Monday , August 21 2017
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The Planets. Photo by Jacob Wade

Oregon Symphony


Photo by NashCO Photography.

Oregon Symphony is one of Portland’s most august and long-standing institutions, founded in 1896—which makes them 120 years young in 2016! They’re the gold standard for a symphony performance in Oregon, garnering three Grammy nominations in the last four years alone.

Like any great modern symphony, Oregon Symphony finds ways to cater to the tastes of a large, diverse community. They uphold tradition, offering 48 Classical Series concerts this season. They also premiere new pieces—this year, by commissioning works from composers Kenji Bunch and Chris Rogerson. And they seek to enrich the sensory experience of the symphony, currently, by unveiling a new SoundSights Series, wherein animators and stage technicians will craft dynamic visual displays to accompany live concerts.

Giving back to the community is also a top priority. Oregon Symphony reaches out to youth through 12 Symphony Storytimes, 36 Kinderkonzerts, and six Young People’s Concerts, as well as by mentoring local youth orchestras. They also comfort struggling populations with an ongoing MusicNOW program for seniors with dementia and holiday visits to correctional facilities.

“This is the most exciting season in my tenure,” says Music Director Carlos Kalmar. “We’re doing exactly what we should be doing—providing new musical experiences for our [many] audiences.”


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ARTSLANDIA APPLAUDS: the volume, variation, and quality of the Symphony’s offerings this season, which play up their core strength—sophistication.