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 September 12, 2018

PORTLAND, OR – October with the Oregon Symphony offers an eclectic mix of singular talents and audience favorites. We begin on October 6 and 7 with a Popcorn Package screening of Star Trek Beyond featuring Michael Giacchino’s score performed live by the orchestra; indie-troubadour singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov returns for an evening of symphonic arrangements of his soulful folk/rock ballads on October 8; violinist Karen Gomyo plays Sibelius’ Violin Concerto on her Stradivarius on October 13, 14, and 15; Pops conductor Jeff Tyzik features clarinet virtuoso Dave Bennett and a group of swing dancers in jumpin’ jivin’ concerts of swing music on October 20 and 21; Mexican chanteuse Lila Downs makes her Symphony debut with her signature cantina-cabaret style on October 22; and pianist Jeffrey Kahane joins Music Director Carlos Kalmar with a concerto by Andrew Norman, in a concert that also features Tchaikovsky’s fateful Fourth Symphony, on October 27, 28, and 29.




When and Where: Oct. 6 at 7:30 pm and Oct. 7 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh

The Program: J. J. Abrams’ third Star Trek adventure takes on new dimensions with the Oregon Symphony performing Michael Giacchino’s thrilling score live, while the film plays overhead on a giant screen.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Masterfully directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious), Star Trek Beyond was universally hailed as an epic sci-fi adventure that honors the series’ roots while delivering the mind-blowing action expected of today’s hottest movie blockbusters. 
  • The score is by Oscar-winning film composer Michael Giacchino; it incorporates signature themes from Giacchino’s previous Star Trek scores with exciting new material.
  • This film is dedicated to the memory of Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock from the 1960s TV show, and Anton Yelchin, who played Chekhov in the rebooted series.
  • The Oregon Symphony’s Popcorn Package screenings are very popular. Tickets are selling quickly.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Star Trek Beyond: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_Beyond

Tickets: begin at $35




When and Where: Oct. 8 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

This concert is nearly sold out.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; Gregory Alan Isakov, guitar and vocals

The Program: Isakov returns to join Oregon Symphony to perform orchestral arrangements of songs from his latest album, Evening Machines (2017), as well as selections from his previously released albums: The Weatherman (2013); This Empty Northern Hemisphere (2009), and That Sea, That Gambler (2007).

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Hailed by The Washington Post as “an eloquent lyricist who delivers soul-searching ruminations filled with cosmic pondering, nomadic wisdom and plenty of earthy metaphors,” and possessing a vocal presence that “has a hushed force akin to that of Jose Gonzalez’s and, at its best, the alluring comfort of Paul Simon’s,” itinerant indie troubadour Gregory Alan Isakov brings his song-craft to the Oregon Symphony for an evening of orchestral-folk magic.
  • Isakov, described as “strong, subtle, a lyrical genius,” owes much to the influence of Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen.
  • In an October 2015 interview, Isakov described performing with an orchestra as “the most humbling experience I ever had. You’re standing up there with these musicians that are mind-blowing at what they do … It kind of felt like this ocean of sound behind us.”
  • In 2016, Isakov recorded the orchestral versions of his songs with the Colorado Symphony, for the album Gregory Alan Isakov and the Colorado Symphony.
  • When he’s not in the recording studio or on tour, Isakov works as a full-time farmer on his three-acre Colorado farm, where he sells vegetable seeds and a variety of farmer’s market crops.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Gregory Alan Isakov: gregoryalanisakov.com

Tickets: begin at $40




When and Where: Oct. 13, 14, and 15 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with guest conductor Michał Nesterowicz; *Karen Gomyo, violin

The Program:

                Lutosławski: Little Suite

                *Sibelius: Violin Concerto

                Kilar: Orawa

                Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Principal guest conductor of Sinfonieorchester Basel, Michał Nesterowicz is in demand worldwide for his dynamic performances and eloquent interpretations of the symphonic repertoire.
  • “Under his baton, the orchestra’s playing was highly textured, dynamically varied and highly flexible in terms of phrasing.” –Operaplus, November 2016
  • Violinist Karen Gomyo has appeared numerous times with the Oregon Symphony. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Gomyo has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “a first-rate artist of real musical command, vitality, brilliance and intensity,” and by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “captivating, honest and soulful, fueled by abundant talent but not a vain display of technique.”
  • In May 2018, Gomyo performed the world premiere of Samuel Adams’ new Chamber Concerto, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, to great critical acclaim. The work was written for her and commissioned by the CSO to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its MusicNow series.
  • Gomyo plays the “Aurora, ex-Foulis” Stradivarius violin of 1703 that was bought for her exclusive use by a private sponsor. 

