Oregon Symphony News Releases
July 29, 2015
Oregon Symphony Sets Records: New leadership, wide-ranging musical offerings, reinvigorated community engagement, and record-setting revenue signal New Era at the Symphony President Scott Showalter announced today the results of the 2014/15 season, his first at the Symphony helm. In the past year, the Oregon Symphony set numerous all-time records, including numbers of tickets sold, total ticket revenue, number of sold-out concerts, number of first-time ticket buyers, number of donors, number of new donors, total donor contributions, board of directors’ contributions, amount raised at the annual gala, and attendance at its Waterfront Concert. As a result the Symphony posted a surplus for the sixth consecutive season, an unusually strong record in the orchestral field.
May 1, 2015
Oregon Symphony Presents Announces 2015/16 Concerts Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Johnny Mathis and Lily Tomlin lead the newly branded slate that also celebrates films, film scores and plenty more. The Oregon Symphony is renowned not only for the quality of its playing but also for the breadth of its musical offerings. Now, with sales for its Classical, Pops and Kids subscription concerts well underway and selling above the previous season’s levels, the Symphony is proud to announce its 2015/16 Special Concerts. Branded for the first time under the banner “Oregon Symphony Presents” and announced separately from subscription concerts, this entertainment slate includes 24 performances of 20 separate concerts, spanning the musical spectrum from film scores to classical guitar, from rock and gospel to country western, with international stars from Yo-Yo Ma to Johnny Mathis.
April 17, 2015
Oregon Symphony’s Star-Studded Gala Sets Record Over 400 patrons gathered at last night’s record-setting Oregon Symphony Honors Gala, whose theme was “Music Creates Community.” Under the leadership of Honorary Gala Chair Jordan Schnitzer, Gala Co-Chair and Portland’s First Lady Nancy Hales, and Gala Co-Chair and Board Member Renée Holzman, donors contributed nearly $700,000 to support the symphony and its outreach programs. Together with President Scott Showalter, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales opened an historic concert in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. For the first time, a classical program under the direction of Music Director Carlos Kalmar was made available exclusively and for free to thousands of the Oregon Symphony’s community partners.
April 14, 2015
Oregon Talent Takes Center Stage as Storm Large, Pink Martini, and the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies Join Pianist Stephen Hough and Jazz Saxophonist James Carter to Close Out Oregon Symphony’s 2014-15 Season The Oregon Symphony showcases a high-energy lineup of concerts in May, beginning with the incomparable chanteuse Storm Large, performing songs from the Great American Songbook. A Classical Menagerie with Pink Martini promises a new spin on Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. In between, Eugene’s own Cherry Poppin’ Daddies come to Portland for a Speakeasy Party; saxophone virtuoso James Carter blurs the lines between classical and jazz with Roberto Sierra’s Concerto for Saxophones; and multi-award-winning pianist Stephen Hough performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1.
April 2, 2015
Symphony adds Two More Concerts to its 2014/15 Season The Oregon Symphony’s 2014/15 season continues to grow in both the number of concerts and its span across the musical spectrum. Following recent additions to the season like Boyz II Men and the Music of Led Zeppelin, two additional concerts have now been added, Cherry Poppin' Daddies and A Classical Menagerie with Pink Martini, bringing the season totals to 80 performances of 47 concerts, the largest season in recent history.
March 30, 2015
Oregon Symphony Hits The Road Again As part of its continuing commitment to strengthen and support music education in public schools, the Oregon Symphony makes its fifth outing beyond the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in the last two years, following the most recent performance at Rosa Parks Elementary School. This time, an audience of 450 third-through-fifth graders will enjoy a live performance by the Oregon Symphony at their school.
March 12, 2015
Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, Peter and the Wolf, Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances and Boyz II Men Highlight April Concerts Three of classical music’s “top ten”hits – Sergei Prokofiev’s children’s tale of Peter and The Wolf, Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor performed by violinist Karen Gomyo and a rare performance of Antonín Dvořák’s complete Slavonic Dances – top the bill in Oregon Symphony’s April concerts. Fans of R&B will welcome Boyz II Men, the top grossing R&B group of all time in their Symphony debut, and film noir enthusiasts will enjoy a delightful orchestral whodunit, complete with 1940s-era costumes and the antics of the Magic Circle Theatre Company as they solve the mysterious murder of unpopular guest conductor Maestro Bigherr.
