Today, Oregon Symphony announces the return of Portland’s favorite end of summer celebration and one of the most anticipated free community events, the Waterfront Concert and Festival. The Oregon Symphony is thrilled to bring back and host the spectacular all-day live event on Sept. 4 that attracts locals and visitors to downtown Portland for a free day full of music, dance and celebration for the whole family. This year’s concert welcomes audiences back to experience the entire Oregon Symphony in person for the first time in over 18 months. David Danzmayr will make his conducting debut as the new Music Director for the Oregon Symphony, and Music Director Laureate Carlos Kalmar will guest conduct.
The Oregon Symphony begins its long-awaited performance at 7:00 p.m. with an exciting program that includes music featured in popular films (highlights from John Williams’ powerful score to Star Wars) to masterworks from iconic composers (Beethoven’s second movement from Symphony No. 7) and classical favorites (Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March). It will also include an Oregon Ballet Theatre performance of the Grand Pas De Deux from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty featuring principal dancers Xuan Cheng and Brian Simcoe, as well as a selection from Kern and Bennett’s Showboat with Portland Opera vocalists, baritone Matt Grills and soprano Katrina Galka. The concert culminates with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with cannon fire from the Oregon Army National Guard and a fireworks’ display over the Willamette River to conclude the memorable musical event. Audiences around the world will be able to listen to the live broadcast of the concert on All Classical Portland (KQAC 89.9 FM and at www.allclassical.org).
“Oregon Symphony is bringing back Waterfront Festival and Concert in part to celebrate the reopening of Downtown Portland and help to revive our community,” says Scott Showalter, Oregon Symphony President and CEO.
“This free program will provide a space for people to reunite and to share in the joy and healing power of live music.”
This free festival begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland with performances from acclaimed local artists and community partners such as Darrell Grant's PDX Jazz Masters Trio featuring Mel Brown, Portland Taiko, singer songwriter Saeeda Wright, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Corazones Alegres Ballet Folklórico, singer Chris Pureka, Joaquin Lopez with harpist Antonio Centurion, and more. The Oregon Symphony concert follows from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
The Oregon Symphony, in consultation with the Multnomah County Department of Health, has undertaken modifications to comply with current health and safety guidance. Additionally, the Oregon Symphony will require upon entry to the park a proof of full vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test, to attend the Waterfront Concert and Festival. Full vaccination is defined as completion of the two-dose regimen of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered two weeks or more in advance of the concert. A negative COVID-19 test must be taken not more than 72 hours before the concert.
For the first time, Oregon Symphony will feature jumbotron screens to enhance the concert-viewing experience, maximize seating and allow for spacing on the lawn. Concertgoers are asked to bring only low-profile chairs or blankets for seating to preserve sight lines for those behind them. Alcohol beverages are not allowed in Tom McCall Waterfront Park pursuant to the Oregon Symphony’s permit with the City of Portland. For more information and a detailed performance schedule go to orsymphony.org/waterfront.
The Waterfront Concert signals the opening of the Oregon Symphony’s 125th season this October with concerts that include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, acclaimed violinist Itzhak Perlman, Musical Legends of the Harlem Renaissance, and feature films with the Oregon Symphony performing soundtracks live, such as The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixTM.
For more information, visit www.orsymphony.org.