some awesome OSO news

The Oregon Symphony has been one of seven US ensembles chosen to participate in the first Festival of American Orchestras at Carnegie Hall in May 2011.  I have the feeling that there is a lot that has to happen before the orchestra actually goes, but this will be a watershed moment for the oldest orchestra west of the Mississippi River.

From today’s New York Times:

Not this May, not next May, but in the May after that, Spring for Music, an independent annual festival of North American orchestras at Carnegie Hall, is finally to come to life. Long lead times are nothing new in classical music, but they are not always so acutely felt, since there is usually plenty happening in the meantime.

Here, so far, there are only prospects and plans. On Thursday, the festival’s creators will announce the seven orchestras selected from 25 applicants for that first outing of May 6 to 14, 2011. They are the Albany, Atlanta, Dallas, Montreal, Oregon and Toledo Symphony Orchestras and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. The Albany, Toledo and Oregon ensembles will be making their Carnegie debuts.

The administrators will also announce a grant of $1 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which they say will ensure the first three festivals.

First made public last June, the series is intended to encourage orchestras to program imaginatively, without regard to marketing considerations. The marketing and ticket sales (with most seats priced at $25, a few at $15) will be handled by the festival.

Read more about it here.

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