First-Timer’s Guide

Everything you need to know to make the most out of your first Oregon Symphony experience.

 

How do I buy Oregon Symphony tickets?

The easiest way to buy tickets is right here, online! All you have to do is browse our concerts, pick programs that appeal to you, and order through our secure, online system. If you have any questions, just give our friendly Patron Services Representatives a call, email us, or stop by our Ticket Office downtown.

 

Where should I sit?

Choosing where to sit is a breeze with our interactive seat map, where you can check out the views from around the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall before you buy.

 

What should I wear?

Everyday, casual clothes are just fine at our concerts – this is Portland, after all. On the other hand, going to the Symphony can be a great excuse to dress up for a fun night out, if that’s more your cup of tea.

 

How early should I arrive?

You’ll probably want to arrive around 30 minutes early for your first concert, or 45 minutes early if you need to pick your tickets up from will call. This leaves time to park, check out the historic building, peruse the program book, enjoy a drink or snack if you’d like, and find your seat.

Directions & Parking

 

What if I arrive late?

We understand; sometimes life gets in the way. Our ushers will show you into the hall at the next suitable break in the program, usually after the first piece or at intermission.

Some programs do not have an intermission or another opportunity for late seating. Sign up for our Concert Concierge emails for a concert reminder with the most up-to-date information about late seating.

 

When do I clap?

Clapping is a great way to show your appreciation for the performers. It’s part of what fuels us when we play! If you aren’t sure when to clap, don’t worry – you can easily join in once the applause has begun.

 

How long are concerts?

If you sign up for our Concert Concierge emails, we’ll send a reminder with the estimated program length and other useful details before each of your concerts.

Each program is different, but most last about two hours and include a 20-minute intermission. Kids Concerts typically last one hour with no intermission.

 

Can I bring my kids?

Many of our programs are designed especially for families, including our Kids Concerts and a wide array of educational opportunities throughout the year.

Those that aren’t can still be a wonderful experience for older children. You know your kids best. Can they sit comfortably – and quietly – through a two hour program? Our kid-friendly programming is probably a better fit for kids under age seven, and no children younger than three are allowed at regular concerts.

Note that all concertgoers, regardless of age, must be ticketed.

 

Can I use my phone in concerts?

You might be surprised to hear that we sometimes encourage you to take pictures with your phone, or to participate on social media. Most of the time, though, we’ll ask you to silence your phone before the concert begins. If you aren’t sure, just ask an usher and they’ll be glad to let you know. The best photo opportunities are right before the conductor arrives and immediately following the concert.

Audio and video recording are not allowed at Oregon Symphony concerts out of respect for the performers and your fellow concertgoers.

 

Where should I go to eat before or after the concert?

Check out our convenient list of recommended restaurants for the best spots near the hall.

 

Do I need to know anything about the music before I come?

Absolutely not! That’s one of the great things about music – it has a way of reaching all of us.

Still, options abound if you’d like to learn about the music beforehand:

  • You’ll find all kinds of details on this website in the weeks leading up to the concert, including performer biographies, program notes, and more.
  • If you arrive an hour before our Classical Concerts, you can hear the Concert Conversation, a lively discussion about the music on the program.
  • Finally, you can listen to the music before the concert! Listening to the music you can help you explore your taste and find what you like best.

 

Plan your visit

FAQ

Find all the details you need to know about the concert hall, buying tickets, and other frequently asked questions.

Visiting Portland?

Learn why the Oregon Symphony is an indispensable part of any Rose City itinerary.

Getting to the Hall

A comprehensive guide for getting to the Schnitz – public transportation, biking, and more.