Biography The Oregon Symphony & Carlos Kalmar

Carlos Kalmar
is in his tenth season as music director of the Oregon Symphony. He was appointed to the post in 2003, and in 2011 his contract was extended through the 2014/15 season. He is also principal conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, and music director of the Spanish Radio/Television Orchestra in Madrid.

In the past, Kalmar has also served as music director of the Hamburg Symphony, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Vienna’s Tonkünstlerorchester and the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau, Germany.

Kalmar is a frequent guest conductor with major orchestras in North America, Europe and Asia including those of Baltimore, City of Birmingham, Boston, Bournemouth, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, The Hague (Residentie), Houston, Lahti, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Tampere, Toyko (Nipon Symphony), Ulster and Vancouver.

Because of his strong commitment to fresh programming, the Spring for Music Festival invited Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony to appear in its Carnegie Hall Festivals of 2011 and 2013.

His most recent recording, “Music for a Time of War” with the Oregon Symphony on the PentaTone label, received numerous critical accolades and hit the classical billboard charts. His previous recordings on the Cedille label include two 2008 releases with the Grant Park Orchestra, one of works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis and one featuring mezzo soprano Jennifer Larmore. His 2006 release of the Szymanowski, Martinů and Bartok Violin Concertos with the Grant Park Orchestra and Jennifer Koh was highly acclaimed, as was the 2003 release of the Joachim and Brahms Violin Concertos featuring Rachel Barton and the Chicago Symphony, and American Works for Organ and Orchestra featuring David Schrader and the Grant Park Orchestra (2002).

Carlos Kalmar was born in Uruguay to Austrian parents. He showed an interest in music at an early age and began studying violin at age 6. By age 15 his musical development led him to the Vienna Academy of Music, where he studied conducting with Karl Osterreicher. He makes his home in Portland, where he regularly hosts (and cooks) dinner parties for Symphony supporters.

The Oregon Symphony
Portland’s largest performing arts group, which was founded in 1896 as the Portland Symphony, is the oldest American orchestra west of the Mississippi. Major artists have worked with the ensemble throughout its history, including Otto Klemperer, Erich Leinsdorf, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Georges Enesco, Igor Stravinksy, Aaron Copland, Vladimir Horowitz, Rudolf Serkin, David Oistrakh, Pablo Casals, Yo-Yo Ma and many others. Since its first CD recording in 1987, the orchestra has gone on to record 19 CDs, the most recent two in SACD with the PentaTone label. Today its 76 musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director Carlos Kalmar, perform a full range of concerts – classical to pops, youth concerts to one-of-a-kind special events – for an audience that exceeds 225,000 people each season. The orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2011 as part of the Spring for Music festival and has been invited to return in May, 2013.

The program on this CD was recorded in Portland at public performances on February 18 and 19, 2012 (Vaughan Williams and Elgar) and on May 12, 13 and 14, 2012 (Britten) at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. For more information, visit

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