Kids Concert of the season, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, on April 14. The month closes with Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik leading the orchestra on a journey through the stars with music from sci-fi’s greatest film scores on April 27–28.




When and Where: Apr. 1 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; Pink Martini; Meow Meow, vocals

The Program:  Pink Martini will announce their program from the stage.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • International chanteuse extraordinaire Meow Meow joins forces with the Oregon Symphony, Thomas Lauderdale, China Forbes, and Pink Martini for an evening of subversive wit and sublime performance, featuring a set of Pink Martini favorites alongside new songs from the upcoming Meow Meow and Thomas Lauderdale album, Hotel Amour.
  • Hailed by The Times (UK) as “one of the world’s most elegant live bands,” Pink Martini, among Oregon’s best known and most beloved ensembles, has been performing its repertoire in over 25 languages on concert stages with more than 70 orchestras around the world for more than 20 years.
  • Named one of the Top Performers of the Year by The New Yorker, the spectacular crowd-surfing tragi-comedienne Meow Meow has been called “sensational” (The Times UK); “A diva of the highest order” (New York Post); “The Queen of Chanson [who] catapults the genre of Entertainment into a hitherto unknown dimension”(Berliner Zeitung); and “a phenomenon” by the Australian press.
  • Praise for Pink Martini: “No matter how Pink Martini gets described, there’s always an element being overlooked, a reliance on phrases such as lounge, cosmopolitan rumba or neo-classical that only tells part of this rich story. Impressive at every musician’s station, this ensemble produces music that’s charming and elegant.” – Variety; “Pink Martini definitely is an original force in contemporary music even as it basks in eclectic nostalgia. It also bridges, better than any band in recent memory the high-brow/pop culture divide.” – The Washington Times
  • Meow Meow wrote and recorded the album Here Kitty Kitty…The Lost Sessions (2018) with collaborator Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale,. She also appears on Pink Martini’s 2013 album, Get Happy.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Pink Martini: pinkmartini.com

On Meow Meow: meowmeowrevolution.com

Tickets: begin at $35




When and Where: Apr. 2 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Note: The Oregon Symphony does not perform.

The Performers: Cécile McLorin Salvant, vocals; Bria Skonberg, trumpet; Melissa Aldana, tenor saxophone; Christian Sands, piano and music director; Yasushi Nakamura, bass; Jamison Ross, drums

The Program: The performers will announce their program from the stage

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour features a top roster of diverse and international talent and the leaders of jazz’s future. In addition to three unique and talented vocalists on the tour, the program includes renditions of classic jazz standards, along with originals penned by the members, led by Music Director Christian Sands.
  • Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant appears in this not-to-be-missed concert featuring some of today’s hottest jazz musicians. Salvant’s latest album, The Window, released in 2018, earned her a third Grammy award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, and features fellow performer Melissa Aldana on tenor sax.
  • Praise for Salvant: “She sings clearly, with her full pitch range, from a pronounced low end to full and distinct high notes, used sparingly ... Her voice clamps into each song, performing careful variations on pitch, stretching words but generally not scatting; her face conveys meaning, representing sorrow or serenity like a silent-movie actor.” – Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
  • Christian Sands is currently one of the most in-demand pianists working in jazz. In the last few years he has toured around the world as a bandleader and recently appeared as a sideman on records by Christian McBride and Gregory Porter.
  • A self-described trumpeter, singer, songwriter, and instigator, Bria Skonberg “has become the shining hope of hot jazz, on the strength of a clarion trumpet style indebted to Louis Armstrong, a smooth purr of a singing voice inspired by Anita O'Day and the wholesome glow of youth.” – Nate Chinen, The New York Times; Skonberg has also been described as one of the “most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” (Wall Street Journal). Recognized as one of 25 for the Future by DownBeat Magazine, Bria Skonberg is a force in the new generation of jazz artists with her bold horn melodies, smoky vocals, and adventurous concoctions of classic and new.
  • Acclaimed Chilean saxophone prodigy Melissa Aldana won the prestigious Thelonius Monk International Jazz Saxophone competition at age 24 – the first female performer to do so – and in 2015 was invited to perform with Jazz at Lincoln Center by its director, Wynton Marsalis. She has studied and performed with top jazz musicians around the world, including Jimmy Heath, Joe Lovano, Ralph Peterson, and George Coleman.

More Background Info and Photos:

On Cécile McLorin Salvant: cecilemclorinsalvant.com

On Bria Skonberg: briaskonberg.com

On Melissa Aldana: melissaaldana.net

On Christian Sands: christiansandsjazz.com

On Yasushi Nakamura: yasushinakamura.com

On Jamison Ross: jamisonrossmusic.com

Tickets: begin at $25




When and Where: [Editors: Please not different start times] Apr. 6 at 7:30 pm, Apr. 7 at 2 pm, and Apr. 8 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Emanuel Ax, piano 

The Program:

Auber: Overture to Fra Diavolo 
*Stravinsky: Capriccio
*Haydn: Piano Concerto in D Major
Corigliano: Symphony No. 1, “Of Rage and Remembrance”

What’s special about this concert:

