Big news from Portland's own Oregon Symphony - they've been picked to make their Carnegie Hall debut at an auspicious new concert series called "Spring for Music," in May of 2011.

The Grey Lady first reported on the hometeam Symphony's big score, in an article late Wednesday night, and the blogosphere's been abuzz about what this means for the deficit-saddled Symphony and for the Portland arts community, which has had an insanely bumpy last few weeks (the PCS staff cuts; Oregon Ballet Theatre's budget slashing; White Bird's head-scratching hiring of bad boy Phil Busse as its first General Manager).

In any event, applause applause to the Symphony for their Carnegie gig ahead, and let's all wish them well on the tough fundraising track they have ahead. The Symphony's press release announcing the big gig is after the jump (bolds are mine).

Apr. 9, 2009



(PORTLAND, Ore.) - For the first time in its history, the Oregon Symphony will travel cross country in spring 2011 to perform a concert at music's most prestigious venue, Carnegie Hall in New York.

The Oregon Symphony is one of seven orchestras from across North America selected today to perform at the venerable concert hall as part of the first Spring for Music festival, a new one-of-a-kind annual concert series at Carnegie Hall designed to spotlight the artistic vision of orchestras dedicated to distinctive and adventurous programming. Festival organizers call the unique concept "a high-profile artistic laboratory for programming and concert experimentation in the world's most competitive and visible musical environment."

The 2011 festival includes seven concerts over nine night nights, May 6-14. The Oregon Symphony, with Music Director Carlos Kalmar conducting, will perform on Thursday, May. 12.

"The invitation to appear at the first Spring for Music festival is a tremendous endorsement of what the orchestra has achieved over the past six years under music director Carlos Kalmar", said Oregon Symphony Association president Elaine Calder. "This gives us a chance to show to the rest of the country what a great orchestra we have here. Playing at Carnegie Hall is the dream of every classical musician and ensemble - it's simply the venue, and the ultimate testing ground. This is a terrific opportunity to build morale and support at home, and burnish our national reputation.

"We hope many of our friends and supporters will join us on the trip to New York, and we'll be starting work immediately to raise the money to go, and to organize some very special events both in Portland and in Manhattan."

The announcement was made today in New York by Thomas W. Morris, artistic director if the Ojai Music Festival in California and former executive director of the Cleveland Orchestra, who will serve as Spring for Music's artistic director; and David V. Foster, president of Opus 3 Artists, the festival's director.

Because the festival's goal is to reward innovation among orchestras, participants were selected based on a single criterion - the creativity of the program they wanted to perform - after submitting concert proposals last year. The exact programs of the Oregon Symphony and other festival participants will be announced in early 2011 when tickets for their concerts go on sale.

Joining the Oregon Symphony for the 2011 festival will be the Albany, Atlanta, Dallas, Montreal, and Toledo Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Festival organizers also announced today a $1.0 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which will support the first three years of Spring for Music, 2011 through 2013.

The festival will pay the costs of renting Carnegie Hall, producing the concerts and selling tickets, as well as providing a financial guarantee for each participating orchestra. The orchestras are responsible for their own travel and transportation expenses, and will be able to purchase tickets in advance of the general public, for resale to their supporters. Remaining concert tickets will be priced at $25.

Complete details on the festival are on the web site