Carlos Kalmar is music director of the Oregon Symphony, chief conductor and artistic director of the RTVE Symphony Orchestra in Madrid and artistic director and principal conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. Previously, he served as music director for the Hamburg Symphony, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Vienna’s Tonnkunsterorchester and the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau, Germany.
In 2011, he made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall with the Oregon Symphony as part of the inaugural Spring for Music festival. The event was praised by critics in The New York Times, New Yorker magazine and Musical America, and the recording of the concert was nominated for a Grammy.
Kalmar has been a recent guest with the Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Vancouver, Lahti, Minnesota and City of Birmingham symphony orchestras; the Berlin, Frankfurt and Vienna radio symphony orchestras; the National Arts Centre; the Rotterdam and Helsinki philharmonic orchestras; the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg; and the Czech Philharmonic.
In 2012, he released his first recording of works by Lalo on Warner Classics with the Madrid RTVE Orchestra. His Grammy-nominated album Music for a Time of War with the Oregon Symphony is followed by This England, a recording of Vaughan Williams’ Fifth Symphony, Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture and Britten’s Four Sea Interludes. He has recorded works by Joachim and Brahms with the Chicago Symphony and concertos by Dohnányi , Enescu and D’Albert with the BBC Scottish Symphony and cellist Alban Gerhardt.
Kalmar was born in Uruguay to Austrian parents. He showed an early interest in music and began violin studies at the age of six. When he was 15 his family moved back to Austria so he could study conducting with Karl Osterreicher at the Vienna Academy of Music.