Meet The Performers


Carlos Kalmar

Carlos Kalmar is the Music Director of the Oregon Symphony and Music Director of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. In 2010, he was also appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the RTVE Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Madrid. During his career, he has been Music Director of the Hamburg Symphony, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Vienna’s Tonkunstlerorchester and the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau, Germany.

In April, 2010, he garnered high praise for his Boston Symphony and Chicago Symphony subscription debut concerts (replacing James Levine and Esa-Pekka Salonen respectively). Of Mr. Kalmar’s recent Saint Louis Symphony performances, the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch critic said of his Prokofiev Symphony No. 5, “Kalmar and the orchestra invested it with a sense of excitement beyond that inherent in the score. Kalmar was fun to watch, with a leonine head of hair that moved dramatically as he danced around the podium, and angular body language perfectly matched to Prokofiev’s rhythmic world” And of his Lutosławski Musique funebre: “It received a superb reading from Kalmar and the strings, who offered impeccable playing”.

Upcoming concerts include re-engagements with the Baltimore Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, the Lahti Symphony, the Madrid ONE, the Czech Philharmonic, and the Nashville Symphony, and also subscription concerts with the San Francisco Symphony and the City of Birmingham Orchestra. Mr. Kalmar’s recent guest conducting engagements in North America have included concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, New World Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and the NACO in Ottawa.

His international conducting appearances have included the Prague Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Symphony, the National Orchestra of Spain, the ORT Orchestra of Florence, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Hamburg State Opera, the BBC Welsh, the Residentie, the Vienna State Opera, the Yomiuri Japan Orchestra, the Flemish Radio, and the Zurich Opera.

Carlos Kalmar’s newest recording features the Oregon Symphony with the popular group Pink Martini. His 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 the world-renowned mezzo soprano Jennifer Larmore. His 2006 release of the Szymanowski, Martinů and Bartók 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 six. By age 15 his musical development led him to the Vienna Academy of Music where he studied conducting with Karl Osterreicher. He resides in Portland, Oregon and Vienna.


Please note: Biographies on the CSO website are based on the information that was most recently provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on the artists' own websites or those of their representatives.