conducting the orchestra world

oregon symphony announces kalmar contract renewal

Since The Oregonian doesn’t cover the Oregon Symphony anymore (presumably because it’s not prime click bait like naked Shakespeare or Obama mortgage rates), it has probably gone unnoticed amongst the general OSO patron population that  Carlos Kalmar just signed a three-year contract renewal with the Oregon Symphony.

The bigger news is that Kalmar will be leaving the orchestra after this extension expires, at the end of the 2020/2021 season. He’ll have been music director of the ensemble for 18 years at that point (he became music director in 2003), making him the second-longest serving music director in the orchestra’s history (James DePreist served for 23 years). The orchestra will shortly begin to make plans for choosing Kalmar’s successor. You can read the official press release here.

Oregon Symphony Music Directors and Their Tenures

  • From 1909 to 1917, eight music directors (elected by the orchestra) each served one year terms.
  • 1918-1925 Carl Denton
  • 1925 Theodore Spiering
  • 1925-1938 Willem van Hoogstraten
  • 1947-1949 Werner Janssen
  • 1949-1953 James Sample
  • 1955-1959 Theodore Bloomfield
  • 1959-1961 Piero Bellugi
  • 1962-1972 Jacques Singer
  • 1973-1980 Lawrence Leighton Smith
  • 1980-2003 James DePreist
  • 2003–2021 Carlos Kalmar

Average term of Oregon Symphony music director (from 1918 to present):  8.25 years.

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