Carl Herko
Vice President, Media & Public Relations

January 11, 2008



(PORTLAND, Ore.) — The hottest of contemporary American composers — John Adams — shares the spotlight with the greatest of them all — Ludwig van Beethoven — in the next Classical series concert of the Oregon Symphony Feb. 2-4.

The program begins with the Oregon Symphony’s first performance ever of the Chamber Symphony, a work Adams wrote in 1992 for an ensemble of only 15 musicians. (Portland music lovers know Adams well: When his opera Nixon in China was performed by the Portland Opera in 2006, the production was the surprise hit of the season and had the audience raving about it for weeks afterward.)

His Chamber Symphony is every bit as thrilling, a hyperactive 20-minute work inspired by the most unlikely pair of muses imaginable: the equally wild early 20th century compositions of Arnold Schoenberg — and the music that accompanied classic children’s cartoons of the 1950s and ‘60s. (Adams has written, in fact, that his moment of inspiration came when he was sitting in his studio, studying Schoenberg, at the same time his 7-year-old son was in the next room watching old cartoons on TV.)   

Resident Conductor Gregory Vajda will lead the orchestra in three performances, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 2 and 3, and 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

Following Adams on the program will be the stellar young Russian-American pianist Kirill Gerstein in a performance of Beethoven’s muscular and powerful Piano Concerto No. 2. (Audience members will remember Gerstein too from his last appearance with the Oregon Symphony, exactly two years ago, when he electrified the crowd by performing both a piano concerto of Maurice Ravel and George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at the same concert.)

The program concludes with another gem: Robert Schumann’s final symphony, No. 4 in D minor.
Tickets are available for $15 to $93 at the Oregon Symphony Ticket Office, 923 SW Washington St., in downtown Portland. Ticket office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at (503) 228-1353 or (800) 228-7343 during the same hours, or online at any time from the orchestra’s web site,

Tickets are also available through or by calling (503) 790-ARTS. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are available through the symphony’s group sales hotline, (503) 416-6380.

Presenting sponsor of the concert is Integra Telecom, with additional support from Lufthansa. Media partners are The Oregonian, KINK-FM and KBPS All Classical Radio.

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