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Pablo Villegas


Pablo Villegas


Saturday | March 16, 2019 | 7:30 PM
Sunday | March 17, 2019 | 2:00 PM
Monday | March 18, 2019 | 7:30 PM
Arlene Schnitzer Hall

1037 SW Broadway
Portland OR 97205

Pablo Villegas

Brilliant, passionate, and abundantly charismatic, Pablo Sáinz Villegas never fails to make audiences jump to their feet. Known as “the soul of Spanish guitar,” the superstar returns to perform music inspired by the great Iberian composer Isaac Albéniz. Classical Series Concert

Carlos Kalmar, conductor
• Pablo Sáinz Villegas, guitar

Brahms: Serenade No. 1
• Stephen Goss: The Albéniz Concerto
Turina: Danzas fantásticas

Read program notes

Note: This concert is being recorded for future broadcast. We ask our audience to be as quiet as possible during the performance


Carlos Kalmar

Music Director

Carlos Kalmar is in his 16th season as music director of the Oregon Symphony. He is also the artistic director and principal conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.

In May 2011 he made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall with the Oregon Symphony as part of the inaugural Spring for Music festival. Both his imaginative program, Music for a Time of War, and the performance itself were hailed by critics in The New York TimesNew Yorker magazine and Musical America, and the concert was recorded and released on the PentaTone label, subsequently earning two Grammy nominations (Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered). Under Kalmar’s guidance the orchestra has recorded subsequent CDs on the PentaTone label – This England, featuring works by Britten, Vaughan Williams, and Elgar; The Spirit of the American Range, with works by Copland, Piston, and Antheil, which received another Best Orchestral Performance Grammy nomination; and Haydn Symphonies.

New Yorker magazine critic Alex Ross called the Oregon Symphony’s Carnegie Hall performance under Kalmar “the highlight of the festival and one of the most gripping events of the current season.” That verdict was echoed by Sedgwick Clark, writing for Musical America, who described the performance of Vaughan Williams’ Fourth Symphony as “positively searing… with fearless edge-of-seat tempos… breathtakingly negotiated by all…”

A regular guest conductor with major orchestras in America, Europe, and Asia, Kalmar recently made his subscription series debuts with three of America’s most prestigious orchestras: those of Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. Past engagements have seen him on the podium with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the New World Symphony, as well as the orchestras of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, Seattle, and St. Louis.

Carlos Kalmar, born in Uruguay to Austrian parents, showed an early interest in music and began violin studies at the age of six. By the time he was 15, his musical promise was such that his family moved back to Austria in order for him to study conducting with Karl Osterreicher at the Vienna Academy of Music. He has previously served as the chief conductor and artistic director of the Spanish Radio/Television Orchestra and Choir in Madrid as well as the music director for the Hamburg Symphony, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Vienna’s Tonnkunsterorchester, and the Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau, Germany. He lives in Portland with his wife, Raffaela, and sons Luca and Claudio.


Pablo Sáinz Villegas


Pablo Sáinz Villegas last appeared with the Oregon Symphony on September 12, 2015, when he performed Corigliano’s Troubadours and Rodrigo’s Fantasía para un gentilhombre with conductor Carlos Kalmar.

Praised as “the soul of the Spanish guitar,” Pablo Sáinz Villegas has become a worldwide sensation known as this generation’s great guitarist. With his “virtuosic playing characterized by irresistible exuberance,” as described by The New York Times, his interpretations conjure the passion, playfulness, and drama of the rich musical heritage of his homeland, Rioja. He is known for his passionate, emotive and open-hearted playing, whether he is performing at intimate recital halls, or playing with beloved tenor Plácido Domingo to an audience of over 85,000 at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, where maestro Domingo hailed him as “the master of the guitar”.

Sáinz Villegas has continued to thrive over the past year connecting in new ways with his audience. He was one of the few selected artists to participate at the 2018 Grammy Awards classical event at Carnegie Hall, and he recorded an anticipated duo album together with tenor Plácido Domingo. Highlights of his recent collaborations with Domingo include a performance on a floating stage on the Amazon River streamed worldwide to millions, as well as a special anniversary concert at Chile’s National Stadium. Last season, Sáinz Villegas also made his debut at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival under the baton of Carlos Kalmar at the Millennium Park to an audience of 11,000 people and accomplished summer tours with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He also gave the world premiere of Rounds, the first composition for guitar by five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams.

Routinely drawing comparisons with legendary exponents of his instrument such as Andrés Segovia, Sáinz Villegas has already appeared on some of the world’s most prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall, the Philharmonie in Berlin, and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Known for a sound so rich and full that it does not need amplification, his concerto performances regularly inspire new invitations and re-engagements in more than 30 countries.

Sáinz Villegas continuously searches for ways to communicate with young audiences and to inspire them with music. A born communicator, the guitarist explains: “Music is among things we cannot touch and that is what makes it most powerful.” His efforts have granted him invitations to play for the Spanish Royal Family and the Dalai Lama.

An active recording artist, Sáinz Villegas is now an exclusive SONY Classical recording artist. His next album with Plácido Domingo will be released in spring of 2018. Billboard named him “the global ambassador of Spanish guitar” after his latest solo album, Americano, which quickly made its debut to the top 15 on their charts under the PIAS | Harmonia Mundi USA label.

Born in La Rioja in Northern Spain, Sáinz Villegas was inspired to take guitar lessons at age six and gave his first public performance at just seven years old. Over the years, he amassed an impressive collection of over 30 international awards, including the Segovia award – which he won at age 15 – and the coveted gold medal at the Inaugural Parkening International Guitar Competition. Sáinz Villegas lives in New York City to this day.

Earlier Event: March 15
The Three Bs
Later Event: March 17
Cushion Concerts