The Portland Symphony Orchestra gave the audience a sneak peek at the upcoming season during a concert Sunday . Photo by Sarah McCullough

The Portland Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a concert with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma in October.

The orchestra announced the lineup for the milestone 2024-25 season Sunday. The program will include concerts of popular classics, collaborations with local arts organizations and a live performance of the soundtrack during a screening of the movie “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

Music director Eckart Preu said he wanted the program to celebrate the future as much as the past.

“We really wanted to turn around and say, ‘We are 100. What are we going to be for the next 100 years? What is the orchestra supposed to be in the 21st century? How can we connect better to our audience, to other arts organizations? How can we immerse ourselves in the community?’ ”

To Preu, the answer to those questions is more collaboration. The program includes a semi-staged production of “La Bohème” with Opera Maine and a performance of “Carmina Burana” with the ChoralArt Masterworks chorus, with guest appearances by Portland Stage and Portland Ballet. Preu said adding actors, dancers and singers enhances the experience.

“We want to be a catalyst for all arts organizations in town, so our audiences, our music lovers are all exposed to theater, to ballet, to opera,” he said. “And their audiences are also exposed to symphonic music. The musical community in Portland is so extraordinary, and there’s no reason to be isolated.”


The season will open in September with a full weekend of events. The orchestra will perform Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 9 on Sept. 22 and 24. Also that weekend, the orchestra will host a block party and a community sing-along, which will both be free.

Preu said the orchestra also wanted to mark a special anniversary with a special guest. Ma was at the top of their wish list and will join the orchestra at a gala concert on Oct. 10. This will be his first concert with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, but he has performed in Maine before, most recently with Wabanaki musicians at Acadia National Park in 2021.

“If you turn 100, you earn yourself the luxury of inviting a really great, guest artist who will bring the glamour to the organization,” Preu said. “Yo-Yo Ma is arguably the most famous, prominent and phenomenal musician in the world.”

The schedule continues through June 2025 and is posted in full at Subscriptions for the 2024-25 season are available by calling PortTix at 207-842-0800. Single tickets will be available starting June 17 at 207-842-0800, and in person at the PortTix box office at 20 Myrtle St. in Portland. Box office hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The gala concert is not included in the season subscription, but subscribers will have a presale period before tickets are available to the public starting June 17. Single ticket prices will range from $50 to $160.

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