Gabriel Kahane Named to New Role of Creative Chair at the Oregon Symphony

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Gabriel Kahane has been appointed to the newly created post of Creative Chair at the Oregon Symphony through the 2021/22 Season. In addition to writing and performing three substantial works over the next three seasons, Kahane will serve as an advisor for contemporary programming on the Classical series. He will produce two new concert series: Open Music, a composer-driven chamber series to be held in smaller Portland venues, and an as yet unnamed indie concert series in which pop artists will collaborate with dynamic composers and orchestrators. 

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Gabriel Kahane has been appointed to the newly created post of Creative Chair at the Oregon Symphony. As Creative Chair, he joins the OSO through the 2021/22 Season taking on a variety of responsibilities. In addition to writing and performing three substantial works over the next three seasons, Kahane will serve as an advisor for contemporary programming on the Classical series. He will produce two new concert series: Open Music, a composer-driven chamber series to be held in smaller Portland venues, and an as yet unnamed indie concert series in which pop artists will collaborate with dynamic composers and orchestrators. In the 2017/18 Season, he premiered his OSO-commissioned oratorio emergency shelter intake form with the Symphony.

"I couldn't be more thrilled to be entering into a long term partnership with the Oregon Symphony," says Kahane. "Working with the organization on emergency shelter intake form has been a career highlight, and I'm honored and humbled to have been invited to take on a more substantial role with the OSO in the coming years."

In describing his new position with the Symphony, Kahane emphasizes that, "Governing all of my planned curatorial activities with the orchestra is a desire to see an increasing commitment to new music at the OSO, and, in particular, music written by those who've been historically shut out of the concert hall. I take that responsibility seriously, and also consider it a gift to help introduce Portland to so many dynamic voices who are making essential music of the 21st century."

For the Open Music series, Kahane will invite a composer or musician featured on the Symphony's classical program that weekend to examine their creative approach by curating a concert of their own design with music as well as art in other forms that inspires their work. Kahane will be on stage as moderator, friend, conversationalist, and occasionally a cameo performer; a small ensemble from the Oregon Symphony will serve as house band.

Kahane observes: "Writing music is a mysterious thing; those of us who do it professionally are continually baffled and astonished by our sublime and ridiculous pursuit of finding language, meaning, and expression in sound and silence. With Open Music, I want to create an intimate space in which audiences can get a little closer to this ineffable creative path."

In addition to producing these new series, Kahane has been commissioned to premiere work once a year on the Symphony's Classical series. This season he brings the world premiere of Pattern of the Rail, six orchestral settings from his 2018 Nonesuch Records debut album, Book of Travelers, inspired by a cross country train trip through America following the contentious 2016 presidential election, as well as the premiere of the full orchestral version of "Empire Liquor Mart (9127 S. Figueroa St.)" from his 2014 album, The Ambassador. Kahane will present these works December 7–9, 2019, on the Symphony's Prokofiev Fifth program at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

"The Oregon Symphony is thrilled to deepen its relationship with Gabriel," says Oregon Symphony President and CEO Scott Showalter. "Working with him as our creative chair is a boon for our community."

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Gabriel Kahane 2018 by Josh Goleman chr
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2019
    Gabriel Kahane Named to New Role of Creative Chair at the Oregon Symphony
    Josh Goleman

    Gabriel Kahane has been appointed to the newly created post of Creative Chair at the Oregon Symphony. As Creative Chair, he joins the OSO through the 2021/22 Season taking on a variety of responsibilities. In addition to writing and performing three substantial works over the next three seasons, Kahane will serve as an advisor for contemporary programming on the Classical series. He will produce two new concert series: Open Music, a composer-driven chamber series to be held in smaller Portland venues, and an as yet unnamed indie concert series in which pop artists will collaborate with dynamic composers and orchestrators. In the 2017/18 Season, he premiered his OSO-commissioned oratorio emergency shelter intake form with the Symphony.

    "I couldn't be more thrilled to be entering into a long term partnership with the Oregon Symphony," says Kahane. "Working with the organization on emergency shelter intake form has been a career highlight, and I'm honored and humbled to have been invited to take on a more substantial role with the OSO in the coming years."

    In describing his new position with the Symphony, Kahane emphasizes that, "Governing all of my planned curatorial activities with the orchestra is a desire to see an increasing commitment to new music at the OSO, and, in particular, music written by those who've been historically shut out of the concert hall. I take that responsibility seriously, and also consider it a gift to help introduce Portland to so many dynamic voices who are making essential music of the 21st century."

    For the Open Music series, Kahane will invite a composer or musician featured on the Symphony's classical program that weekend to examine their creative approach by curating a concert of their own design with music as well as art in other forms that inspires their work. Kahane will be on stage as moderator, friend, conversationalist, and occasionally a cameo performer; a small ensemble from the Oregon Symphony will serve as house band.

    Kahane observes: "Writing music is a mysterious thing; those of us who do it professionally are continually baffled and astonished by our sublime and ridiculous pursuit of finding language, meaning, and expression in sound and silence. With Open Music, I want to create an intimate space in which audiences can get a little closer to this ineffable creative path."

    In addition to producing these new series, Kahane has been commissioned to premiere work once a year on the Symphony's Classical series. This season he brings the world premiere of Pattern of the Rail, six orchestral settings from his 2018 Nonesuch Records debut album, Book of Travelers, inspired by a cross country train trip through America following the contentious 2016 presidential election, as well as the premiere of the full orchestral version of "Empire Liquor Mart (9127 S. Figueroa St.)" from his 2014 album, The Ambassador. Kahane will present these works December 7–9, 2019, on the Symphony's Prokofiev Fifth program at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

    "The Oregon Symphony is thrilled to deepen its relationship with Gabriel," says Oregon Symphony President and CEO Scott Showalter. "Working with him as our creative chair is a boon for our community."

    Journal Articles:Artist News

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