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September 26, 2019

PORTLAND, OR – Two powerhouse pianists kick off the Oregon Symphony’s November concerts. Audience favorite Stephen Hough performs Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 November 2–4, followed by jazz legend Chick Corea presenting his own Piano Concerto No. 1 alongside Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on November 7.

Children will want to grab their wands and don their wizarding robes as Oregon Symphony’s Kids Series kicks off on November 10 with music from enchanted realms. Next, rising star violinist Alexi Kenney performs his own magic in his Oregon Symphony debut with Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, while the rest of the program is devoted to Mahler’s epic “Tragic” Symphony November 16–18.

The first SoundSights concert of the season brings together the genius of Sibelius and Shakespeare in a unique theatrical experience. Acclaimed stage director Mary Birnbaum, who wowed audiences with her production of Bluebeard’s Castle in 2016, returns to produce an all-new live dramatic production of Jean Sibelius’ complete incidental music for The Tempest.

Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik and virtuoso trumpeter/vocalist Byron Stripling join forces for a concert that swings into the holiday season November 30–December 1.




When and Where: Nov. 2 at 7:30 pm, Nov. 3 at 2 pm, and Nov. 4 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Note: This concert will also be performed in Salem on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 pm. For more information, go to orsymphonysalem.org.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with guest conductor Clemens Schuldt; *Stephen Hough, piano

The Program:

Lili Boulanger: Of a Sad Evening
Lili Boulanger: Of a Spring Morning
*Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor
Schumann: Symphony No. 1, “Spring”

What’s Special About This Concert:

  • MacArthur “Genius” Grant winner and audience favorite Stephen Hough returns to the Oregon Symphony to perform Mendelssohn’s First Piano Concerto.
  • Renowned for his intelligent musical approach and wide-ranging tastes, Hough has garnered no less than eight Gramophone Magazine Awards and numerous Grammy nominations for his piano recordings.
  • During the summer of 2019, Hough had the rare opportunity to play Mendelssohn’s concerto on Queen Victoria’s own piano, a 19th century Erard, at the BBC Proms Concerts. “Victoria was passionate about music; she went to the opera and took singing lessons for 20 years,” says Hough. “She and Prince Albert played duets on this very piano.”
  • Clemens Schuldt, one of the most exciting young conductors emerging from Germany today, is principal conductor of the Münchener Kammerorchester. Winner of the prestigious Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in 2010, Schuldt is widely praised for his innovative interpretations of Classical and Romantic Germanic repertoire.
  • “The BBC Philharmonic is currently looking to replace Juanjo Mena, who steps down as chief conductor this summer. Schuldt, here making his debut at Bridgewater Hall, will have done his chances of being appointed no harm at all with this concert … he opened with a carefully paced account of Strauss’s tone poem Death and Transfiguration, which he built to a thunderous climax. … the orchestral brilliance of his performance was undeniable.” – Andrew Clements, The Guardian, April 21, 2018

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Clemens Schuldt: clemensschuldt.de/en/home/

On Stephen Hough: stephenhough.com

Tickets start at $24





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

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with guest conductor Steven Mercurio; *Chick Corea, piano

The Program:

Mozart: Don Giovanni Overture
*Chick Corea: Piano Concerto No. 1
*Gershwin: Selections for Solo Piano
*Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

What’s special about this concert:

  • A DownBeat Hall of Famer, NEA Jazz Master, 22-time Grammy winner, and keyboard virtuoso, Chick Corea has attained living legend status after five decades of unparalleled creativity and an extensive catalogue of compositions and recordings.
  • With his 63 nominations, Corea is the fourth most-nominated artist in the history of the Grammys. Corea has also earned three Latin Grammy Awards, the most of any artist in the Best Instrumental Album category.
  • Corea’s music defies categorization: from straight-ahead to avant-garde, bebop to fusion, children’s songs to chamber music, along with some far-reaching forays into symphonic works, Chick has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his illustrious career.
  • At 78, Corea continues to immerse himself in new styles, explore unfamiliar musical terrain, and reinvent himself in the process.
  • “Corea was almost always at the center of the action. Using no pedal, he managed to create crystalline pianistic lines, liquid when they needed to be, always propulsive with a sort of inner energy. At 77, his technique remains impeccable, his jazz inventiveness at a level matched by few other pianists – and distinctive. His music, both written and improvised, could only come through his fingers.” – Harvey Steiman, seenandheard-international.com, March 24, 2018

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Steven Mercurio: stevenmercurio.com

On Chick Corea: chickcorea.com

Tickets start at $35





When and Where: Nov. 10 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, Dance West, and the Pacific Youth Choir, with Associate Conductor Norman Huynh; *Pam Mahon, narrator

The Program:

Beethoven: Overture to Fidelio
Handel: Zadok the Priest, Coronation Anthem No. 1
Elgar: Excerpts from Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1
Shore: “Concerning Hobbits” from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
“Bilbo's Song” from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Dukas: Selections from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Cline: Masquerade
Haydn: Presto from Symphony No. 85, “La reine”
Tchaikovsky: “Waltz” from The Sleeping Beauty
Anderson-Lopez: “Let It Go” from Frozen
Williams: “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

What’s So Special About This Concert:

  • Music from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and more will enchant concert-goers of all ages in our first Kids Concert of the 2019/20 Season, narrated by Pam Mahon.
  • The award-winning Dance West Ensemble joins the orchestra to interpret Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  • The Pacific Youth Choir, directed by Mia Hall Miller, joins the orchestra for selections from Howard Shore’s award-winning score for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Handel’s Zadok the Priest, and Elgar’s famous Pomp and Circumstance March
  • Other program highlights include excerpts by Beethoven, Haydn, Handel, Anna Cline, and John Williams.
  • “Oregon Symphony Kids Concerts are about an hour in length, and are designed specifically for listeners 5 to 10 years young – it’s okay to move around in your seat, laugh, and clap! There’s no better way to introduce your little ones to the thrills of live orchestral music! Concerts are both educational and entertaining – an experience the whole family can enjoy.” – pdxparent.com

