SYMPHONY PRESENTS STAR-STUDDED DECEMBER LINEUP

André Watts and Grieg’s Piano Concerto, Gospel Christmas, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Portland’s favorite New Year’s Extravaganza featuring Pink Martini, Storm Large, The von Trapps, and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy

 November 7, 2017

PORTLAND, OR – Whether Portlanders are looking for great classical, swinging jazz, or holiday concerts guaranteed to make them stand up and cheer, it’s all here this month at the Oregon Symphony, which opens December with acclaimed pianist André Watts performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto. One of the Oregon Symphony’s best-loved traditions, Gospel Christmas, returns with three uplifting and energetic concerts featuring the Northwest Community Gospel Choir. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy inspires dancing in the aisles with their toe-tapping celebration of American swing, and we ring in the New Year with a celebration featuring Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and Portland’s own Pink Martini, joined by special guests Storm Large, Ari Shapiro, and The von Trapps.

 

SATURDAY, DEC. 2
SUNDAY, DEC. 3
MONDAY, DEC. 4

ANDRÉ WATTS PLAYS GRIEG

When and Where: Dec. 2, 3, and 4 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. (Note: this concert will also be performed in Salem on Dec. 1 at 8 pm. See orsymphonysalem.org for more information.) 

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with guest conductor Leo Hussain; *André Watts, piano

The Program:    

Kokkonen: Symphonic Sketches
*Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor
Sibelius: Valse triste
Nielsen: Symphony No. 5

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • “Watts, who turns 70 in June … demonstrated the young virtuoso in him is alive and well but tamed by an expressive and mature artist.” – Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2016
  • Throughout his decades-long career, Watts has garnered many honors and awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1988), the National Medal of Arts (2011), and induction into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame (2013).
  • Watts made his national debut at age 16 when Leonard Bernstein asked him to perform with the New York Philharmonic on one of Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts.
  • More than 50 years after that auspicious beginning, Watts continues to be one of America’s most distinguished, celebrated, and popular classical pianists.
  • In addition to Grieg’s Piano Concerto, a perennial audience favorite, this concert features other music from Scandinavia, including Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s intense and riveting Symphony No. 5, which depicts the chaos and terror of World War I.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On André Watts:

Tickets: begin at $24 and can be purchased online at orsymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St. in downtown Portland (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.

 

FRIDAY, DEC. 8
SATURDAY, DEC. 9
SUNDAY, DEC. 10

GOSPEL CHRISTMAS

When and Where: [Editors: please note different starting times] Dec. 8 and 9 at 7:30 pm, and Dec. 10 at 4 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with guest conductors Charles Floyd and Terry Davis, featuring the Northwest Community Gospel Choir, and Gary Hemenway, music director.

The Program: A high-energy Gospel performance of holiday favorites.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • For the past 19 seasons, Gospel Christmas concerts have been one of the Symphony’s most popular holiday performances; this inspiring, up-tempo music consistently sells out the hall.
  • Some of this year’s selections include The First Noel, Go Tell it on the Mountain, and a rousing medley of Christmas worship songs.
  • The Northwest Community Gospel Choir features the very best of the local gospel talent from local and regional churches and music ministries.
  • In addition to their first-rate choral work, the Northwest Community Gospel Choir features a number of talented soloists who take turns leading the group with stellar vocal interpretations of classic holiday songs.
  • Conductor, pianist, and composer Charles Floyd has been heard in concert with more than 500 orchestras since 1991 – including every Oregon Symphony Gospel Christmas concert since our annual performances began in 1999. He is a regular conductor of the Boston Pops.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On the Northwest Community Gospel Choir: http://bit.ly/2hgM0Vw

On Charles Floyd: charlesfloyd.com

On Terry Davis: terrydavismusic.com

Tickets: begin at $35 and can be purchased online at orsymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St. in downtown Portland (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.

 

SATURDAY, DEC. 16

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY

When and Where: Dec. 16 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; *Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Scott Morris, vocals/guitar; Kurt Sodergren, drums; Dirk Shumaker, bass/vocals; Andy Rowley, bari sax/vocals; Glen “The Kid” Marhevka, trumpet; Karl Hunter, saxophones/clarinet; Joshua Levy, piano/arranger; Alex Henderson, trombone)

The Program: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will announce their program from the stage.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • For more than 23 years, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the kings of swing, have appeared in concert venues around the world, sold millions of records, and has seen their music featured in countless films and TV shows.
  • With sold-out concerts from the Hollywood Bowl to Lincoln Center, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy continues its decades-long mission to celebrate and revitalize jazz and swing music, and bring joy to audiences around the world.
  • BBVD will feature selections from their latest album, Louie, Louie, Louie, which was released earlier this year. BBVD’s 11th studio album is an electrifying celebration of jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan, and Louis Prima. 
  • “In just two hours in St. Joseph, the boys from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy proved two things. One, they like variety. And two, they’re currently the greatest swing band in the entire world.” – NewsPressNow.com, 2013
  • “More than 20 years in, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, still led by vocalist, guitarist and chief songwriter Scotty Morris … is a collective of superior players.” – JazzTimes.com, 2013 

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: bbvd.com

Tickets: begin at $25 and can be purchased online at orsymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St. in downtown Portland (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.

