New role for Peter Oundjian

New role for Peter Oundjian


norman lebrecht

January 31, 2019

The former chief of the Toronto Symphony and Royal Scottish National orchestras has been named music director of the Colorado Music Festival, starting now. He served as artistic director last summer and has now been given an upgrade.

His 2019 programme will centre on, duh, Beethoven.

This year, CMF presents a special concert series that traces Beethoven’s influence from the 19th century to the present day. Programs explore Beethoven’s path to the later Romantics, such as Verdi, Respighi, and Rachmaninoff; his radical premonitions of Modernism; his impact on the Neoclassicism of Stravinsky and Prokofiev; and his influence on the Minimalist textures and techniques of Philip Glass. The festival concludes with Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, a work deeply indebted to Beethoven; the final movement of Mahler’s symphony famously evokes the slow movement of Beethoven’s last complete work, his String Quartet in F Major, Op. 135.


  • The View from America says:

    Can’t forget the Mahler, either.

  • Ricky says:

    “Given” an upgrade?? More likely he accepted their request. The

  • David K. Nelson says:

    In theory (and in practical reality) you could indeed trace the influences of Beethoven over several concerts in the exact way that paragraph describes without in fact programming a note of, “duh, Beethoven.”

    Oundjian was such an excellent violinist. I am pleased to read that his conducting career has gone so well but … personally I value good violinists far higher than good conductors.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    What a waste of space. He ruined the Toronto Symphony. He should go back to string quartet playing, if anyone would have him.

  • Dave T says:

    The programming is a clever way to honor Beethoven (and get the PR benefit and ticket sales) without actually having to play Beethoven (“influence,” “impact,” “premonitions,” “indebted”). Smart.

  • fflambeau says:

    Really risky centering on Beethoven (and perhaps an indication of why the subject is gone from his prior jobs).