Press release

As Montréal gets ready to celebrate its 375th birthday and the 50 years of its Métro, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal today unveiled the details of its 2016-2017 season, a diversified programming of concerts whose sounds will exhilarate our town on a weekly basis.

Montréal, March 9, 2016 – As Montréal gets ready to celebrate its 375th birthday and the 50 years of its Métro, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal today unveiled the details of its 2016-2017 season, a diversified programming of concerts whose sounds will exhilarate our town on a weekly basis.
A true urban symphony to which the OSM and its music director, Kent Nagano, will be inviting audiences throughout an 83rd musical season consisting of close to 100 concerts.

“Since its very inception,” stated Kent Nagano, “the OSM has presented the pillars of the repertoire alongside new compositions with a view to renewing and exceeding the great symphonic tradition. All the while, our aim has been to reflect the unique culture of our society through our particular sound and style. Our programming – its diversity, its original visions, and the ground-breaking perspectives it promises – reflects the creative excitement of our urban environment and the complexity of what we all have in common: the human condition. In these historical moments for our city, we invite Montrealers from all backgrounds and of all origins to share in this unifying musical tradition.”

“With this exceptional and brilliant programming, the role of the OSM as a peerless ambassador of our city is confirmed yet again,” added Manon Gauthier, member of the City of Montréal executive committee and responsible for culture. “The City of Montréal is proud to be a partner of a cultural institution that never ceases to offer bold encounters that are rich in musical discoveries.”

Close to 100 regular-season concerts

Music events to exhilarate Montréal!

In September, Kent Nagano opens the season with a bang, conducting Carmina Burana, a masterwork of broad proportions by Carl Orff, presented for the first time with orchestra at Maison symphonique.
With its secular, even fleshly, lyrics, the Latin texts mix with Middle-High German and Old Provençal in dealing with such subjects as drinking, gambling, gluttony, lust and the inexorable cycle of the wheel of fortune that, tirelessly, brings spring and rebirth every year. Soprano Aline Kutan, tenor Frédéric Antoun, baritone Russell Braun and a children’s choir will join the musicians and Chorus of the OSM for what will be a dazzling opening concert. Also on the program, Ligeti’s Concert Românesc, a work that should steal Montrealers’ hearts

The concert on September 7 will be followed by a season-launch benefit evening in the presence of
Kent Nagano and musicians of the OSM. It is possible to reserve places for this event at the same time as purchasing tickets.

Texte important

    The OSM celebrates the  Montréal métro

Fifty years ago, on October 14, 1966, Montréal inaugurated its subway system. To underscore this anniversary, the OSM will be presenting the premiere of two world creations commissioned from composers Robert Normandeau and José Evangelista.

“We’re honored that the OSM is choosing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Montréal Métro by devoting two works to it,” stated Philippe Schnobb, Chairman of the Société de transport de Montréal Board of Directors. “And it’s the connections the Métro has forged among the neighborhoods and communities of our city that have inspired the creation of two works commissioned by the OSM from two Montreal and Québec creators.”

As part of the Classical Spree in August 2016, an electroacoustic composition by Robert Normandeau inspired by the underground transit network and its trains will be presented first. In October,
Kent Nagano and the OSM will perform the world premiere of an orchestral work by José Evangelista.
And to evoke the road traveled by Québec since the 1960s, at this concert Kent Nagano will also be conducting Richard Strauss’s symphonic poem A Hero’s Life.

Special event for the 375th anniversary of Montréal

To conclude the season, the OSM and Kent Nagano are offering audiences a unique orchestral and visual experience, the result of the encounter between Samy Moussa, a young but internationally acclaimed Montréal composer, and multimedia artists Moment Factory, whose creativity is recognized around the world. A grand symphonic poem will be premiered for Montréal’s 375th birthday. To mark this milestone in our history, Kent Nagano is seeking to create, in collaboration with these artists, a work that will live in time and that will reflect a purely Montreal musical and visual world where the limits of creativity are meant to be pushed back.

