In Thursday’s (4/2) Houston Chronicle, Colin Eatock writes, “Peter Oundjian is no old-school conductor. He’s convivial rather than aloof, persuasive rather than commanding—and thanks to his average stature, he’s hardly a towering presence on the podium. For the past five years, this mild-mannered maestro has been the music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. … Oundjian has also become a go-to guest conductor for orchestras throughout the United States. This season, he’s already led the symphonies of Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, Baltimore, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and New York’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He’ll be at Jones Hall to lead the Houston Symphony today, Saturday and Sunday. Most of his guest conducting appearances are return engagements: Orchestras don’t just hire him once, they ask him back. … He first conducted in Houston in 1999, and he’s returned almost every year since. ‘I’d say that I’m not really a “guest conductor” in Houston,’ he adds. ‘I still feel very welcomed as a guest—but I know the orchestra well. … I like getting involved, rather than just going here for a week, and there for a week. There’s guest conducting and there’s “relationship guest conducting.” ’ ”

Posted April 2, 2009