In Monday’s (2/21) Oregonian (Portland), David Stabler writes, “Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony raced through the hall. Those famous, fateful notes didn’t just hammer on the door. They blew it down. No one had heard the Oregon Symphony play like that. So clean, so fast, so thrilling. It was crazy. So was the ovation that exploded at the end of the performance—a roar of shock and delight that marked the beginning of a new era for the Oregon Symphony. If Carlos Kalmar could whip up the players like that, what else could he do? Since that February night in 2004, a little more than halfway through Kalmar’s first season as music director, the orchestra has never looked back.” Stabler’s extensive profile of Kalmar examines both the ways the conductor has raised the orchestra’s level of artistry and concerns about his relative lack of involvement in the community. In a separate article, Stabler also reports on the orchestra’s 2011-12 season, which includes soprano Renée Fleming’s first appearance in Portland, and “a continuing shift toward major popular works next season, including Dvorák’s ‘From the New World’ Symphony, Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony and Saint-Saëns’ ‘Organ’ Symphony.”

Posted February 22, 2011