Costume: Tuxedo, baton, fluffy gray wig.
What happened in 2011: After a 114-year wait, the Oregon Symphony made its Carnegie Hall debut in May under the leadership of music director Carlos Kalmar. Hundreds of Portlanders flew to NYC to witness this miracle for themselves. Rave reviews abounded, most notably from New Yorker music critic Alex Ross, who declared our orchestra’s performance “the highlight of the festival and one of the most gripping events of the current season.”
Update: This October the band released its first recording under the baton of Kalmar, and from across the nation more glowing reviews followed. They’ve already been invited back to Carnegie Hall in May 2013. And while other major U.S. orchestras are flailing under financial woes (most notably Philadelphia), the Oregon Symphony ended another fiscal year in the black with increased ticket sales. Maestro Kalmar, in addition to his Stumptown gig, currently leads two other major orchestras in Madrid and Chicago and is a frequent guest conductor around the globe. Simply put, Carlos and the band are becoming celebrated players on the international stage of classical music.Brian Horay
MUSIC CRITICISM: SO MUCH CRAP
I really like you WW folks, but your favorite bands are usually crap [“You’re the Best--—Around,” WW, Dec. 28, 2011].
Don’t be afraid to enjoy good music. A few of the snootiest hipsters might give you a pfff of disapproval. Who cares? They’re already caught up in their own ego-stroking crap that’s absolutely way cooler than the crap you like. You’ll lose that crowd either way.
The rest of us would love to hear about some new bands that don’t sound like crap.
HAVE A BEER, JUST NOT OURS
How many people decided this list? [“Oregon’s 10 Best Beers,” WW, Dec. 28, 2011]. Two, three?
I like a good microbrew, but safflower, lemon, orange, pine sap, cocoa, chilies??? No thanks.
Seriously? No love for Ninkasi or Oakshire? I am sad for you.
Any of the Heater Allen beers—but especially the Pils and Schwarz! Can’t believe none of these made it on your list. Rick Allen is the MASTER!
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