July 26, 2017



Wide-ranging musical offerings and
energized community engagement efforts
help set new records organization-wide

(PORTLAND, OR) – President Scott Showalter announced today the results of the 2016/17 Season, his third as Oregon Symphony President. Titled “Like Never Before” for its groundbreaking SoundSights series, the season set all-time records in virtually every category, including number of concerts, audience attendance, subscription revenue, single ticket sales, the number of sold-out concerts, percentage of first-time ticket buyers, the amount raised at the annual Gala, total number of donors, total number of new donors, and the amount of overall contributions. These high-water marks resulted in the Symphony’s eighth consecutive balanced budget.

These numbers were propelled by a season that saw a 20% increase in the number of classical performances, three trailblazing SoundSights concerts (Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle with glass sets by Dale Chihuly; Messaien’s Turangalîla with animation by Rose Bond; and Stravinsky’s Persephone with puppetry and staging by Michael Curry), and the broadest-ever range of Special Concerts, from Boyz II Men and DeVotchKa to Renée Fleming and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The season additionally reached 1.3 million radio broadcast listeners via All Classical Portland as well as American Public Media’s SymphonyCast and Performance Today, and included two commissioned world premieres.

Artistic highlights included:

The season drew historic attendance and ticket revenue:

It also saw multiple records for contributed revenue:

The Oregon Symphony expanded its education and community engagement efforts, increasing the number of programs staged throughout the year by 4% and reaching 19% more people throughout the community:

Additionally, 22,000 of the K-12 students reached throughout the season – about 60% of the total – participated for free, based on enrollment in the federal free and reduced lunch program. The Symphony also provided free bus transportation to the concert hall for Title I schools.

“This has been an extraordinary season,” said Showalter. “We thank our community for its enthusiastic support, and recognize as well the exceptional musicianship of the orchestra, which together have made it possible to inspire audiences throughout the region with an ever-expanding repertoire.”

The Oregon Symphony’s 2017/18 Season officially opens on September 16, when the renowned George Takei emcees the Opening Night concert and narrates Copland’s stirring Lincoln’s Portrait.


Rebekah Phillips
Interim Vice President, Communications, Marketing & Sales
503-416-6358 | rphillips@orsymphony.org