“In addition to paying tribute to Montréal,” said Gilbert Rozon, Commissioner for Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary, “this orchestral work celebrating local creativity and talent will bear witness to the lively character of our city.”

As a prelude to this program, Maestro Nagano has chosen Dvořák’s New World Symphony, a work written during time spent in the United States and a true liaison between past and future. In May 2017, all of Maison symphonique will be immersed in a festive atmosphere for these three concerts!

The concert event will be recorded live and will be broadcast at a later date.

Kent Nagano: From Bach to Bernstein by way of Beethoven, Shostakovich and Messiaen

In October, Kent Nagano will conduct Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony, a true musical monument, as well as Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto with soloist Vadim Repin.

From Bach, the St. Matthew Passion, a summit of sacred music for two orchestras, double chorus and six soloists described by Kent Nagano as “one of the most extraordinary professions of faith,” will be presented with staging by Alain Gauthier in early December to close the Montreal Bach Festival, of which the OSM is official orchestral partner.

Shortly afterward, audiences can hear the Second Symphony, “Le Double” by Dutilleux, a prominent French composer of the 20th century, Ravel’s La valse and Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto in a concert featuring Till Fellner, a recording the OSM subscribers can download exclusively
(Beethoven’s Piano Concerto).

In March, the luminous Turangalîla-Symphony by Olivier Messiaen, a composer of great importance and the 25th anniversary of whose passing will be observed in 2017, will resound in Maison symphonique with French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Audiences will also hear four excerpts from the versions for organ and orchestra of Messiaen’s L’ascension.

With A Quiet Place, soprano Claudia Boyle, tenor Joseph Kaiser, baritone Gordon Bintner and seven other singers plus an ensemble from the OSM Chorus will celebrate the music of Leonard Bernstein alongside Kent Nagano. The opera addresses the themes of the complexity of family relationships, grief, the acceptance of differences and reconciliation through the moving story of a family torn by homosexuality.

A Quiet Place is also a setting where past battles give way to the serenity of the present. A onetime student of Bernstein’s, Kent Nagano will be conducting this rarely heard work in the chamber version he premiered in Berlin in November 2013. Note that A Quiet Place will be recorded for release by Decca in 2018, the year of the centenary of the composer’s birth. As a prelude to this concert, great songs from the timeless West Side Story will be performed with piano accompaniment.

Finally, in May, Kent Nagano will conduct Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15 at a concert in which pianist Rafał Blechacz will join the Orchestra for Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto.

Haydn & the minimalists Festival: 4 concerts in 3 days under the direction of Kent Nagano

In January, the musical motif developed by Franz Joseph Haydn and repeated among the minimalists is at the heart of works presented in this festival. Four concerts will be devoted to Viennese master Haydn, including his last four London symphonies compared and contrasted with scores by composers Reich, Glass, Pärt and Adams. At each of the exceptional concerts in this festival one concerto will be performed, featuring pianist Marc-André Hamelin, OSM principal trumpet Paul Merkelo or violinist Pinchas Zukerman.

The Italian Festival conducted by Carlo Rizzi: a musical panorama in 3 concerts

In March, discoveries and inevitable works are on the menu for these three major concerts led by guest conductor Carlo Rizzi. As part of this festival, we will celebrate The Italian Violin: from Vivaldi to Paganini (featuring The Four Seasons), Verdi & the Great Opera Choruses as well as The Pines of Rome & Italian Cinema. This third concert offers works by Respighi, Rota and Morricone bringing back musical life great classics of the seventh art. Each of these concerts presents a first part on the organ, for voice and piano, or for small ensemble before showcasing, in the second part, all the power of the Orchestra.

Great Canadian and international guests

A number of renowned conductors will take over the podium to lead the OSM musicians during the season:

-          Conductors Juanjo Mena, James Conlon, Michael Francis, Timothy Brock, Sir Andrew Davis and Vasily Petrenko will be on the Orchestra’s podium.

