June 26, 2012



(PORTLAND, Ore.) – With the 2011/12 concert performance schedule now complete, Oregon Symphony President Elaine Calder announced today that ticket sales were up 19% over the previous year – and up 24% from the depths of the recession in 2009/10. 

Revenues from this season’s ticket sales exceeded $6.8 million or 47% of the Symphony’s total budget of $14.3 million. 

Paid attendance at the 73-performance season in the 2780-seat Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall was 151,048 or 74.4% of total capacity, representing an increase of 15% over the previous year’s 131,435 paid admissions. 

Classical subscription concerts played to an average paid attendance of 1,889 people – an enormous increase over the 1,413 average of just two seasons ago.  Oregon and its orchestra were hit hard by the recession and the Symphony has taken two full seasons to recover from the devastation. 

On the other hand, due to very high demand, revenues from single ticket “special” performances exceeded $3 million in 2011/12, representing 46% of all sales.

Calder said, “The core of any professional orchestra’s program is its classical subscription series, and we’re delighted to see the big upswing in classical concert attendance this year.  We know that some of this has to do with the tremendous acclaim that greeted our Carnegie Hall debut in May 2011 as part of the Spring for Music festival, and the terrific coverage we received in the Portland media.  Under the leadership of music director Carlos Kalmar the orchestra continues to play at a very high level and we’re pleased we are once again sharing our music with audiences across the country and around the world through radio broadcasts on All Classical 89.9 and recordings.

“At the same time, we’ve found a way to reach many different segments of the Portland audience through a wide range of single ticket “special” concerts.  Some of these are slam-dunks but there is a considerable amount of risk involved in producing and presenting these performances.  Fortunately, our 22 special concerts played to 83.4% paid attendance and were enjoyed by over 51,000 single ticket buyers, who were attracted to artists as diverse as Zakir Hussain, Renée Fleming, the Canadian Tenors and Herbie Hancock.

“For many of our patrons and donors, Oregon Symphony musicians are part of an exclusively classical ensemble.  This is what they were trained to do and what they excel at.  But at many other times during the season they display a delightful versatility and enchant thousands of other people in pops, jazz, bluegrass, Gospel and swing arrangements.

“It’s our job to find the right balance: to serve our community, maintain our superb orchestra and maximize earned income and the net contribution from concerts.  This season has been a success on every count.”

Tickets were unavailable or in very short supply for a number of performances during the season including:

Complete 2011/12 year-end statistics are expected to be released immediately following the annual audit.


Jim Fullan
Vice President, Communications, Marketing & Sales