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Karen Gomyo: karengomyo.com

Tickets: begin at $24




When and Where: Oct. 20 at 7:30 pm and Oct. 21 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik; Dave Bennett, clarinet and vocals; Julie Jo Hughes, vocals; Stephen Sayer, Chandrae Roettig, Karine Hermes, and Hunter Krikac dancers

The Program: Jump ‘n’ jive from the 1940s right into the jukebox tunes of the ‘50s and ‘60s with hits like “Tuxedo Junction,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “Rock Around the Clock.” Dancers, vocalists, and clarinet sensation Dave Bennett join in the fun. 

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Multi-instrumentalist and clarinet virtuoso Dave Bennett has carved out a special niche in American popular music, focusing on Swing Era tunes, early Rockabilly and Country, and Elvis Presley.  
  • Bennett has been featured on NPR Radio’s “Jazz at Riverwalk,” and made his European debut in 2008 at The Bern Jazz Festival (Switzerland) in a combo with jazz legends and Benny Goodman band alumni guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and vibraphonist, the late Peter Appleyard. 
  • Bennett’s 2013 CD, Don’t Be That Way, met with critical acclaim. His second release, Blood Moon, which features five originals and six pop/jazz covers, hit the No 24 on the Billboard Jazz chart in 2018. 
  • “Clarinetist Dave Bennett brings the clarinet out of its Swing Era past and gives it a modern yet melodic environment … Bennett shows that he’s got the chops, … tearing through the mercurial ‘13 Fingers’ like a hot knife in butter, while ‘Falling Sky’ takes you on a journey beginning with earthy blues and landing on a misty cloud, and the closing ‘Heavy Heart’ floats like a dark nimbus before the storm.” – JazzWeekly.com
  • “Bennett certainly finds inspiration in the work of past masters, driving down the highways and byways that have been paved by Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman and others, but he's willing to look at their music with a fresh set of eyes; he's a centrist, but not a complete traditionalist.” – AllAboutJazz.com

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Jeff Tyzik: jefftyzik.com

On Dave Bennett: davebennett.com

Tickets: begin at $23




When and Where: Oct. 22 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; Lila Downs, vocals

The Program: Get ready for Día de los Muertos with Grammy Award winner Lila Downs, whose unique voice, compelling stage presence, and poignant storytelling bridge traditions from across the Americas.

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Lila Downs, hailed by The Washington Post for her “cantina-classical three octave voice,” sings in Spanish and Mexican indigenous languages, including Mixtec, Zapotec, and Mayan.
  • “The Mexican American singer has a stunning voice, [and] a confident multicultural vision grounded in her Mixtec Indian roots.” – Los Angeles Times; “Ms. Downs has multiple voices, from an airborne near-falsetto down to a forthright alto and a sultry, emotive contralto.” – New York Times
  • “Fluency in Spanish isn’t necessary to understand Lila Downs’ shape-shifting voice; it transcends language, carrying pure emotion. Downs moves from operatic stylings to rap and everything in between with both artistic exploration and pop sensibility.” – The Associated Press
  • Downs has released 13 albums; her most recent, 2017’s Salón, Lágrimas, y Deseo, features an eclectic range of Latin American styles, including cumbia, banda sinaloense, danzón, and Cuban son.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Lila Downs: liladowns.com

Tickets: begin at $35




When and Where: Oct. 27 at 7:30 pm, Oct. 28 at 2pm, and Oct. 29 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Note: This concert repeats on Oct. 26 at 7:30 pm in Smith Auditorium at Willamette University in Salem.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Jeffrey Kahane, piano

The Program:

Bernstein: Three Dance Episodes from On the Town

*Norman: Split

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • At both the keyboard and on the podium, Jeffrey Kahane has established an international reputation as a truly versatile artist, recognized by audiences around the world for his mastery of a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven to Gershwin, Golijov, and John Adams.
  • Composer Andrew Norman wrote Split for Kahane and the New York Philharmonic. “Split is a hyperactive fantasy for piano and orchestra,” says Norman. “The piece was written for Jeffrey Kahane, and I took much inspiration from the wit, vitality, and expressive character of his playing.”
  • In addition to his career as a soloist, Kahane is equally well known for his collaborations with artists and chamber ensembles such as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, Thomas Quasthoff, and the Emerson and Takács quartets.
  • Kahane was a finalist at the 1981 Van Cliburn Competition and won the Grand Prize at the Arthur Rubenstein International Piano Competition in 1983, the same year he also received an Avery Fisher Career Grant.
  • Kahane’s recordings reflect his eclectic repertoire; he has played works of Gershwin and Bernstein with Yo-Yo Ma on Sony Classical and EMI Classics, and has made numerous recordings as conductor of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. 

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Jeffrey Kahane: cmartists.com/artists/jeffrey-kahane.htm

Tickets: begin at $24


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


ABOUT OREGON SYMPHONY 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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