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Oregon Symphony reunites with audiences for its 125th Anniversary Season 

David Danzmayr’s inaugural season as Music Director includes the launch of new Creative Alliance

PORTLAND, Ore., March 9, 2021

 Today, Oregon Symphony announces its 2021-2022 season beginning October 2, with the debut of new Music Director David Danzmayr. It is a season of celebration, bringing the joy and healing power of music back to stages in Portland, Salem, and the greater Oregon community. 

“For 125 years, the Oregon Symphony has enriched the lives of our greater community—from performing onstage with today’s most in-demand artists to engaging offstage within some of Oregon’s most underserved communities,” shares Scott Showalter, Oregon Symphony President and CEO. “Our 2021-2022 season marks a new era for the Oregon Symphony, as we reunite with our Portland and Salem audiences for an extraordinary array of concerts bringing the power of live music to more people.” 

Music Director David Danzmayr’s premiere season with the Oregon Symphony launches the formation of a new Creative Alliance of cultural thought-leaders and musical innovators. Collectively, the wide-ranging coalition of talented artists will inspire and challenge audiences with music that speaks to individual experiences and explores meaningful issues facing the community. The Creative Alliance includes Jun Märkl (Principal Guest Conductor), Nathalie Joachim (flutist, composer, vocalist), Gabriel Kahane (Oregon Symphony’s Creative Chair), Gabriela Lena Frank (composer), Simone Lamsma (violinist and Artist-in-Residence), and Johannes Moser (cellist and Artist-in-Residence). Danzmayr’s Creative Alliance is an exciting new initiative that will continue and evolve for future seasons.

“In planning the concerts for the Oregon Symphony’s 2021-2022 season, we’ve designed a musical experience for Oregon audiences that reflect a fundamental belief of mine: a composer’s musical expression is greatly shaped by their environment, culture, and heritage,” says Danzmayr. “This belief influenced the formation of a new Creative Alliance of musical innovators, who will harness their own unique perspectives throughout this historic season.” 

The 2021-2022 season will also bring a new concert-going experience for audiences with the state-of-the-art Meyer Constellation Acoustic System at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. For the first time, all concertgoers, no matter where they may be seated, will experience the full warmth and quality of this world-class orchestra, as it is meant to be heard. The Oregon Symphony is the first major orchestra in the United States to install the Meyer Constellation Acoustic System in its primary performance venue. The installation of Constellation’s groundbreaking technology, a collaborative effort by the Oregon Symphony, Metro, and the City of Portland, is the biggest upgrade to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall since it became the Symphony’s permanent home 40 years ago. 

The 2021-2022 season lineup includes an array of concerts encompassing popular favorites, critically acclaimed artists, and celebrated works by living composers.

Popular Favorites 

The season will open with Danzmayr conducting Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony from October 2-4, 2021. Classical favorites include Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony, from April 30 to May 2, 2022 and Handel’s Messiah from December 4-6, 2021 featuring the PSU Chamber Choir. Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony, from March 12-14, 2022, will usher in spring on a program with Gabriel Kahane’s new Piano Concerto. Musical Director Laureate Carlos Kalmar will return to conduct a special performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, the composer’s last completed symphony, from May 14-16, 2022. The Pops Series launches with iconic music from the Harlem Renaissance and concludes with a 90th birthday celebration for the legendary composer John Williams. Portland’s beloved Pink Martini will take the stage from February 12-14, 2022 for A Pink Martini Valentine show. Finally, the Popcorn concert series features blockbuster films on the big screen with the Symphony performing soundtracks live. Feature films include Disney/Pixar’s Coco and Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride, to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™. 

Critically Acclaimed Artists 

The Oregon Symphony is also proud to present concerts featuring critically acclaimed artists including one of the most celebrated violinists in his era, Joshua Bell, who will play Dvořák’s Violin Concerto from April 23-25, 2022 and world-renowned pianist Yefim Bronfman, for a powerful performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto from November 6-8, 2021. Grammy Award-winning violinist James Ehnes will play Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 from November 20-22, 2021, while internationally acclaimed musician and composer Wynton Marsalis’s West Coast premiere of his newly composed Tuba Concerto will be featured during Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony from April 30 to May 2, 2022. Oregon Symphony’s Artist-in-Residence Johannes Moser joins the Oregon Symphony for a world premiere of Robin Holloway’s Cello Concerto during the Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade program from January 29-31, 2022.

