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David Danzmayr takes over as musical director and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall gets an audio upgrade.

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON SYMPHONY - An appearance by Joshua Bell is a highlight in Oregon Symphony's 2021-22 season.The outlook for the COVID-19 pandemic and lessening of government restrictions has improved, meaning the likes of the Oregon Symphony can plan ahead.

After a year of having to cancel events, the Oregon Symphony forges ahead with a 2021-22 in-person season under new musical director David Danzmayr, its 125th overall.

"In planning the concerts for the Oregon Symphony's 2021-22 season, we've designed a musical experience for Oregon audiences that reflects a fundamental belief of mine: A composer's musical expression is greatly shaped by their environment, culture and heritage," Danzmayr said. "This belief influenced the formation of a new Creative Alliance of musical innovators, who will harness their own unique perspectives throughout this historic season."

The Creative Alliance features cultural thought-leaders and musical innovators, including Jun Markl, Nathalie Joachim, Gabriel Kahane, Gabriela Lena Frank, Simone Lamsma and Johannes Moser.

The season will also bring a new concert-going experience with the state-of-the-art Meyer Constellation Acoustic System at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, which should accentuate the listening experience for everybody in the venue. It's the biggest upgrade at the Schnitz in 40 years, and Oregon Symphony is the first major orchestra to use the system.

The symphony announced its 2021-22 lineup, including:

• Opening with Danzmayr conducting Mahler's "Resurrection," Oct. 2-4.

Classical favorites are Dvorak's "New World," April 30-May 2, 2022, and Handel's "Messiah," Dec. 4-6, as well as Beethoven's "Pastoral," March 12-14, 2022.

• Carlos Kalmar, former musical director, returns to conduct Mahler's "Symphony No. 9," May 14-16, 2022.

• The Pops Series launches with Harlem Renaissance music and concludes with a 90th birthday celebration for legendary composer John Williams.

• "A Pink Martini Valentine" show will be held Feb. 12-14, 2022.

• The Popcorn Series — films accompanied by live scores — include "Coco," "The Princess Bride," "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

• Acclaimed artists making appearances with the symphony include Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, James Ehnes and Wynton Marsalis, as well as symphony artist-in-residence Johannes Moser.

• A celebrated work by Damien Geter, "An African American Requiem," is also a highlight, as are works by Gabriela Lena Frank, Jennifer Hidden and Anna Clyne.

To conclude the season, Danzmayr conducts the symphony in performing Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony," June 11-13, 2022.

For more info, including tickets, see orsymphony.org.

— Jason Vondersmith


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