Eugene Symphony exec joins Oregon Symphony music director in Chicago

Paul Winberg headed for Chicago. Photo: Steve Smith

The Eugene Symphony has announced that its executive director, Paul Winberg, is leaving after eight years to run Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival. Founded in 1935, the festival’s artistic director and principal conductor since 2000 has been none other than Carlos Kalmar — whose other job is music director of the Oregon Symphony, which announced this week that Kalmar has re-upped with the Portland orchestra through 2015.  This month, Kalmar will also take over the Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE (Spanish Radio/Television Orchestra) in Madrid.

Winberg leaves after keeping the ESO in the black — no small achievement these days. According to the symphony’s press release:

“Winberg oversaw unprecedented programming and audience growth for the symphony, including a 24% increase in the orchestra’s subscriber base, a nearly 100% increase in single ticket sales, the introduction of all-ages programming, an annual free outdoor summer concert, and the expansion of the symphony’s subscription concert series. Winberg was also actively involved in enhancing the Eugene Symphony’s educational initiatives by leading the successful introduction and implementation of three new programs, American Encounters, an annual composer residency project; the Laura Avery Visiting Masters Program, providing young performers the opportunity to study and work side-by-side with the symphony’s distinguished guest soloists; and this season’sCounterpoint project, a city-wide initiative to celebrate the visual, literary and performing arts.”

Another major Oregon music institution will be getting new leadership in 2013, as the Oregon Bach Festival welcomes English conductor Matthew Halls as its music director. We’ll have much more to say about that very soon. Later, we’ll be telling you about still another new arrival at one of the state’s major classical music institutions, Ethan Sperry, recently named director of the Oregon Repertory Singers.

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