  • Acclaimed pianist and Oregon Symphony favorite Emanuel Ax returns to perform a pair of lighthearted yet demanding works from two different centuries: Haydn’s popular Concerto in D and Stravinsky’s Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra, which Ax describes as “a kind of circus, like Ringling Bros.”
  • “The pianist Emanuel Ax’s turn in Stravinsky’s Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra had elegant energy running through it … In Stravinsky’s succession of instrumental color pairings, Mr. Ax had a knack for blending with the Philharmonic players while still punching his sound through. The composer’s love for then-new jazz textures was evident, and appropriately jaunty. But crucially, the performance wasn’t jokey. This was caprice with just the right amount of edge.” – Seth Colter Walls, The New York Times, January 31, 2019
  • “Ax and orchestra sounded right at home and together in an excellent performance of Stravinsky’s Capriccio. A concerto in all but name (and misnamed in a way, with so much stern, dark music inside) the technical and expressive coordination between soloist and musicians was ideal. The synchronization of numerous gears is at the heart of Stravinsky’s neo-classical music, and beyond that Ax was sympathetic with the music’s ironic, inside-out aesthetic.” – George Grella, NewYorkClassicalReview.com, January 31, 2019
  • “Emanuel Ax was an excellent choice for Haydn’s ultimate Piano Concerto and made the contrapuntal complexity of the first movement effortless, gave a straightforward reading of the aria-like slow movement, and concluded with the ‘Rondo all’Ungarese’, which revels in sprightly Magyar dance tunes. Ax’s delivery was simplicity itself enhanced by his flawless technique. It was the highlight of the evening.” – Lewis M. Smoley, Classicalsource.com, January 30, 2019
  • This concert also features John Corigliano’s First Symphony, “Of Rage and Remembrance.” Written in 1988, this searing work is the composer’s response to the ravages of AIDS in the early years of the epidemic, when a diagnosis equaled a death sentence. Inspired by the AIDS Quilt, Corigliano used each movement to memorialize a friend lost to the disease.
  • In honor of Corigliano’s work, the Oregon Symphony has partnered with Portland nonprofits Our House, Cascade AIDS Project (CAP), and the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus for a special lobby display of AIDS quilts as well as commemorative t-shirts from 33 years of CAP’s annual AIDS Walk Portland event.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Emanuel Ax: emanuelax.com

Tickets: begin at $24



Concert for the Community: Music of the Americas

When and Where: Apr. 13 at 6 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar *Mariachi Una Voz

The Program:

Gershwin: Cuban Overture
Estévez: Mediodía en el Llano   [Midday on the Plain]
Freedman: Selections from Oiseaux exotiques
*Jiménez: El Rey
*Galindo: Viva México
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • This season the Oregon Symphony’s pre-gala Concert for the Community celebrates the music of the Americas, under the direction of Carlos Kalmar.
  • The Schnitzer Wonder Award, given to organizations that nurture youth performing arts activities, will be awarded during the evening. This year’s award will be presented to Mariachi Una Voz of the Hillsboro School District, represented by founder and manager Dan Bosshardt.
  • The Oregon Symphony and Mariachi Una Voz enjoy a rich partnership. The group has repeatedly performed at the Oregon Symphony’s pre-concert Prelude Performances and will perform with the Oregon Symphony at the Concert for the Community.
  • Following the concert the Oregon Symphony will host its annual Gala, an evening of celebration with the finest in Oregon food, wine, and orchestral music focusing on the Americas.
  • Last year’s Gala broke the Symphony’s fundraising record for the fourth year in a row, raising $1.15M for the orchestra.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

Tickets: free to public, but must be reserved in advance




When and Where: Apr. 14 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; *Pam Mahon, narrator

The Program:

            *Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • This is the final Kids Concert of the 2018/19 Season and features Prokofiev’s retelling of the beloved Russian fairy tale, Peter and the Wolf.
  • Will young Peter and his menagerie be able to outsmart the Big Bad Wolf? Join in the adventure as Prokofiev’s classic fairy tale introduces listeners to the instruments of the orchestra.
  • Narrator Pam Mahon introduces each character in the story, along with its corresponding instrument/theme in the orchestra.
  • Prokofiev composed Peter and the Wolf in 1936 as a commission for the Moscow Central Children’s Theatre; since then, it has become one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the symphonic repertoire, beloved by listeners of all ages.
  • Peter and the Wolf has been adapted numerous times for film, television, ballet, theatre, and has been transformed into different musical genres, including jazz, klezmer, rock, punk, hip hop, and even a comedic version by Weird Al Yankovic and Wendy Carlos from 1988.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Pam Mahon: arthousetalentandliterary.com/?p=958

Tickets: begin at $11 – Note: this concert is sold out




When and Where: [Editors: please note different starting times] April 27 at 7:30 pm, and April 28 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik

The Program: Journey to the Final Frontier through the music of Star TrekStar WarsE.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind2001: A Space Odyssey, and more

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Experience your favorite sci-fi films through the compelling magic of their award-winning scores, as Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik leads the Oregon Symphony on a musical journey across the galaxy.
  • The concert features several scores by John Williams, who has won 24 Grammys, four Golden Globes, and five Academy Awards, along with a record 51 Academy Award nominations for Best Film Score over the course of his six decade career.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Jeff Tyzik: jefftyzik.com

Tickets: begin at $23



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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