Celebrated Works by Living Composers 

The historical season will also feature works by living composers from Portland’s own Damien Geter, who has composed a bold musical response to the violence against African Americans with An African American Requiem, to acclaimed composers Gabriela Lena Frank, Jennifer Higdon, and Anna Clyne. 

And finally, to conclude the 2021-2022 season, Danzmayr will conduct a magnificent finale from June 11-13, 2022 of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a celebration of freedom and equality, with a full chorus and four world-class soloists joining the orchestra. 

The Oregon Symphony considers safety a major priority in holding in-person performances beginning with the orchestra’s season opener in October 2021. In preparation for taking the stage again, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall received certification from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council. This accreditation designates the facility as implementing the industry’s highest standard for cleaning and disinfection of infectious agents like the coronavirus. 

To experience the 2021-2022 season, subscribe now to get the best seats at the best price. Individual tickets to all concerts will be on sale in August 2021. Ticket information and pricing is available at www.orsymphony.org or 503-228-1353.

A full list of Oregon Symphony’s 2021-2022 season performances is included below.

Classical Season A:

  • The Season Premiere: David Danzmayr Conducts Mahler’s Second Symphony from October 2-4, 2021. 
  • Bronfman Plays Rachmaninoff with the Oregon Symphony from November 6-8, 2021. 
  • Debussy & Shostakovich from January 8-10, 2022. 
  • Beethoven & Brahms from February 19-21, 2022. 
  • Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony from April 30-May 2, 2022. 
  • Wagner & Strauss: Stories Without Words from May 21-23, 2022. 

Classical Season B:

  • Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 from October 16-18, 2021. 
  • Handel’s Messiah from December 4-6, 2021. 
  • Ravel & Sibelius: Bridging Culture and Sound from January 15-17, 2022. 
  • Rodrigo & Dawson: Symphonic Folk from February 5-7, 2022. 
  • Kalmar Conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 from May 14-16, 2022. 
  • The Season Finale: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony from June 11-13, 2022. 

Classical Season C:

  • Haydn & Strauss: Austrian Music through the Ages from October 30-November 1, 2021. 
  • James Ehnes Plays Mozart with the Oregon Symphony from November 20-22, 2021. 
  • Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade from January 29-31, 2022. 
  • Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony from March 12-14, 2022. 
  • Joshua Bell with the Oregon Symphony from April 23-25, 2022. 
  • Respighi’s Pines of Rome from June 4-6, 2022. 

Pop Series: 

  • Musical Legends of the Harlem Renaissance from October 9-10, 2021. 
  • Disney in Concert: A Magical Celebration from November 27-28, 2021. 
  • Havana Nights Featuring the Mambo Kings from January 22-23, 2022. 
  • John Williams: 90th Birthday Bash from March 19-20, 2022. 

Popcorn Package: 

  • Disney Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas from October 23-24, 2021. 
  • Disney and Pixar’s Coco from February 26-27, 2022. 
  • The Princess Bride in Concert from April 2-3, 2022. 
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix™ from May 28-29, 2022. 

Kids Series:  

  • The Magic of Mozart on November 14, 2021. 
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow on March 6, 2022. 
  • Under the Sea on April 10, 2022. 

Special Additional Concerts:  

  • Gospel Christmas from December 10-12, 2021. 
  • A Merry-Achi Christmas on December 15, 2021.
  • Cirque Nutcracker from December 18-19, 2021.
  • Itzhak Perlman with the Oregon Symphony on January 20, 2022.
  • A Pink Martini Valentine from Feb 12-14, 2022.
  • An African American Requiem, a world premiere presented by Resonance Ensemble and the Oregon Symphony on May 7, 2022.             

About Oregon Symphony

The multi-Grammy Award-nominated Oregon Symphony ranks as one of America’s major orchestras. Led by Music Director David Danzmayr, it serves more than 235,000 people annually through live concerts and award-winning education and community engagement programs. The Oregon Symphony has broken attendance and fundraising records in recent years, while innovating on stage through new series such as SoundSights, Sounds of Home, and SoundStories. Additionally, syndicated programming for broadcast reaches tens of millions of people throughout the world. The 2021-2022 season marks the 125th anniversary for the Oregon Symphony, the oldest orchestra in the western United States. For more information, visit www.orsymphony.org


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