Oregon Symphony


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Oregon Symphony News Releases

February 2016

February 5, 2016

Music Director Carlos Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony Unveil Unprecedented Season for 2016/17  Record growth marks the 120th Anniversary Season with a 20 percent increase in the number of classical concerts, a new multimedia series in collaboration with artistic luminaries, two commissioned world premieres, and 16 Oregon Symphony premieres. Music Director Carlos Kalmar and President Scott Showalter have announced the details of the Company’s 2016/17 season. Titled “Like Never Before,” the season, which celebrates the Company’s 120th Anniversary and builds on the records-shattering success of the past two seasons, marks a new era of artistic growth and community collaboration. Armed with another Grammy Award nomination, its third in four years, the Symphony creates new artistic experiences in a signature series titled SoundSights, in which visual art is merged with orchestral sound. In each of the three installments in this series, the Symphony collaborates with some of the Northwest region’s most prominent artists. Renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s works of art provide the setting for the production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle; Pacific Northwest College of Art’s acclaimed animator Rose Bond and her team project dramatic video around the interior walls of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphony; and production design wizard Michael Curry transforms the stage for Stravinsky’s Perséphone.

January 2016

January 19, 2016

Joshua Bell, Holst’s The Planets, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Tenors, and Music From The Cotton Club round out February Oregon Symphony Concerts  Superstar – or maybe rock star is the more appropriate term – violinist Joshua Bell returns to Portland with one of the works that launched his recording career, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, as Oregon Symphony launches its February concerts with music from other worlds, starting with Gustav Holst’s ever-popular The Planets. Trekkers can continue their outer-space explorations with a live performance of the score and a screening of the 2013 film Star Trek Into Darkness, while jazz aficionados can spend an evening at the legendary Cotton Club with music of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and more. Finally, the Canadian singing sensation The Tenors returns to Portland with music from their latest album, Under One Sky.

December 2015

December 15, 2015

Lily Tomlin, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, a Kids’ Musical Zoo, Indie Troubadour Gregory Alan Isakov, and Chris Botti Headline January Performances  Award-winning comedian Lily Tomlin returns to Portland for an evening of her signature comedy, and 23-year-old piano phenom Benjamin Grosvenor makes his Oregon Symphony debut with Chopin’s First Piano Concerto. January also features acclaimed indie singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov, who combines soulful vocals and searching lyrics with symphonic arrangements of his haunting folk songs; a Musical Zoo for kids, with music portraying diverse members of the animal kingdom; renowned French oboist François Leleux, also making his Oregon Symphony debut, with Richard Strauss’ Oboe Concerto; and trumpet sensation Chris Botti and his cool jazz stylings.

December 15, 2015

FamilyCare Health Donates $100,000 Gift to Support Music Education in Schools Donation Inspires Multi-Organization Collaboration  On December 18 from 2-3 pm an All-School Holiday Assembly is set for Earl Boyles Elementary in the David Douglas School District to highlight a generous $100,000 donation to Schoolhouse Supplies from FamilyCare Health’s President & CEO and Oregon Symphony Board member Jeff Heatherington. With this investment of $100,000 from FamilyCare Health, Schoolhouse Supplies will expand the number of school districts eligible to use their services and provide classroom sets of basic musical instruments that will inspire the children to love music, support their daily learning and give them a basis for continuing their music education.

December 14, 2015

Oregon Symphony Plays in Prison  On December 9th Oregon Symphony musicians returned for a second year to Wilsonville’s Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, where an audience of 112 incarcerated women gave them a roaring welcome back. Such performances are one piece of the Department of Corrections Oregon Accountability Model, which provides targeted programs and services to help offenders transition successfully back into communities. “We want to bring a piece of Oregon culture to these women, who are working hard to improve their lives,” said Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter. “It’s heartening to get to know them and share the beauty of music.”

December 7, 2015

Oregon Symphony Adds Two More Concerts to the 2015/16 Season  The Oregon Symphony’s 2015/16 season continues to grow, adding even greater breadth to an already expansive season with the addition of Chris Botti and The Music of Queen.

November 2015

November 5, 2015

Oregon Symphony Hires Leaders to Grow  President and CEO Scott Showalter announced today that the Oregon Symphony has made two senior hires: Steve Wenig as Vice President and General Manager, and Ellen Bussing as Vice President for Development. Wenig and Bussing will be charged with helping to build the programs and capacity of the Oregon Symphony, following the most successful year in its history. In 2014-15, the Oregon Symphony set records for the number of sold-out performances, total ticket revenue, numbers of new patrons and total patrons, total donations, numbers of new donors and total donors, and gala giving. Strategic plans call for growth in artistic and community programs to serve more of the citizens of Portland and Southwest Washington, Showalter noted.

