Saturday, June 20, 2009

More on the financial struggles at the Oregon Symphony

David Stabler of The Oregonian has a full report on the financial problems at the Oregon Symphony in today's print edition and online here. It's a tough time for arts organizations everywhere, and the orchestra's president Elaine Calder says that she will scrutinize every nook and cranny in its budget and operations to see what other things can be done. Calder was in Chicago this past week for the 64th National Conference of the League of American Orchestra, and I'm sure that fund raising and budgets were among the issues most discussed.

And Chicago is where Oregon Symphony conductor Carlos Kalmar is leading the Grant Park Orchestra. Here's a very positive review of Kalmar and the orchestra in the Chicago Tribune. I don't know how long the link will be available, so I'll excerpt a quote from the article by the Tribune's classical music critic, John von Rhein:

Just as the festival is observing a major milestone, so is Carlos Kalmar, who's celebrating his 10th season as music director. The orchestra is playing better than ever under his vigorous leadership, a fact that was evident in the two Russian war horses that made up the program, Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto and Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," heard in the Ravel orchestration.

So, the Oregon Symphony is not the only orchestra that has made great strides under Kalmar.


Hank.Browne said...

I have been going to the Grant Park concerts for many, many years. The orchestra has never sounded better than it does now--and I have had relatives and friends in the orchestra over the years. Many are principals in the Lyric Opera Orchestra.

Kalmar is amazing. It would be a tragedy if Oregon Symphony were to lose him because of financial pressures. Although I have never been to an OS performance I can pretty safely assume that Kalmar has done for OS as he has for the Grant Park Orchestra.

Here's a review of the most recent concert with a great soprano who is a favorite of Kalmar:

Hank, Chicago.

James Bash said...

Hi Hank,

Thanks for your comments and link to the review. We, in Portland, have got to put our heads together to improve conditions for the Oregon Symphony. I'll try to stay on top of the situation.