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

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

On Dance West: dancewestcompany.com

On the Pacific Youth Choir: pacificyouthchoir.org

Tickets start at $11





When and Where: Nov. 16 at 7:30 pm, Nov. 17 at 2 pm, and Nov. 18 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Alexi Kenney, violin

The Program:

*Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3
Mahler: Symphony No. 6, “Tragic”

What’s Special About This Concert:

  • A recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, violinist Alexi Kenney has been named “a talent to watch” by The New York Times.
  • “A spellbinding, thoroughly honest performance that revealed his architect’s eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.” — The New York Times
  • “Violin soloist Alexi Kenney was a brilliantly understated soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, K. 216, his interpretation unmarred by any pretense or artifice. His flawless technique and the masterful tempo … brought light and air to the concerto’s first movement, where Kenney’s cadenza eschewed pyrotechnics in favor of impeccable clarity of expression.” – Jennifer Hambrick, Columbus Post Dispatch
  • Alexi has appeared in recital on Carnegie Hall’s “Distinctive Debuts” series, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., the Dame Myra Hess Concerts in Chicago, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Jordan Hall in Boston. He won the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition and is laureate of the 2012 Menuhin Competition.
  • Alexi has been profiled by Strings magazine and The New York Times; he has also written for The Strad, and has been featured on American Public Media’s “Performance Today,” WQXR-NY’s “Young Artists Showcase,” WFMT-Chicago, and NPR’s “From the Top.”

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Alexi Kenney: alexikenney.com

Tickets start at $24




When and Where: Nov. 23 at 7:30 pm, Nov. 24 at 2 pm, and Nov. 25 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, PSU Chamber Choir, and cast TBA with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Mary Birnbaum, stage director

The Program:

*Sibelius: Complete Incidental Music to The Tempest

What’s Special About This Concert:

  • “Shakespeare and Sibelius, these two geniuses, have found each other,” commented one reviewer at the 1926 premiere of Shakespeare’s The Tempest with incidental music by Finland’s national hero, Jean Sibelius.
  • Acclaimed stage director Mary Birnbaum, whose direction of Bluebeard’s Castle stunned audiences in 2016, returns to the Oregon Symphony to bring a fresh interpretation to this iconic tale of magic and betrayal in her live dramatic production.
  • Birnbaum, whose stage direction of opera and theatre The New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini called “viscerally overwhelming” and “genuinely insightful ... vibrant”, works both internationally, from Taiwan to Central America, Australia and Israel, and across the U.S.
  • Currently Associate Director of the post-graduate Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program at Juilliard, Birnbaum has taught acting for singers at Bard College and in the Lindemann Young Artists Program at the Metropolitan Opera.
  • A graduate of Harvard College, Mary trained professionally in physical theater at L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Mary Birnbaum: marybirnbaum.com

Tickets start at $24




When and Where: Nov. 30 at 7:30 pm and Dec. 1 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik; Byron Stripling, vocals/trumpet

The Program: Byron Stripling lights up the stage with his infectious yuletide joy, blazing trumpet virtuosity, engaging vocals, and your favorite seasonal tunes.

What’s special about this concert:

  • Since his Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, Stripling has become a pops orchestra favorite across the United States.
  • Equally versatile on trumpet or vocals, Stripling has soloed with the Boston Pops and the National Symphony. He has also been a featured soloist at the Hollywood Bowl and on the PBS television special “Evening at Pops” with conductors John Williams and Keith Lockhart.
  • Currently, Stripling serves as artistic director and conductor of the highly-acclaimed Columbus Jazz Orchestra. Over the course of his career, Stripling has played and recorded extensively with the Count Basie Orchestra, the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, and Buck Clayton, as well as The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and The GRP All Star Big Band.
  • “Stripling is a powerhouse trumpet virtuoso … and he has the chops to prove it. From the moment he took the stage – with no introduction, no overture, no dialogue – Stripling let his instrument (at first) do all the talking.” – Christopher Profit, USA-Today Network
  • “The man’s boundless charisma, warm voice and sharp trumpeting carry weight.” – Anthony Dominic, columbusmonthly.com

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Jeff Tyzik: jefftyzik.com

On Byron Stripling: byronstripling.com

Tickets start 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. Through All Classical Portland and American Public Media’s SymphonyCast and Performance Today the Symphony reaches over 26 million listeners. Now in its 124th year, the Oregon Symphony is the oldest orchestra west of the Mississippi.

Known for innovative programming, the Symphony gained national recognition for its ground-breaking 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 and culminated with the recording of, emergency shelter intake form, an Oregon Symphony commission by composer Gabriel Kahane that will be released in March 2020.

At a time when many orchestras are reducing their classical programming, the Oregon Symphony is continuing to invest in the art form. In the 2018/19 Season the Symphony premiered more than 20 compositions, including works by eight living composers such as John Adams, Unsuk Chin, and John Corigliano. Effective with the 2019/20 Season, the Symphony is expanding its Classical Series to 18 weeks. The schedule includes the return of the Symphony’s popular SoundSights concerts, which were first presented in 2016/17. These visually stunning programs incorporate a rich tapestry of artistic elements, which particularly appeal to new audiences. Photos for media use are available at orsymphony.org/newsroom.

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