ORCHESTRE SYMPHONIQUE DE MONTREAL
Kent Nagano, Music Director
Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 7:30 P.M.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE SYMPHONY [program notes]
|GIOVANNI GABRIELI||Sacrae Symphoniae for brass excerpts
|JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH||Sinfonias, for solo keyboard, Nos. 1-5
Angela Hewitt, Piano
|ANTON WEBERN||Symphony, Op.21|
|JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH||Sinfonias, for solo keyboard, Nos. 8,9
Angela Hewitt, Piano
|IGOR STRAVINSKY||Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920 version)|
|JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH||Sinfonias, for solo keyboard, Nos 11, 12, 15
Angela Hewitt, Piano
|LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN||Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67|
About the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal
Founded in 1934 by a group of devoted music lovers, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal is one of the city’s major cultural organizations. Over the years, several music directors have contributed to its growth and success : Wilfrid Pelletier; Désiré Defauw; Igor Markevitch; Zubin Mehta, who brought increased prestige to the Orchestra through European tours; Franz-Paul Decker; Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos; Charles Dutoit, with whom the OSM assumed an important place on the international stage, and, since 2006, Kent Nagano.
Over the years the OSM has given more than 40 national and international tours, visiting Asia nine times, Europe on ten occasions and South America twice. It has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, the Ravinia and Tanglewood festivals; since 1982, the Orchestra has been a frequent visitor to Carnegie Hall, where it has played to packed houses. In recent years, the OSM under Kent Nagano offered a concert at the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet (2006), completed its first coast-to-coast Canadian tour (2007), toured jointly in Japan and South Korea (2008) and toured in Europe (2009), for the first time in 10 years. One of the most significant tours was close to home in 2008, when Maestro Nagano and seven OSM musicians visited several villages in Nunavik in Northern Quebec, performing Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat narrated in local dialect.
The OSM has produced nearly 100 recordings with Decca, EMI, Philips, CBC Records, Analekta, ECM and Sony as well as on the OSM label, earning 48 national and international awards including two Grammys. Among the critically acclaimed recordings released by the OSM and Kent Nagano, the album “Beethoven: Ideals of the French Revolution” (2008) won a Juno award.
In September 2011, the OSM and Maestro Nagano will inaugurate the Orchestra’s new residence, a world-class concert hall whose realization was made possible thanks to the Quebec Government. The design and acoustics of the hall will bear the signature of the renowned firm Artec Consultants Inc. The architecture will be by Diamond + Schmitt.
About Music Director Kent Nagano
Kent Nagano has established an international reputation as one of today’s most insightful and visionary interpreters of the symphonic and operatic repertoire. In 2006, he became Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montreal as well as General Music Director of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. At the Bayerische Staatsoper this season, he conducts new productions of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortileges , Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg and Messiaen’s Saint Francois d’Assise.
Mr. Nagano has recorded extensively with many ensembles on a variety of labels. He won Grammy awards for Busoni’s Doktor Faust with the Opera National de Lyon on Erato and Peter and the Wolf with the Russian National Orchestra on Pentatone. He and the OSM have already made several recordings together: Beethoven: Ideals of the French Revolution; Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde; music by contemporary composer Unsuk Chin; Beethoven’s Piano Concertos No. 4 and 5, Symphony No. 3 and the incidental music to The Creatures of Prometheus with a new text by Montreal writer Yann Martel.
Born in California, Kent Nagano was Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra from 1978-2009 and is now Conductor Laureate. He spent his early professional years in Boston, working in the opera house and as assistant conductor to Seiji Ozawa at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He played a key role in the world premiere of Messiaen’s opera Saint Francois d’Assise at the request of the composer. European appointments followed: Music Director of the Opera National de Lyon (1988-1998), Music Director of the Halle Orchestra (1991-2000) and Associate Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra (1990-1998). In that period, he conducted such world premieres as Bernstein’s A White House Cantata and operas by Peter Etv’s (Three Sisters), John Adams (The Death of Klinghoffer and El Nino) and Kaija Saariaho (L’amour de loin).
From 2000 to 2006, he was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. At the end of his tenure, members of the orchestra gave him the title Honorary Conductor, only the second recipient of this honor in their 60-year history. At the same time he was at the Los Angeles Opera, first as its Principal Conductor (2001-2003) then as its first Music Director. Productions there ranged from a series of Mozart operas to Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and Die Frau ohne Schatten, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Tosca and Wagner’s Lohengrin and Parsifal. In the 2007-08 season, he was Founding Music Director of the new Berkeley Academy Ensemble.
His recent work in other opera houses includes Shostakovich’s The Nose (Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin), Rimsky Korsakov’s Le Coq d’Or (Chatelet, Paris), Hindemith’s Cardillac and Massenet’s Werther (Opera National de Paris). As a much sought-after guest conductor, Kent Nagano has also worked with most of the world’s finest orchestras.
About Montreal, Quebec
Montreal has become the most important city in the province of Quebec. The mayoralty of Jean Drapeau (1954-57 and 1960-86) coincided with a time of large-scale projects, including Expo 67 and the 1976 Summer Olympic Games, that propelled Montreal to the rank of international city. Today Montreal is distinguished by its multiethnic character as well as by its large and lively arts community. Music, theater, movie, gastronomical and other festivals take place each year. Sports also occupy a prime place in the hearts of Montrealers, and the Montreal Canadiens hockey team has been a source of pride for generations. Montreal is a bridge between America and Europe, notably through its use of the French language, which is spoken by most of the population, but also because of its ambience.