Carlos Kalmar, conductor

Carlos Kalmar enters his twelfth season as music director of the Oregon Symphony in September, 2014. He is also chief conductor and artistic director of the RTVE Orchestra in Madrid, and artistic director and principal conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.

In May 2011 he made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall with the Oregon Symphony as part of the inaugural Spring for Music festival. Both his imaginative program Music for a Time of War and the performance itself were hailed by critics in the New York Times, New Yorker magazine and Musical America, and the recording of the concert program on the PentaTone label was nominated for a Grammy in 2012. New Yorker critic Alex Ross called the Oregon Symphony's performance under Kalmar "the highlight of the festival and one of the most gripping events of the current season". That verdict was echoed by Sedgwick Clark, writing for Musical America, who described the performance of Vaughan Williams' Fourth Symphony as "positively searing…with fearless edge-of-seat tempos….breathtakingly negotiated by all…" The Oregon Symphony again won a coveted Spring for Music Carnegie Hall concert for 2013.



A regular guest conductor with major orchestras in North America, recent and upcoming engagements include the symphony orchestras of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Fort Worth, Baltimore, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Vancouver, NACO, Detroit, Milwaukee, Nashville, Seattle, Helsinki, Lahti and St. Louis; and also the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Carlos Kalmar has conducted many top European orchestras including the Berlin Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Vienna Radio Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras.

Mr. Kalmar is highly regarded as a conductor of opera. During his wide-ranging operatic career, he has been invited to the Hamburg State Opera, the Vienna State Opera (Magic Flute, Cosi fan tutte), Zurich Opera House (Figaro, Die Entfuhrung), National Opera of Brussels (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and he has conducted opera productions at the Vienna Volksoper (Contes d'Horffmann), Frankfurt (Die Fledermaus), Weimar (Rigoletto), and the Aix en Provence and Carinthischer Summer Festivals. He regularly programs opera in concert and oratorio with his orchestras in Portland, Chicago and Madrid.

In 2012, his first recording on Warner Classics with the Madrid RTVE Orchestra was released, of works by Lalo. In addition to his Grammy-nominated CD “Music for a Time of War”, another Oregon Symphony CD on the PentaTone label, “This England”, featuring Vaughan Williams’ Fifth Symphony, Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture and Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes was released recently. A third CD with the Oregon Symphony will be released in the fall of 2014. His Cedille Records CDs include recordings of American Orchestral works and repertoire by Szymanowski, Martinu and Bartok. With the Chicago Symphony he recorded works by Joachim and Brahms, and for the Hyperion label he has recorded concertos by Dohnanyi, Enescu and D'Albert with the BBC Scottish Symphony and cellist Alban Gerhardt.

Carlos Kalmar was born in Uruguay to Austrian parents. He showed an early interest in music and began violin studies at the age of six. By the time he was fifteen his musical promise was such that his family moved back to Austria in order for him to study conducting with Karl Osterreicher at the Vienna Academy of Music. Before coming to Portland he served as music director for the Hamburg Symphony, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Vienna's Tonnkunsterorchester and the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau, Germany.

June 2014 – Please discard any previously dated materials.


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