-          Under the direction of Jeffrey Tate, violinist Midori will perform Britten’s Violin Concerto.

-          In addition to playing, violinist and conductor Joshua Bell will be leading the Orchestra for the first time, in a program devoted to Mendelssohn, Bruch and Beethoven.

-          Conductor Bernard Labadie is back for a concert devoted to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, whose Triple Concerto will be heard with violinist Andrew Wan, cellist Brian Manker and pianist François-Frédéric Guy.

Among the Canadian artists should be mentioned pianists Angela Hewitt (de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain) and Marc-André Hamelin (Haydn and the minimalists festival), violinists Pinchas Zukerman (Haydn and the minimalists festival) and Alexandre Da Costa (excerpts from Piazzolla’s Cuatro estaciones porteñas), as well as sopranos Aline Kutan (Carmina Burana) and Hélène Guilmette (Christmas concert) and baritone Gordon Bintner (Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Bernstein’s A Quiet Place).

Also, the OSM will honor 3 pioneers of the Canadian repertoire: Serge Garand in February as part of the 50th anniversary of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec; Jean-Papineau-Couture in November to celebrate his 100th anniversary; and Alexander Brott in March during a concert conducted by his son, Boris Brott.

From the international side, the OSM will be hosting among others pianists Denis Matsuev (Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 2 ), Rafał Blechacz (Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto), Till Fellner (Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4), François-Frédéric Guy (Beethoven’s Triple Concerto) and Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie ); violinists Vadim Repin (Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1) and Veronika Eberle
(the Brahms Violin Concerto), cellist Truls Mørk (the Schumann Cello Concerto ); singers Sarah Wegener, Michael Schade, Julian Pregardien (St. Matthew Passion); and harpist Xavier de Maistre (Montsalvatge’s Concerto Capriccio).

James Ehnes and Louis Lortie, 2016-2017 artists in residence

Thanks to the generous support of the Larry & Cookie Rossy Family Foundation, pianist Louis Lortie and violinist James Ehnes, two great Canadian performers and both past winners of the OSM Competition, will be the Orchestra’s artists in residence for the 2016-2017 season.

After a recital at which he will perform complete versions of two great sequences of Chopin’s – the Études and the Preludes – in April, Louis Lortie will appear with the OSM in the Vaughan Williams
Piano Concerto in C (a premiere for the Orchestra) under the direction of Sir Andrew Davis. Three monumental works by Beethoven, Franck and Ravel will feature on the program for the recital given in October by James Ehnes, who will also be celebrating with the Orchestra the 30 years of his career in Montréal by performing the Dvořák Violin Concerto under conductor Juraj Valčuha.

The OSM welcomes the Boston Symphony Orchestra: a return to Montréal after a 33-year absence

Ranking with the greatest American orchestras, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led by its young conductor, Andris Nelsons, will be coming to enjoy for the first time the outstanding acoustics of
Maison symphonique de Montréal in a concert that will feature the eminent pianist Emanuel Ax. The last visit by the BSO goes back to March 8 and 9, 1984.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra: the tradition continues

Perpetuating a tradition that began in 1966, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and conductor Peter Oundjian will be revisiting Montréal; on the program, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear, in addition to a work commissioned from composer Edward Top to celebrate 150 years of Canadian Confederation and performed together with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.

The holiday season at the OSM: a “Métissé serré” Christmas and Russian melodies!

For the holiday period, the OSM is presenting two concerts inspired by contrasting worlds and in the spirit of cultures meeting.

Maestro Nagano celebrates a Russian-accented Christmas with soprano Hélène Guilmette, bass Tomislav Lavoie and a children’s choir in a program blending the magic of The Nutcracker with the poignant beauty of Russian songs and arias by Rimsky-Korsakov. To add even more of a spiritual touch to the concert, vocal works by Mozart will also be on the program.