March 4, 2015
The Music of Led Zeppelin Added to Symphony’s 2014/15 Season The Oregon Symphony’s 2014/15 season continues to grow in both numbers of concerts and the season’s span across the musical spectrum, with the addition of The Music of Led Zeppelin. Bridging the distance between rock ‘n’ roll and classical music, The Music of Led Zeppelin was created by Brent Havens. Amplified by a full rock band and accompanied by singer Randy Jackson’s screaming vocals, creator Brent Havens guest conducts the ensemble as they capture Led Zeppelin’s “sheer blast and power,” riff for riff while churning out new musical colors.
February 6, 2015
Thomas Lauderdale, Video Game Music, American Dance and Symphonie Fantastique Top Symphony Concerts in March Portland’s favorite pianist Thomas Lauderdale returns to the stage with the Oregon Symphony in another classical outing playing works of Gottschalk and Beethoven, while fans of video games like Halo and The Legend of Zelda can experience an interactive hero’s journey with game clips and live orchestra accompaniment. Kids and parents alike will experience the magic of visual arts interpreted through music, and the month winds up with Berlioz’ innovative and always popular Symphonie fantastique.
February 5, 2015
Music Director Carlos Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony Announce the 2015/16 Season Music Director Carlos Kalmar and President Scott Showalter have announced the details of the Company’s 2015/16 season. It will be Kalmar’s 13th season at the artistic helm, Showalter’s second season as President, and the Oregon Symphony’s 120th year.
February 4, 2015
Oregon Symphony Performs with Students from the Bravo Youth Orchestras on the Anniversary of El Sistema As part of its continuing commitment to strengthening and supporting music education in public schools, the Oregon Symphony brings Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf to the students of Rosa Parks Elementary School.
January 26, 2015
13 New Board Members Welcomed to Oregon Symphony Board of Directors At its recent annual membership meeting, the Oregon Symphony Board of Directors elected 13 new members, each to a three-year term. President Scott Showalter commented: “Growing our Board has demonstrable impact on our organization and the community of Oregon and Southwest Washington. These leaders invest significant time and money to grow the reach and impact of our artistic and community programs.”
January 8, 2015
Carmina Burana, Smokey Robinson, Beethoven’s Fifth and a Toe-Tapping Evening of Dance Highlight Oregon Symphony’s February Concerts A wide and eclectic range of concerts fill the year’s shortest month at the Oregon Symphony, beginning with the ever-popular Carmina Burana, featuring acclaimed soloists and two of Portland’s top-notch choirs. Motown legend Smokey Robinson brings his singer/songwriter talents to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for a very special Valentine’s Day concert, and noted violinist Stefan Jackiw returns to perform music of Dvořák and Lutosławski in a concert that also features Beethoven’s best-known symphony. Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik leads a popular Let’s Dance concert to Portland, which features acclaimed tango, swing and tap dancers and an American Idol finalist to sing hits from the 40s, 50s and 60s.
January 5, 2015
Symphony’s Latest CD Ready for January Pre-Release The Oregon Symphony today announced that its upcoming CD—the third under the baton of Music Director Carlos Kalmar—is set to be pre-released locally on the Pentatone label on January 8. This latest CD, entitled Spirit of the American Range, follows Music for a Time of War, a recording of the program performed at the Symphony’s 2011 Carnegie Hall debut which hit the classical billboard charts and received numerous critical accolades including two Grammy Award nominations, and This England, released in 2012. Like its predecessors, Spirit of the American Range was recorded in hybrid multichannel Super Audio CD format.
January 2, 2015
Oregon Symphony’s 2014 Crescendos to a Big Note When hundreds of balloons dropped from the ceiling of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall at the New Year’s Eve “Ode to Joy” celebration, the uproarious applause sounded a rousing conclusion to a spectacular calendar year. “The Oregon Symphony has grown, in both its artistic quality and its community impact,” said President Scott Showalter. “Still, we are in a crescendo mode. And our growth will continue as the second half of the 2014/15 season unfolds.”
December 16, 2014
Oregon Symphony Names Deniz Conger Vice President of Development President Scott Showalter today announced the hiring of Deniz Conger as the Oregon Symphony’s new Vice President of Development. “Deniz’s passion for the arts, background, fundraising success, and familiarity with our region made her the ideal professional for this position,” he said. “I’m confident that she’ll help us to reach new heights for both contributions and connections in the community.”
December 4, 2014
Itzhak Perlman, Marc-André Hamelin, Ravel’s Boléro, Concertmaster Sarah Kwak and Film Music From Star Trek Headline January Concerts at Oregon Symphony The new year ushers in new opportunities to hear old favorites and exciting contemporary works with the Oregon Symphony, along with not-to-be missed performances by violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Marc-André Hamelin and Oregon Symphony concertmaster Sarah Kwak. Audiences can also journey into the wondrous realms of the musical galaxy with a live performance of the score and a screening of the 2009 film Star Trek, while fans of swing music can dance the night away with clarinet prodigy Dave Bennett as he performs some of the great clarinet hits of the 1930s and ‘40s from Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Woody Herman.
December 3, 2014
Oregon Symphony’s Brass Quintet to Play at Coffee Creek Correction Facility On December 9th the Oregon Symphony’s Holiday Brass Quintet will travel to the Coffee Creek Correction Facility to present a very special concert of holiday favorites for the women at Coffee Creek. Performing will be Jeffrey Work and Dave Bamonte, trumpets; Joseph Berger, horn; Dan Cloutier, trombone; and JáTik Clark, tuba. Mr. Bill Schonely, NBA and Portland Trail Blazer broadcasting legend, will join the group as special host for the evening, introducing the program and maybe even sharing his well-known voice in a song or two.
November 3, 2014
Celebrate December Holidays with the Oregon Symphony’s Eclectic Mix of Seasonal Repertoire, Featuring Rousing Gospel, Andre Watts, Circus Holiday Performances and the Not-To-Be-Missed Ode To Joy New Year Bash with Special Guest Esperanza SpaldingThe Oregon Symphony decks the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with beloved holiday music favorites including the ever-popular Gospel Christmas, a special circus-themed holiday performance, and Comfort and Joy, a classical concert designed with the whole family in mind. We begin the month with pianist André Watts performing MacDowell’s romantic Piano Concerto No. 2 and ring in the New Year with the Symphony’s newest and most popular tradition: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and an evening of special guests, including Thomas Lauderdale and Portland’s own Esperanza Spalding.
October 30, 2014
Cellist Alban Gerhardt Joins Oregon Symphony for his Third and Final Year as Artist In Residence Internationally acclaimed cellist and classical music ambassador extraordinaire Alban Gerhardt will be back in town November 10-17 for concerts with the Oregon Symphony. But Alban doesn’t come into town just to play at the Schnitz! While he’s here he’ll be taking his friend Johann Sebastian Bach and his cello on the road, visiting schools, arts and cultural centers, The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, the University of Portland, as well as a few places that he decides on the spur of the moment.
October 6, 2014
Esperanza Spalding Joins Oregon Symphony’s Ode To Joy New Year’s Celebration The Oregon Symphony’s new New Year’s tradition just took a sassy turn. This year’s special guest for the annual Ode to Joy New Year’s Celebration is none other than Portland native, four-time Grammy winner and jazz sensation Esperanza Spalding! The double bassist, whose prodigious talents have been heralded by The New Yorker, The New York Times, Marie Claire among countless others, makes her debut with the Oregon Symphony. She’ll be joined by her mentor and local jazz hero Thara Memory.
September 29, 2014
The Oregon Symphony Presents Music Legends Tony Bennett and Bernadette Peters in November, along with The Capitol Steps, Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and Gershwin’s Concerto in F November features the most eclectic range of Oregon Symphony concerts yet, beginning with renowned pianist Jeffrey Kahane performing Gershwin’s Concerto in F, the most popular American piano concerto; on Election Day the Capitol Steps bring their wickedly funny and unique take on politics to the Rose City; and the following evening the incomparable Tony Bennett takes the stage for an evening of timeless songs, accompanied by his daughter, singer Antonia Bennett. Kids and their families will enjoy swashbuckling adventures on the high seas with the first Kids’ Concert of the season (“Pirates”), and Artist in Residence Alban Gerhardt returns to perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major. Theatre icon Bernadette Peters sings an evening of Broadway classics, and fans of Disney films will enjoy a Pops concert of blockbuster hits from Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King and more.
September 22, 2014
Oregon Symphony President Selected for National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program National Arts Strategies has announced that Oregon Symphony President and CEO Scott Showalter has been chosen to join its Chief Executive Program: Community and Culture. Selected from a competitive recruitment process that included applications from leaders in 32 states and 13 different countries, he and 49 other executives will work with National Arts Strategies over the next year to lead change throughout the arts and culture sector.
September 3, 2014
Violin and Guitar Concertos plus Barbra Streisand’s Greatest Hits On Tap at the Oregon Symphony in October Classical music brackets the Oregon Symphony’s concerts in October, beginning with Erich Korngold’s lushly romantic Violin Concerto conducted by Oregon Symphony favorite Michael Francis and performed by rising Dutch violinist, Simone Lamsma; in mid-month Tony-nominated vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway performs an evening of signature classics made famous by Barbra Streisand, and Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas makes his Oregon Symphony debut with an audience favorite, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.
August 12, 2014
Band, Baton and Baseball Make Beautiful Music Together! Carlos Kalmar strikes up the band for the Hillsboro Hops. On Aug. 24, one of America ’s outstanding maestros will stand not on a podium, but on a ball field. The ensemble he’ll be leading isn’t a group of symphony players … but the marching band equivalent of the Bad News Bears.
August 8, 2014
Oregon Symphony and Musicians Agree to One-Year Contract Extension
With a musician contract set to expire in late August, new President and CEO Scott Showalter made it his first priority to join the musicians and their union at the bargaining table. The parties met just days after his arrival and agreed to a contract extension until September, 2015. During this time, musician salaries will remain at current levels.
August 7, 2014
All Tickets To The Oregon Symphony’s 2014/15 Season Go On Sale Saturday! On Saturday, August 9, the Oregon Symphony figuratively swings open the doors to its entire 2014/15 season. The literal doors to the Ticket Office may not open until Monday morning, but the website will be activated for sales beginning at 12:01 am, Saturday.
July 31, 2014
Oregon Symphony’s Waterfront Concert Returns—Bigger And Better Than Ever Before! Oregon Symphony Music Director Carlos Kalmar and President/CEO Scott Showalter this week revealed details about the upcoming August 28 Waterfront Concert that highlight the event’s spectacular return. Those details paint a vastly expanded Waterfront Concert that includes a new start time of 2:30 pm rather than the traditional 5:00 pm along with an entertainment lineup that spotlights many of the City’s other musical organizations.
July 24, 2014
Oregon Symphony Wins Oregon Community Foundation Grant to Deepen Connections with Schools And Students Oregon Symphony President and CEO Scott Showalter today announced a new musical education partnership with the David Douglas School District, thanks to funding from The Oregon Community Foundation’s Studio to School initiative.
July 23, 2014
Oregon Symphony Mourns The Death Of Laureate Associate Conductor Norman Leyden Norman Leyden, Laureate Associate Conductor of the Oregon Symphony died today at the age of 96.
July 22, 2014
The Oregon Symphony’s September Lineup Features An Eclectic Selection Of Concerts To Open 2014-15 Season The Oregon Symphony launches its 2014-15 season with seven concerts that showcase the orchestra’s wide-ranging talents and renowned solo artists from a diverse range of music genres: jazz legend Herbie Hancock and his quartet; pop/alternative rockers Trey Anastasio from Phish and Ben Folds of Ben Folds Five; singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile; banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck, who performs his banjo concerto, The Impostor; and two classical music superstars – violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and pianist Arnaldo Cohen – who will play audience favorites by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.
July 3, 2014
Oregon Symphony In July For the first time in a long while, the Oregon Symphony lights up the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in the summertime, although the Oregon Symphony orchestra is still on its annual summer break. It may be hot inside as well as outside when rocker Chris Isaak and his band hit the stage!