 

SUNDAY, DEC. 17

COMFORT AND JOY: A CLASSICAL CHRISTMAS

When and Where: Dec. 17 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh and the Oregon Chorale

The Program: Light holiday classics and seasonal favorites, including Ding Dong Merrily On High, The 12 Days of Christmas, selections from J. S. Bach’s Christmas Cantata and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, and an audience sing-along of favorite tunes.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • For the first time, the Oregon Chorale joins the orchestra for this annual celebration of holiday music.
  • The Oregon Chorale is a sixty-voice symphonic choir directed by Jason Sabino, based in Hillsboro, Oregon. The Oregon Chorale, which has been delighting audiences since 1985, has toured in Europe six times, and has produced four CDs.
  • The ideal outing for families – and value conscious, accordingly – this concert presents a delightful variety of classical and holiday favorites.
  • The orchestra and choir present a timeless lineup of holiday tunes guaranteed to put a smile on every face.
  • The audience is invited to sing along with the orchestra in the Holiday Medley finale.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On the Oregon Chorale: oregonchorale.org

Tickets: begin at $20 and can be purchased online at orsymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St. in downtown Portland (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.

 

FRIDAY, DEC. 30
SATURDAY, DEC. 31 – Two performances

PINK MARTINI NEW YEAR’S EXTRAVAGANZA

When and Where: Dec. 30 at 7:30 pm and Dec. 31 at 7 and 10:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar, Pink Martini, The von Trapps, China Forbes, Storm Large*, Ari Shapiro, Cantor Ida Rae Cahana, and the Portland Symphonic Choir (*12/31 performances only)

The Program:

Pink Martini favorites, including songs from their most recent album, and the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth, the “Ode to Joy.”

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • In what has become Portland’s most popular New Year’s tradition, audiences have thrilled to the annual performance of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and a quirkily Portland program, that, this year, features a hometown favorite, Pink Martini.
  • Pink Martini will perform selections from their latest album, Je dis oui! (I Say Yes!), and their 2014 release Dream A Little Dream, which features the great-grandchildren of Maria and Captain Georg von Trapp.
  • Je dis oui! features songs in eight different languages, and affirms the band’s 22 year history of global inclusivity and collaborative spirit.
  • NPR host and Portland native Ari Shapiro lends his show-stopping voice to this festive evening, along with Cantor Ida Rae Cahana of Congregation Beth Isreal.
  • Pink Martini has performed with more than 50 orchestras around the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the BBC Concert Orchestra in London’s Royal Albert Hall, and the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Pink Martini: pinkmartini.com

On China Forbes: chinaforbes.com

On Storm Large: stormlarge.com

On Ari Shapiro: npr.org/people/2101154/ari-shapiro

On The von Trapps: vontrapps.net/vontrapps

On Cantor Ida Rae Cahana: milkenarchive.org/artists/view/ida-rae-cahana/

On Portland Symphonic Choir: pschoir.org

Tickets: Begin at $45 and can be purchased online at orsymphony.org; in person at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office located at 909 SW Washington St. in downtown Portland (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. 

 

Beyond the Schnitz

Oregon Symphony Community Engagement Programs

The Oregon Symphony and its musicians are deeply involved in the community, in places that stretch far beyond the confines of our concert hall. This month, activities include:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 7-9 pm, members of the Oregon Symphony travel to Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, in what has become one of the institution’s most heart-warming traditions. Symphony musicians present a holiday program, including a sing-along, for the women at the Wilsonville facility, recognizing that music has the power to lift spirits and unite communities. Private event.

 

ABOUT THE OREGON SYMPHONY
The Grammy-nominated Oregon Symphony ranks as one of America’s major orchestras. Led by Music Director Carlos Kalmar, it serves over 235,000 people annually through more than 90 concerts and award-winning education and community engagement program. Now in its 121st season, the Oregon Symphony is the oldest orchestra west of the Mississippi.

An unprecedented 2016/17 Season broke records in virtually every category, drawing historic attendance and revenue. These numbers were propelled by a 20% increase in the number of classical concerts, three groundbreaking SoundSights concerts, and the broadest-ever range of repertoire. Its 2017/18 Season builds on this success in a trailblazing new series, The Sounds of Home, which combines music and art to reflect on three critical issues in our community – immigration, the environment, and homelessness.

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.

 

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