Senegalese by birth and Gaspesian in his heart, Boucar Diouf has more than one string to his bow. A storyteller of undeniable charisma, he gives a whole other meaning to the adjective “spiritual” with
Noël métissé serré. Punctuated by great orchestral works conducted by Jean-François Rivest and traditional Québec music, and with Le Vent du Nord and Patrice Michaud performing, this is a concert that will celebrate dissimilar accents rather than emphasizing on differences. Something to lift the spirits and fill listeners’ hearts with joy!

Of music and images

Once again this year the OSM is offering music lovers and movie buffs the chance to rediscover in a different way a great classic of the silver screen: The Battleship Potemkin, a Soviet film made in 1925 by Sergei Eisenstein, will be screened in Maison symphonique while the Orchestra, under Timothy Brock, performs the original music by Austrian composer Edmund Meisel.


In the unique acoustics of Maison symphonique, the “Recitals” series, presented in association with
Pro Musica, will this year present works from the violin or piano repertoire performed by brilliant artists:

-          Violinist James Ehnes will play Beethoven’s “Spring” Sonata, Ravel’s Tzigane and the dazzling Franck Sonata with pianist Andrew Armstrong;

-          Louis Lortie will perform two major cycles from the piano repertoire: Chopin’s Études and Preludes;

-          Pianist Yefim Bronfman will play Debussy’s Suite bergamasque and Stravinsky’s Petrushka;

-          András Schiff presents an intimate and spellbinding recital devoted entirely to piano works by Schubert.

The Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique: a third musical season

Organ recitals

No fewer than eight inspired soloists will take turns at the controls of this larger-than-life instrument for four organ recitals. After the Germanic organ of Bach to Reger and brilliant improvisations to classic short features as well as the work of a young Québec filmmaker from the collective Kino’00, an intriguing evening is in store, From Bach to Bolero, 5 organs for 5 organists, which will coincide with the launch of the first edition of the OSM Manulife Competition dedicated to organ and strings.

The series will conclude with a spectacular recital presented in collaboration with the
Canadian Space Agency when works by Holst, Glass and Campo and a premiere by Canada’s Matthew Ricketts will be performed by Jean-Willy Kunz, OSM organist in residence. The musical performances will be accompanied by images of space and the Earth taken from the International Space Station and with comments from astronaut David Saint-Jacques, who will recall that, since the dawn of time, human beings have turned their gaze skyward to comprehend the universe out of which they arose in order to better understand the planet they inhabit.

Concerts with organ

In November, Paul Jacobs will be accompanied by the OSM under Michael Francis in
Barber’s Toccata festiva, while in March, Hans-Ola Ericsson will pay tribute to Messiaen with two excerpts from L’ascension, as well as a preconcert. As part of the Italian festival, Federico Andreoni will perform memorable movie music by Rota and Morricone.

The OSM Chorus

The splendor of the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique will also accompany the OSM Chorus in April when it sings works by Schoenberg, Mozart and Schubert under the direction of Andrew Megill.

The Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique was generously offered to the OSM Mrs. Jacqueline Desmarais.

Chamber music at Bourgie Hall

Lovers of chamber music will once again have the chance to get together with talented soloists and musicians from the OSM at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’s Bourgie Hall. This year, 19 musicians from the orchestra and pianists Philip Chiu, Jean Saulnier and Louise Bessette will take part in the five concerts in this series in partnership with the Arte Musica Foundation.

Inaugural concert of the Azrieli Music Project

The famous Azrieli Music Project encourages and ensures the creation of new Jewish orchestral music. For this first edition, presented in October 2016, audiences will hear the world premiere of
The Seven Heavenly Halls by Canadian Brian Current, winner of the Azrieli Commissioning Competition, as well as Shalom Rav in an orchestration by Steven Mercurio. To complete the evening, the audience will discover the work selected for the first Azrieli Prize in Jewish Music.

