The Oregon Symphony is a vibrant, growing organization, which has achieved record ticket sales and contributions under the dynamic leadership of President & CEO Scott Showalter. At a time when many orchestras are reducing their classical programming, the Oregon Symphony has continued to invest in the art form, expand its season, reach new and bigger audiences, and expand its collaborations in the community. Approaching its 125th Anniversary season, the Symphony continues to champion living composers with a robust commissioning program, celebrate diverse artistic voices across our Classical, Pops, and Specials performances series, and explore the pressing issues of our time through the medium of music. Our upcoming 21/22 Season is slated to feature the premieres of six commissioned works, including the groundbreaking An African American Requiem by Portland-based composer Damien Geter which will be broadcast nationwide on public radio.
The Symphony unites exceptional musicians, a world-class conducting staff, an unrelenting focus on excellence, a compelling vision, and a strong commitment to the greater good. The result is something special and rare: an energy that can be felt in ...every note and performances that move its listeners. As one of the region’s cultural jewels, the Symphony is central to the thriving arts community in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Propelled by the desire to bring the power of music to more people in new ways, the Oregon Symphony is always moving music forward.
Each year, the multi-Grammy nominated Oregon Symphony performs more than 115 concerts at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland and performs regularly in Salem, Newberg, and other cities in the region. It also produces award-winning educational and community engagement events. The Symphony’s programs directly serve more than 250,000 people annually and reach tens of millions more around the globe through its broadcast and recordings programs. The institution is supported by thousands of individuals, businesses, and foundations and receives funding from the Regional Arts & Cultural Council, the State of Oregon Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Oregon Symphony Association employs 76 full-time union musicians, which have been led for 18 seasons by renowned Music Director Carlos Kalmar. As announced in February 2021, David Danzmayr will succeed him as the Oregon Symphony’s new Music Director in Fall 2021, the start of the Symphony’s 125th anniversary season. Under Danzmayr, a new Creative Alliance will feature extraordinary artists and cultural thought leaders, including Nathalie Joachim, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jun Märkl, Gabriel Kahane, Simone Lamsma, and Johannes Moser. Beyond this august group, the Symphony engages dozens of guest conductors and soloists each year to perform with the orchestra.
The Association’s annual operating budget is approximately $22 million, of which 80% is spent on artistic and engagement programs. It employs a full-time staff of 50, who are responsible for concert production, marketing, public relations, education, community engagement, fundraising, customer service, accounting, and financial reporting. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors, who each year contribute thousands of hours and personally contribute more than $2 million.