The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal will be returning to Carnegie Hall to offer the final performance of Spring for Music's first edition, on May 14, 2011. Under Music Director Kent Nagano, the Orchestra will present "The Evolution of the Symphony", a conceptual program featuring pianist Angela Hewitt as soloist. This performance comes only a few months before the inaugural concert of the OSM's new home, a concert hall whose realization was made possible with the support of the Government of Québec.
The OSM at Spring for Music
The OSM has had a long and lasting relationship with Carnegie Hall, where the Orchestra played almost every year to full houses between 1982 and 2004. On March 8, 2008, Kent Nagano and the OSM made their joint debut in the hall, with a concert featuring violinist Joshua Bell.
For the Spring for Music final concert, on May 14, 2011, the OSM will be presenting "The Evolution of the Symphony". Crafted by Maestro Kent Nagano, this program highlights the many facets of symphonic writing over four centuries, from Gabrieli's Sacrae Symphoniae to Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments and Webern's Symphony Op. 21. The program also includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and Bach Sinfonias performed by renowned Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt.
Honoured as 'Instrumentalist of the Year' by the MIDEM Classical Awards 2010, and named 'Artist of the Year' in 2006 by Gramophone, Angela Hewitt is without a doubt an authority in Bach performance and one of Canada's most celebrated musicians. Over the years she has performed several times with the OSM.
As part of Spring for Music the May 14 concert will be broadcast live by Classical 105.9 FM WQXR in New York City and distributed nationally by American Public Media as part of their new series 'Classical Live'.
Detailed program of the May 14, 2011 concert and tickets info at the end of this press release
The OSM inaugurates its new home in September 2011
On September 7, 2011, the OSM and Maestro Nagano are inaugurating the Orchestra's new home, a concert hall resulting from a public-private partnership between the Government of Québec and Groupe immobilier Ovation (directed by SNC-Lavalin Inc., one of the world's most important engineering and construction groups). This is the very first cultural public-private partnership in Québec.
The concert hall compound, of "shoebox" design, evokes a jewel casket with balconies masterfully integrated into the ensemble, lending it a refined style that gives off warmth and light, and distinguished among other elements by its long straight spaces with corresponding geometric proportions. The surface area will total 19,187 square meters and the hall will seat 1,900 spectators. The stage will accommodate 120 musicians and a chorus of up to 200 voices (or 200 additional spectators in the absence of a chorus). Seventy percent of surfaces will be Québec native wood - a noble material that will meet the demands for acoustic excellence in a new concert hall for Montreal.
New-York based firm Artec is acting as the hall's principal acoustic and stage designer. Acoustician Tateo Nakajima is in charge of the project, with the acoustic signature of the late founder of Artec, Russell Johnson. The project is being carried out in close cooperation with an architecture consortium made up of the firms Diamond & Schmitt Architects Inc. and Ædifica.
Diamond & Schmitt have designed many fine auditoria and theatres, including Canada's first opera house, the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts in Toronto, the Harman Centre for the Arts, home to the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington DC and the renovation and expansion of Symphony Hall in Detroit. They are currently building the prestigious new Mariinsky Theatre in St-Petersburg, Russia.
The OSM, Canada's most prestigious symphonic ensemble
Since its founding in 1934, the OSM has distinguished itself as a leader in the orchestral life of Canada and Québec. A cultural ambassador of the highest order, the OSM has demonstrated its excellence in the course of over 40 national and international tours and has produced nearly 100 recordings with some of the most prestigious labels, earning 48 national and international awards. The OSM carries on that rich tradition under the leadership of its music director, Kent Nagano, while featuring innovative programming that looks at orchestral repertoire from a different perspective and strengthening the Orchestra's connection with the community. Maestro Nagano, who joined the OSM as music director in 2006, has renewed his contract until the 2013-2014 season, with a possibility of extending for two additional years.
The 2011-2012 OSM season at a glance (regular series)
For the first season in its new hall, the OSM will be presenting a rich and varied musical panorama, with works from diverse traditions and different eras. At the heart of the major regular series can be found masterpieces from the romantic repertoire, including works composed by Schubert (Symphony No. 5), Dvo?ák ("New World" Symphony), Berlioz (Symphonie fantastique), Bizet (Symphony No. 1), Franck (Variations symphoniques), Bruckner ("Romantic" Symphony) and Richard Strauss (Don Quixote).
Maestro Nagano will conduct Bach's St. John Passion and the Mozart Requiem, two sublime sacred choral works.
The repertoire of the twentieth century also occupies an important place in this programming, the Russian school being especially well represented with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 15 and Prokofiev's Third Symphony as well as his Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, performed by Hilary Hahn and Vadim Repin. The French school also has pride of place, with Debussy's La Mer and Ravel's La Valse and Piano Concerto for the Left Hand being featured.
The OSM's music director will conduct the Turangalîlâ-Symphony by Messiaen, whose opera Saint François d'Assise he led in 2008, a performance that took the Grand Prix from the Conseil des Arts de Montréal. Kent Nagano and the OSM will moreover present a cycle of a number of works by an essential composer in contemporary repertoire, Pierre Boulez (including Notations Nos. 1 to 4, and Le Soleil des eaux).
A series of recitals by guest artists features pianists Lang Lang, Evgeny Kissin, Hélène Grimaud, and Menahem Pressler, and his guests in a chamber ensemble.
Great guest artists
The Orchestra will welcome among others:
· pianists Leif Ove Andsnes, in his first performance with the OSM since 1998 (Beethoven's Concerto No. 1), Boris Berezovsky, Marc-André Hamelin (Franck's Variations symphoniques, Fauré's Ballade), Nelson Freire (Mozart's Concerto No. 20), Angela Hewitt (Messiaen's Turangalîlâ-Symphony), Till Fellner (Beethoven's Concerto No. 2 - the recording by Kent Nagano, Till Fellner and the OSM of Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos. 4 and 5 for ECM/Analekta was an "Orchestral Choice" of the prestigious BBC Music Magazine), Benedetto Lupo (Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand), Alain Lefèvre (Schumann Concerto), Simone Dinnerstein, making her debut with the OSM (Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue)