August 23, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OREGON SYMPHONY CONTINUES WINNING STREAK
WITH ANOTHER STRONG SEASON
The 2015/16 season, with its wide-ranging musical offerings and energized community engagement efforts, sets more new records.
(PORTLAND, Ore.) – President Scott Showalter announced today the results of the 2015/16 season, his second as the Symphony President. In addition to exceeding its revenue goals, the Oregon Symphony set a number of new records, including total season subscription revenue, total classical ticket revenue, percentage of first-time ticket buyers, the highest grossing single concert, and the amount raised at the annual gala. Consequently, the Symphony balanced its budget for the seventh consecutive season.
The 2015/16 season, propelled by strong performances from the orchestra, continued the Symphony’s embrace of a broad musical spectrum, with 82 performances of 50 concert programs—ranging from internationally renowned classical performers like Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, and Lang Lang, to Special Concerts and Presentations featuring Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Lily Tomlin. The season also saw the debut of the “Popcorn Package,” a new series which included live-to-picture performances of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Home Alone, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Back to the Future.
Artistic highlights included:
- The third Grammy nomination in the last four years, with the 2016 nomination of Spirit of the American Range for the Best Orchestral Performance.
- The first year of percussionist Colin Currie’s three-year appointment as the Symphony’s Artist in Residence.
- A widely praised five-part broadcast series on All Classical Portland.
The season drew historic ticket revenue:
- Season subscription revenue up 7%.
- 20% of tickets purchased by patrons joining the Symphony for the first time.
- 22% of the season’s performances were sold out.
- Classical subscription revenue up 5%.
It also saw strong performances for contributed revenue:
- Contributed revenue of $8.3 million.
- The annual gala raised $870,000, a 24% increase over last year’s record.
- $1.87 million in contributions from the Oregon Symphony Association and Foundation Boards.
- Support from over 25 foundations and 36 corporations, including the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Collins Foundation, the Brookby Foundation, the Oregon Community Foundation, Umpqua Bank, Jay and Diane Zidell Charitable Foundation, and Wells Fargo Foundation.
- Receipt of $513,972 from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, which included funding from the Arts Education and Access Fund as well as ongoing operational support.
The Oregon Symphony continued to expand its education and community engagement efforts, with innovative programs like those in the David Douglas and Gladstone School Districts, Newberg’s Chehalem Cultural Center, St. Mary’s Home for Boys, Mary’s Woods, and Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.
In addition, the Symphony and its musicians performed and taught in a variety of places and venues throughout the community:
- An expanded Waterfront Concert drew 18,000 attendees, with performances by Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Metropolitan Youth Symphony, BRAVO Youth Orchestra, Hillsboro School District Mariachi Una Voz, Irish fiddler Kevin Burke, and Portland Taiko.
- Months of teaching in various area schools that culminated in a “Link Up” concert with Carnegie Hall—with 2,700 Portland elementary students performing and singing alongside the Oregon Symphony in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
- A full orchestra concert, featuring the film music of John Williams, at Rosa Parks Elementary School included a side-by-side performance with the young BRAVO Youth Orchestra for the second season in a row.
- 2,700 students in all nine grade schools within the David Douglas School District prepared for and performed with the Oregon Symphony in the concert hall as part of the Oregon Community Foundation-funded “Studio to Schools” program.
- Through this same OCF grant, 23 Alice Ott Middle School string students received weekly private lessons by Oregon Symphony teaching artists to boost skills and encourage continued participation in the school orchestra.
- 36 Kinderkonzerts in three host schools were attended by 10,000 grade K-2 students.
- Four Young People’s Concerts were performed at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for 7,000 students. 60 classroom visits were made to prepare students for these concerts.
- Over 1,000 pre-schoolers enjoyed 14 Symphony Storytimes at five public libraries.
- Five Oregon Symphony ensembles performed at St. Mary’s Home for Boys and the Coffee Creek Women’s Correctional Facility, and at many other community venues.
- Five visiting soloists, including Joshua Bell, Pablo Villegas, and Simone Lamsma visited students in a variety of schools.
- In a new collaboration with Earthtones Music Therapy services, Marylhurst University, and the Alzheimer’s Association of Oregon, 150 residents and caregivers at Mary’s Woods Continuing Care Retirement Center in Lake Oswego participated in a pilot series of eight weekly music therapy-informed sessions of “musicNOW,” designed to use music to enrich the social and emotional well-being of those with age-related cognitive loss.
“We are all immensely proud to have added the power of music to so many lives throughout this great community of ours,” Showalter said. “And we are deeply grateful for the support the entire community has shown the Oregon Symphony.”
The Symphony signals the opening of Portland’s music season at the September 1 Waterfront Concert, the largest free concert in the state. The 2016/17 Oregon Symphony season—its 120th Anniversary Season—officially opens on September 10, when the renowned Renée Fleming returns.
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