The wonderful orchestra that began life as Palatine Hills Symphony in 1982, became Columbia Symphony in 1989 and subsequently Portland Columbia Symphony, this 41-year-old institution often referred to as “a hidden gem,” begins an exciting new phase of its evolution this season as Orchestra Nova Northwest! We’re excited to take this next step and to share with you why we feel this name suits our ambitions to play an important role in the community we love.

Our mission hasn’t changed! ONN has the same compelling goals that have endeared us to generations of fans: to be the friendliest, most accessible orchestra in our region, welcoming the aficionado and curious alike, and to intentionally make space for the underrepresented composers and soloists who add rich layers to our appreciation of classical music and the orchestra in action.

Our inaugural season under the new moniker is our road map to the future for this no longer ‘hidden gem”. We are so excited to share the dynamic and ambitious programming our beloved Music Director Steven Byess has curated to showcase the talents of our fine ensemble, and certain that you will be delighted with the discoveries in store. You won’t want to miss a moment!




A Message from Music Director Steven Byess

The mission of Orchestra Nova Northwest is to forge connections across the centuries of classical music to the present and into the future. We seek new perspectives on the works we present while connecting to our audience. As I look forward to this exciting new chapter for the wonderful orchestra I’ve led for the past ten years, and as I take deep satisfaction in the tremendous talent that we cultivate and nurture within our ranks, I am full of anticipation for the musical journeys that lie ahead.   









A Message from Board President Tom Chau

Although we are shedding the ‘skin’ of PCSO, we will remain the same vibrant orchestra that aims to deliver Great Music, Close-Up to our audience. This new name is part of our fresh approach to the future and builds on our 41-year history of connecting people and music in our region.

And, following the year-long celebrations of his tenth season as Music Director, Steven Byess has agreed to extend his contract through the 29-30 concert season – more cause for celebration!