October 2015

October 29, 2015

Celebrate December Holidays with the Oregon Symphony’s Exciting Mix of Seasonal Repertoire, Featuring Handel’s Messiah, Johnny Mathis, Home Alone, Rousing Gospel, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Not-To-Be-Missed Ode To Joy New Year Celebration with Special Guest Meow Meow  Cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs a sold-out solo recital featuring three of J.S. Bach’s cello suites and music from Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Meanwhile, holiday music fills the air in December as the Oregon Symphony presents a sparkling array of concerts celebrating the season: Handel’s Messiah launches the month-long slate of exciting musical fare: Johnny Mathis presents an evening of his classic interpretations of Christmas favorites; the Northwest Gospel Choir returns for the seventeenth year of Gospel Christmas; the holiday film favorite Home Alone with the score played live; Comfort and Joy, designed for the entire family; and Portland’s newest classical music tradition, the New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and cabaret sensation Meow Meow, brings 2015 to a joyful close.

As part of the Symphony’s commitment to bring the joy of music to as many people as possible, musicians will add a special holiday cheer with return performances in two important venues—the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Salem and the St. Mary’s Home for Boys in Beaverton. Previous outings in these venues have been very special performances, for the audiences and for musicians.  

October 16, 2015

Sara Evans, Melissa Etheridge, and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Headline a Busy Month of November at the Symphony  November marks the Oregon Symphony’s first foray into country music as superstar Sara Evans joins the orchestra for an evening of symphonic arrangements of her greatest hits, while rocker Melissa Etheridge performs selections from her latest album, This is M. E. Pianist Kirill Gerstein returns to perform Rachmaninoff’s perennial favorite, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, while pianist and Mozart specialist Francisco Piemontesi makes his Symphony debut with Mozart’s last piano concerto. Also on tap: our first Kids Concert of the season takes the audience on a tour of the solar system, and Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik kicks off the holiday season with our rousing Holiday Pops concert.

September 2015

September 17, 2015

International Percussionist Colin Currie set to Begin a Busy Week as Oregon Symphony's Artist In Residence International percussionist Colin Currie begins his three-year tenure as the Oregon Symphony’s new Artist in Residence with a very busy schedule leading up to his September 26, 27, and 28 concerts at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert where he will perform MacMillan’s Veni, veni, Emmanuel. The engaging and energetic Currie, also the Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre, has performed with the Symphony on numerous occasions, establishing a solid fan base and developing a deep affection for Portland and its people. As the Artist in Residence, he is the organization’s ambassador-at-large, putting his artistic muscle and charismatic personality to work, helping the Symphony share the joy of music with as wide and as diverse a population as possible. To that end, he—along with a truckload of percussion instruments—will be performing in a variety of schools and public places during the week of September 21-28.

September 17, 2015

Lang Lang Headlines a Month of Stellar Performances In October that also includes Beethoven’s Eroica, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Disney in Concert: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Broadway Favorites Superstar pianist Lang Lang returns to Portland to perform Edvard Grieg’s lush Piano Concerto in A minor, in what is sure to be a sold-out performance with the Oregon Symphony. Tim Burton’s macabre animation gets a fresh sound with the Symphony’s screening of his classic 1993 film, The Nightmare Before Christmas, complete with a live performance of Danny Elfman’s award-winning score. Other highlights include an evening of favorites from the American Songbook, sung by Lisa Vroman and Ron Raines; violinist Vadim Gluzman performing Sofia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium, based on music from J. S. Bach’s Musical Offering, and a rare opportunity to see the harp take center stage, as Yolanda Kondonassis performs Alberto Ginastera’s Harp Concerto.

August 2015

August 10, 2015

Waterfront Concert Leads a Spectacular List of September Concerts as Oregon Symphony Opens the 2015/16 Season The September 3 Waterfront Concert signals the opening of the music season in Portland and the 2015/16 Symphony season. And what a September it is! There’s something for everyone in the opening month which features its most eclectic offerings yet, with seven events ranging from Spanish classical guitarist Pablo Villegas performing Rodrigo’s Fantasía para un gentilhombre and Chinese acrobats to soul diva Patti LaBelle and acclaimed percussionist Colin Currie. Also on tap in September: an evening of Pink Floyd’s music arranged for symphony orchestra, accompanied by an eye-popping light show; and a fun-filled concert for the whole family featuring music from the Pokémon video game franchise.

August 5, 2015

Oregon Symphony’s Waterfront Concert – Set for September 3 – Will be Bigger than Ever The Waterfront Concert – one of Portland’s favorite summer events and the largest free concert in the state – to be broadcast live on All Classical Portland (KQAC 89.9 fm). The skies above Tom McCall Waterfront Park will once again light up following Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with military cannons from the Oregon Army National Guard 218th Field Artillery. An expected audience of some 20,000 spectators will enjoy the dazzling fireworks finale and celebrate the largest-ever Waterfront Concert. The afternoon music festival begins at 1 pm with a stellar lineup of musicians and youth orchestras, with the Oregon Symphony performance beginning at 7 pm. Radio audiences around the world will enjoy the Symphony concert, thanks to the first-time-ever broadcast by All Classical Portland.