October 1, 2019

PORTLAND, OR – Pop culture, superheroes, the magic of Motown, two colossal favorites from the orchestral repertoire, current and former Artists-in-Residence, plus a World premiere of an Oregon Symphony-commissioned percussion concerto are on tap for October.

The month begins with the next installment of the Oregon Symphony’s Popcorn Package, director Tim Burton’s Batman featuring Danny Elfman’s score performed live by orchestra and chorus October 4–6.

Old favorites and brand-new music are paired on October 12–14, when Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite blazes forth, side by side with audience favorite Colin Currie performing the World premiere of a percussion concerto written expressly for him by composer Andy Akiho. Beethoven v. Coldplay presents and ingenious intertwining of themes from the “Eroica” Symphony with some of Coldplay’s most loved tracks, on October 17. Audiences will want to sing and dance to Motown’s amazing catalog of hits on October 19–20 with the first Pops concert of the 2019/20 Season, Dancing in the Streets. Pops conductor Jeff Tyzik and a trio of exciting young vocalists present songs of Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and Diana Ross, among others.

October wraps up with Artist-in-Residence Johannes Moser performing Lutosławski’s powerful Cello Concerto on October 26–28, on a concert that also features Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and an exciting work by rising star composer Gabriela Lena Frank.




When and Where: [Editors: Please note different start times] Oct. 4 and 5 at 7:30 pm, and Oct. 6 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony and the Oregon Chorale with guest conductor Erik Ochsner

The Program: Experience director Tim Burton’s 1989 superhero film with Danny Elfman’s score performed by live orchestra and chorus on a giant screen in razor-sharp HD.

What’s Special About This Concert:

  • Composer Danny Elfman, whose score was nominated for multiple awards, snagged a Grammy for his Batman Theme in 1990.
  • Batman was a critical and financial success, earning over $400 million in box office totals. It was the fifth-highest-grossing film in history at the time of its release.
  • The film received universal praise for its production design. Batman also garnered several Saturn Award nominations, six BAFTA nominations, a Golden Globe nomination, and won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction.
  • Reviewer Gene Siskel praised Batman’s “refreshingly adult” performances and set design that “draws you into a psychological world.”
  • Batman inspired the equally successful Batman: The Animated Series and three sequels: Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997)
  • Batman and cosplay fans are encouraged to wear costumes to the show.

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Batman: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_(1989_film)

Tickets start at $35



When and Where: [Editors: Please not different start times] Oct. 12 at 7:30 pm, Oct. 13 at 2 pm, and Oct. 14 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with guest conductor David Danzmayr; *Colin Currie, percussion

The Program:

            Ives: Three Places in New England

            *Akiho: Percussion Concerto (World premiere commission)

            StravinskyThe Firebird Suite (1945 version)

What’s Special About This Concert:

  • Former Oregon Symphony Artist-in-Residence and audience favorite Colin Currie is a solo and chamber percussionist at the peak of his powers. Championing new music at the highest level, Currie is the soloist of choice for many of today’s foremost composers, and he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. “The world’s finest and most daring percussionist.” – The Spectator
  • Composer and percussionist Andy Akiho, described by The New York Times as “mold-breaking,” “dramatic,” and “vital,” creates eclectic, groundbreaking contemporary music. These concerts mark the World premiere of the Oregon Symphony’s commission of Akiho’s Percussion Concerto, written expressly for Colin Currie.
  • Described by The Herald as “extremely good, concise, clear, incisive and expressive,” David Danzmayr is widely regarded as one of the most talented and exciting European conductors of his generation. Currently, Danzmayr is chief conductor of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. 
  • Danzmayr is also music director of the Promusica Chamber Orchestra, an orchestra comprised of musicians from all over the United States.
  • “The charismatic David Danzmayr consistently inspires the orchestra to the limits of their capabilities and, often, beyond … Clearly, the immensely gifted Austrian is on the fast track in what promises to be a major career.” – Lawrence Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On David Danzmayr: danzmayr.eu

On Colin Currie: colincurrie.com

Tickets start at $24 




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

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony with guest conductor Steve Hackman; Malia Civetz, vocals; Will Post, vocals; and Ben Jones, vocals. NOTE: Coldplay will not perform on this concert.

The Program: Experience a new frontier in music as Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony combines seamlessly with the melodies and lyrics of Coldplay. Three vocalists join the Oregon Symphony in a genre-bending performance that features some of Coldplay’s best-known songs, including “Fix You,” “Paradise,” and “The Scientist.”            

What’s special about this concert:

