There are alternatives to drinking your face off and grinding your way into 2017. There’s Beethoven, for instance, and the Oregon Symphony will mount his grandest work, the Ninth Symphony, for two performances on December 30 and 31, offering a high-class way to leave the fetid ruin of ’16 behind. The celebration kicks off with big-band renditions arranged by the late Oregon Symphony Pops conductor Norman Leyden to get you in the mood. Then, as midnight approaches, the strains of Ludwig Van fill the Schnitzer Concert Hall, as the Symphony tackles his epic work of despair sublimated into humanistic hope. The symphony concludes with the choir singing the triumphant “Ode to Joy” anthem, so if the champagne bottle and the dance floor don’t appeal this New Year’s, the Oregon Symphony has got your back. NED LANNAMANN
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