Toute la musique du monde … All the music in the world must be heard in Quebec, with its largest city serving as home to two internationally acclaimed symphonic ensembles: Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal.
By a happy coincidence, both ensembles, with their respective music directors on the podium, will appear next season at Symphony Center as part of the SCP Orchestras Series. On Oct. 15, Kent Nagano leads his Montreal Symphony Orchestra in a program of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 (Classical), Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, with pianist Denis Matsuev as soloist. A few weeks later, on Nov. 19, Yannick Nézet-Séguin appears with his Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal in a program of two Mozart works featuring mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato (the concert aria Ch’io mi scordi di te? … Non temer, amato bene and Parto, Parto from the opera La clemenza di Tito).
The Montreal Symphony Orchestra, whose predecessor ensembles were founded in 1894 and 1934 and acquired its current name in 1954, is making its first U.S. tour since 2016. It will be its last under Nagano, who will step down in 2020. “To mark his last year in Montreal, Maestro Nagano, who has been at the helm of our orchestra for almost 16 years, presents concerts anchored in the tradition of the greatest orchestras, yet perfectly in tune with modern life.”
Founded in 1981, the Orchestre Métropolitain is dedicated to the hiring of graduates from universities and conservatories of Quebec. Appointed as the orchestra’s artistic director and chief conductor in 2000, Nézet-Séguin is a graduate of the Quebec’s Conservatory of Music.
In honor of Canada Day, which is July 1 — the date in 1867 when the territory’s separate colonies were united into a single dominion — SCP patrons can take advantage of a special offer. On July 1 only, patrons may receive a 33 percent discount off the cost of a SCP Orchestra subscription with the promo code CANADA.
TOP: A commemorative stamp marking the 50th anniversary of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 1984.