  • Beethoven v. Coldplay transforms the “Eroica” into an oratorio, weaving the melodies and lyrics of Coldplay into Beethoven’s groundbreaking Third Symphony.
  • “I chose to pair Beethoven and Coldplay because of their shared universality – that feeling they evoke that this is what music should sound like,” says the show’s creator and conductor Steve Hackman. “We love Coldplay because we feel they are speaking just to us – their songs seem to tell our own stories. So why shouldn’t they tell Beethoven’s? If he was once a person the same age as us, desperate for recognition of his genius, battling his health and depression, longing for love, and ‘dreaming of paradise,’ who is to say he wouldn’t have found escape in a song of Coldplay?”
  • “Beethoven v. Coldplay pairs two composer/artists who deal with universal and humanist themes in their music,” Hackman continues. “The idea that Beethoven would have found meaning in Coldplay’s music might sound odd at first, but consider the events surrounding Beethoven’s creation of the Eroica Symphony: an artist desperate to solidify his position as the reigning musical genius in Vienna, yet still misunderstood and criticized, and a young man in his thirties faced with the reality that he would soon be completely deaf. How then would Beethoven have reacted to the Coldplay lyrics ‘Nobody said it was easy?’ or ‘When you lose something you can’t replace … could it be worse?”
  • “The first movement was deftly blended with the lyrics from ‘Clocks,’ ‘42,’ and ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.’ The piece was wonderfully composed and the instrumentals were striking … Vocalists Post, Jones, and Civetz were incredibly talented and yet all had entirely different styles, which gave the performance a nice diverse sound. The piece ended with the moving, hopeful, yet emotional song about being in a relationship with someone with a tortured past, ‘Fix You.’ The last few measures tied back into ‘The Scientist,’ which had been the strongest part of the whole. As the vocalists finished with ‘Now let’s go back to the start,” the audience rose from their seats and sounded an emphatic applause.” – Cavan McGinsie, Do317.com
  • “[This program] is a revelation.” – Atlantamusiccritic.com

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Steve Hackman: stevehackman.com

On Malia Civetz: modestmanagement.com/malia-civetz

On Ben Jones: benjonessinger.com

On Will Post: willpostmusic.com

On Beethoven vs. Coldplay: stevehackman.com/news/2015/9/30/beethoven-v-coldplay-notes

Tickets start at $25




When and Where: Oct. 19 at 7:30 pm and Oct. 20 at 2 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik; Chester Gregory, vocals; Michael Lynche, vocals; and Shayna Steele, vocals

The Program: Experience the magic of Motown with smash hits made famous by artists like Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, The Temptations, and the one-and-only Stevie Wonder.

What’s special about this concert:

  • Motown’s greatest hits receive new orchestral arrangements by Grammy Award-winner Jeff Tyzik, including the songs “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Dancing In The Street,” “I Heard it Through The Grapevine,” “My Girl,” “Superstition,” and many more. Audiences will be transformed by the powerful music of the Motown era with these authentic arrangements performed by talented young vocalists Chester Gregory, Shayna Steele, and American Idol finalist Michael Lynche.
  • Shayna Steele has performed with Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Bette Midler, and Steely Dan, and has been touring regularly as a featured vocalist with Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti. She was a featured vocalist on Snarky Puppy’s “Family Dinner,” and reached #1 on the Dance Billboard charts as a featured vocalist on Moby’s “Disco Lies.” 
  • “In one performance, California-born, New York-based vocalist Shayna Steele unleashed enough voltage to light up the West End.” – Matt Pannell, London Jazz News
  • Michael Lynche, aka “Big Mike,” has released two studio albums and toured as an opening act for Boyz II Men, Lalah Hathaway, Faith Evans, and Lyfe Jennings. Since 2012, Big Mike has been a frequent guest vocalist with Jeff Tyzik on Tyzik’s touring concert, “Let’s Dance!” 
  • Award-winning actor, singer, and songwriter Chester Gregory, aka “CHΞSS,” has appeared in many Broadway productions, including Motown: the Musical, Hairspray, Sister Act, and Tarzan, among others. Gregory’s 2009 debut album, In Search of High Love, was hailed by Soultracks as “smart,” “sophisticated,” “surprising,” and “an authentic introduction to Gregory as an artist and a man.”


More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Jeff Tyzik: jefftyzik.com

On Shayna Steele: shaynasteele.com

On Michael Lynche: michaellyncheofficial.com

On Chester Gregory: chestergregory.com

Tickets start at $24




When and Where: [Editors: please note different start times] Oct. 26 at 7:30 pm, Oct. 27 at 2 pm, and Oct. 28 at 7:30 pm at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Note: This concert will also be performed in Salem on Friday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 pm. For more information, go to orsymphony.org/salem.

The Performers: The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar; *Johannes Moser, cello

The Program:

Frank: Walkabout: Concerto for Orchestra

*Lutosławski: Cello Concerto

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5

What’s special about this concert:

  • The Oregon Symphony’s current Artist-in-Residence, German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, has been hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists.”
  • Moser wowed Symphony audiences last year with his searing performance of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, which, like Lutosławski’s concerto, was commissioned by and dedicated to cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
  • Moser has performed with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, BBC Philharmonic at the Proms, London Symphony, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and the Tokyo NHK Symphony, among many others.
  • “Leading up to the concert, I’d been listening to Moser’s own recording of [Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto] – but seeing him perform it live was a whole other experience. His technique was superb, and he was exceptionally tuned in to the sections of the orchestra, but more than that, Moser … used his body in a way that amplified the work’s conflict.” – Rebecca Wishnia, San Francisco Classical Voice
  • “San Francisco Symphony audiences had never heard cellist Johannes Moser or Witold Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto before both made their local debut Thursday evening at Davies Symphony Hall. It’s safe to say they won’t forget it … All eyes were on Moser, a lanky artist with a range of facial and body expressions that would do a rock artist proud. His blissful look during the concerto’s opening statement of blandly spaced repeated D’s paid dividends, as did his later stare-downs with the concertmaster in more highly charged moments. Emphatic gestures underlined the score’s fierce combativeness.” – Harvey Steiman, seenandheard-international.com

More Background Info and Photos:

On the Oregon Symphony: orsymphony.org

On Johannes Moser: johannes-moser.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–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. 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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