Métro to Concerto series

A concentrated shot of happiness to wind down from one’s day and begin the evening on just the right note! Presented at 7 p.m. on weekdays and without intermission, the four concerts in the Métro+Concerto series showcase the immense talent of guest soloists James Ehnes, Denis Matsuev, Alexandre Da Costa and Rafał Blechacz, conducted respectively by Juraj Valčuha, James Conlon, Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Kent Nagano in inspiring and surprising musical programs.

Children’s Corner: orchestral and fun!

The Children’s Corner series is staging three concerts mixing music and other performing arts. First Music, Noise and Silence, a production of the Magic Circle Mime Company, will be conducted by Andrei Feher. Then the young audience is invited to Alice in Wonderland, a multidisciplinary concert-spectacle, and to Discovering the OSM, a humor-filled show during which Patrice Bélanger, ambassador for the OSM’S young-audience concerts, will introduce kids and grownups to the instruments and to orchestra conducting. Both these concerts will be conducted by Adam Johnson.

The OSM Youth Concerts are also back for primary- and secondary-level students.

Launch of the subscription campaign and start of single-ticket sales

The period from March 9 to April 15 is reserved for subscriptions, whether a renewal or a new subscription.

During this period, subscribers will also have priority on additional tickets to all the concerts of their choice in the 2016-2017 season.

On April 18, the individual tickets will go on sale.

The OSM again this season offers concerts on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (evenings and mornings), Saturdays and Sundays (afternoons), most of which are part of eight major series of six concerts each, in addition to the Métro to Concerto series, four concerts presented at 7:00 p.m. without intermission.

Thanks to the À la carte series, it is also possible to compose one’s own subscription.

All the information on the 2016-2017 season, the different types of subscriptions, the privileges, the fees and much more details are available on osm.ca.  

Make way for the young!

The OSM invites those 34 and under to be part of next season and to celebrate the urban symphony. Thanks to the program TD 34 and under Classics, students and young professionals can benefit from advantageous prices both when subscribing (starting with just four concerts) and on the purchase of single tickets.

Also, members of the Club des jeunes ambassadeurs de l’OSM benefit from additional privileges, and are invited, like all those 34 and under, to take part in its four networking events organized during the season.
The public can find out about Club des jeunes Ambassadeurs activities by following the www.facebook.com/jeunesambassadeursOSM page.

Moreover, special rates are offered to youngsters 17 and under who accompany an adult to OSM concerts, notably tickets at only $10 for the Métro to Concerto series.

Indispensable partnerships for the OSM

The contribution of the Orchestra’s public partners being indispensable to its operations, the OSM thanks its principal partner, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, as well as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the City of Montreal.

The Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary benefits from the support of the
City of Montréal, the government of Québec and 10 grandes Montréalaises.

The OSM is proud to be able to count on its loyal partners and wishes to thank Hydro-Québec, official presenter, along with BMO Financial Group, season partner.

“The OSM is one reason for the celebrity of Montréal on the international scene, and we are thrilled to be able to contribute to that cultural prominence,” stated L. Jacques Ménard, president of BMO Financial Group, Québec. “BMO is proud to continue its association with the OSM as a season partner in order to offer Montrealers and visitors from all over the world a season enriched by grand-scale concerts that are in a league with the talent of the OSM’s musicians and conductor.”

We also express our gratitude to Power Corporation of Canada, Air Canada, Manulife, Fondation J.A. DeSève, Investors Group, National Bank, TD, Great-West-London Life and Canada Life, Fillion Électronique, Cogeco, ABB, Estiatorio Milos, Aéroports de Montréal, BBA, Spinelli Lexus, SiriusXM, Eska, Our Cheeses and Stingray Digital.

The OSM finally salutes all its other partners, who at different levels provide essential support for its activities.

 [ML1]Jo-anne : Mention Opening Night  post concert du 7 septembre 2016. Soirée bénéfice de lancement de saison en présence de Kent Nagano et de musiciens de l’OSM. Réservation des places possible simultanément à l’achat des billets.

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