When the leaves begin to fall and the temperature drops in Portland, you can see more than your breath in the air; the brisk winter wind brings with it plenty of festive cheer, too. The towering Christmas tree in Pioneer Courthouse Square, the dazzling scene at Pittock Mansion, even the lights outside the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, all seem to twinkle a bit brighter. ’Tis the season to spend quality time with loved ones, and whether they’re visiting the city or live down the street, when you take them to a live performance with the Oregon Symphony, it makes for an occasion they’ll never forget.
Truly, the productions from the Oregon Symphony celebrate and explore holiday traditions across genres and cultures, bringing us all together with well-known favorites and forays into unfamiliar sounds, including traditional holiday classical music, a multicultural musical tribute, family-friendly events, and more.
The holiday lineup kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 4, for a three-show run with Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Oregon Symphony’s new Music Director David Danzmayr. The concert, which also features the PSU Chamber Choir and four world-class soloists, will amaze and uplift behind the power of one of the most beloved choral masterpieces in history.
Next on the calendar is a jubilant spectacle of sleigh rides and jingle bells. Comfort and Joy: A Classical Christmas is a Portland musical tradition that delves into time-honored carols, with a compilation of seasonal classics as well as a sing-along. And with two evening presentations and a closing Sunday matinee (Dec. 10–12), the 22nd annual Gospel Christmas is a chance for the Northwest Community Gospel Chorus to join the Symphony and wow audience members with their golden pipes.
According to the American Film Institute, It’s a Wonderful Life is considered the “#1 Most Inspiring Film of All Time,” and now film buffs can experience Frank Capra’s heartwarming motion picture like never before when the Oregon Symphony performs the score live, breathing even more life and emotion into the scenes on the big screen. Through the highs and lows, you’ll walk away moved by its endearing message: no one is a failure who has friends.
On Dec. 15, Mariachi Sol De México® de José Hernández takes the stage for A Very Merry Christmas Concert, a festive musical tribute to Mexico’s Christmas traditions that touches on classical, pop, jazz, swing, and show tunes for a multigenre expression of feliz navidad.
In Cirque Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s treasured melodies performed by the Oregon Symphony pair perfectly with the incredible, mind-bending talents of Troupe Vertigo, with costumed, acrobatic art and choreography that undoubtedly bring an exciting and unique twist to the composition.
Finally, you’re invited to close out 2021 and ring in the New Year with Motown’s original Empress of Soul and iconic seven-time Grammy Award winner Gladys Knight, as she joins the Oregon Symphony for a night of celebration, reflection, and looking ahead.
Whether you see one show or attend them all, there’s nothing better than looking fancy, feeling festive, and enjoying live music again. Tickets to the Oregon Symphony are ideal for a stocking stuffer, Hanukkah gift, or romantic date for two. For a full list of holiday concert dates and times, visit the Oregon Symphony schedule.