By Randi Bjornstad

If being part of the first audience in the Pacific Northwest to hear a brand-new symphony is on your want-to-do list, then March 16 at the Eugene Symphony should be on your calendar.

On that day, the orchestra will play ONE, a new work by composer-in-residence Gabriella Smith, co-commissioned by Eugene Symphony.

Composer Gabriella Smith

In December, the orchestra played a snippet in the form of Smith’s Field Guide, wowing the audience with a piece that seemingly brought sounds of nature and birdsong — albeit created by orchestral musical instruments — into the Silva Concert Hall.

Now, Smith’s entire first original symphony, ONE, will be on the program, along with another popular favorite of concertgoers, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto, played by another young musician, pianist Daniel Hsu.

And in the “and that’s not all, folks” tradition, the program also includes Johannes Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, which opens the evening’s performance.

PIanist Daniel Hsu

Interestingly, both composer Smith and pianist Hsu grew up in the East Bay portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, she in Berkeley and he in Fremont, where he made his debut with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra at age 8 years.

He was born in 1997, she in 1991. While music has been his primary bent from the beginning, Smith grew up writing and playing music but also had a keen interest in the natural world, environmental issues, and the challenges of climate change, which are not only reflected but are elemental in her compositions.

The symphony organization has planned several events for the public leading up to the March 16 concert,  including master classes by the performer and composer, a talk about the mechanics of running a symphony orchestra, a Symphony Happy Hour, and a pre-concert talk by the Symphony Guild, which are listed on its website at

Eugene Symphony

When: 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, 2023

Where: Silva Concert Hall, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, One Eugene Center (Seventh and Willamette streets), Eugene

Tickets: $10 to $78, available at the Hult Center box office, 541-682-5000, or online at or