On December 3, the Oregon Symphony hosted the second annual Northwest Orchestras Gathering, established to foster discussion about issues and challenges facing orchestras in the region. The event was attended by nearly 50 artistic and administration professionals from 33 orchestras across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia. Oregon Symphony President and CEO Scott Showalter and Scott Faulkner of the League of American Orchestras opened the meeting on the stage of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with a discussion about strategic planning. Faulkner advised leaders of orchestras to take stock of what they are doing and what they could be doing, and said, “If you can’t say, ‘hell yeah!’ about a project, you shouldn’t pursue it.” Afterward, attendees participated in break-out sessions addressing issues including fundraising, artistic planning, public relations, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The half-day discussion was followed by dinner and an Oregon Symphony concert led by guest conductor Eivind Gullberg Jensen and featuring Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and Walton’s Violin Concerto with guest James Ehnes. The group of northwest orchestras plans to continue meeting annually while expanding its membership with the support of the League of American Orchestras.

Posted January 14, 2019