From Bugs Bunny to Mahler, the Oregon Symphony’s season is a joyful experience of live performances
The percussive blast of the “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” never fails to raise goosebumps and stir the soul. It’s one of the most popular pieces of classical music, and it’s part of the Oregon Symphony’s new 2022-2023 season. Carefully curated, the season will include classical favorites, critically acclaimed artists and progressive new works by living composers.
“Concertgoers will find an array of programs designed to appeal to all members of our community, celebrating and exploring music across genres and cultures,” says Scott Showalter, president and CEO of Oregon Symphony.
The multi-Grammy Award-nominated symphony’s latest season launches Sept. 24 with guest soloist Renée Fleming and music by Leonard Bernstein, Kevin Puts and Edward Elgar at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Season tickets are already available, and individual concert ticket sales begin Aug. 4. The season runs through June 2023, ending on a high note with Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.
Led by Music Director David Danzmayr, the Oregon Symphony reaches more than 250,000 people annually through live concerts and award-winning education and community engagement programs. Traditional classical concerts represent only one aspect of the symphony’s repertoire. For example, the new season includes two multimedia symphonic tributes.
In October, the symphony will perform “Revolution: The Music of The Beatles” with hundreds of rare and unseen photos of the Fab 5. For a lighthearted evening of hilarity in November, “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” features more than a dozen beloved Looney Tunes cartoons projected on the big screen.
Appreciating the classics or pop culture is always an enchanting way to spend an evening, but the symphony also looks to inspire and challenge audiences with new music from modern artists.
“Your Oregon Symphony has long been committed to moving music forward,” Showalter says. “This season we have several performances that expand classical music by speaking to individual experiences and exploring the meaningful issues of today.”
Showalter pointed to two examples of innovative, modern works around current themes. In November, Oregon Symphony Creative Chair Gabriel Kahane’s The Right to Be Forgotten explores the digital world, questioning ideas of convenience, privacy, free will and democracy in the era of the internet. In June, artist-in-residence Xavier Foley’s For Justice and Peace is a powerful meditation on the legacy of slavery in the U.S.
Additionally, the symphony welcomes several special guest performers this season, including Chris Botti and Kristin Chenoweth as well as local Portland favorites China Forbes of Pink Martini and the Dandy Warhols. For families and fun, the Popcorn Series includes the symphony performing the scores of popular movies, including “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” and “The Goonies.”
Ticket information and pricing are available at www.orsymphony.org or by calling 503-228-1353. A full list of the performances and season packages can be found on the website. New performances are frequently added throughout the season. There is also a livestream option for classical concerts. Patrons can subscribe to six performances to view live or watch later as a recorded broadcast from any Smart TV, computer, tablet or smartphone.
“Your Oregon Symphony is a vibrant, active catalyst in music’s ability to inspire and unite people,” Showalter says. “This season we are bringing popular works from classical luminaries performed by world-renowned artists along with new pieces by some of the most exciting young composers of our time.”