Carlos Kalmar, conductor

Carlos Kalmar was named in May, 2021 as Director of Orchestral and Conducting Programs and Principal Conductor of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Mr. Kalmar is also the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. In April, 2021, Kalmar stepped down from leading the Oregon Symphony after nearly 20 years as its Music Director.

During his uncommonly distinguished tenure in Portland, Kalmar 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. The concert was recorded and released on the PentaTone label, subsequently earning two Grammy nominations (Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered).

New Yorker magazine critic Alex Ross called the Oregon Symphony’s Carnegie Hall 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…”

Under Kalmar’s guidance the Oregon Symphony recorded subsequent CDs on the PentaTone label—“This England,” featuring works by Britten, Vaughan Williams, and Elgar, and “The Spirit of the American Range,” with works by Copland, Piston, and Antheil which received another Best Orchestral Performance Grammy nomination, and a Haydn Symphonies disc. Mr. Kalmar’s latest recording, “Aspects of America” was nominated for a 2020 Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance.

A regular guest conductor with major orchestras in America, Europe and Asia, Kalmar recently made subscription series debuts with the orchestras of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco. Past engagements have included the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Queensland, New Zealand, and the New World Symphony, as well as the orchestras of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, Seattle and St. Louis, He returns to the Dallas Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony in 21/22, as well as engagements in Singapore, Ulster, Wroclaw, and Helsingborg.

Carlos Kalmar, born in Uruguay to Austrian parents, 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. He has previously served as the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Spanish Radio/Television Orchestra and Choir in Madrid as well as the Music Director for the Hamburg Symphony, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Vienna’s Tonnkunsterorchester, and the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau, Germany.

May 2021 – Please discard any previously dated materials.


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