Slowly but surely spring is making its way into the air in Montreal, and along with it the inspired music of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra – just as April and May showers and flowers come and go, the Orchestra chooses a musical program of both light and heavy compositions to see us into summer. These last few months of the Orchestra’s season are also buoyed by celebratory anticipation of the upcoming 2013/14 season, marking 80 years as a Montreal arts and cultural staple…
At home in the beautiful, state-of-the-art Maison Symphonique de Montréal, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra delights listeners this April with Jean-François Rivest conducting the Franck Symphony, winner of the OSM Standard Life Competition, featuring principal bass Ali Yazdanfar (April 5 and 7), Kent Nagano conducting Brahms’ Fourth (April 13), and pianist Till Fellner and Beethoven’s Third Concerto, conducted by Kent Nagano (April 16-17).
In May, the new OSM chamber choir takes on medieval and gregorian music in Fauré & Duruflé: Two Requiem (May 5), closely followed by the great, award-winning virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman performing works by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms on May 7. Families will love the Magic Horn (May 19), a story of a genie and his horn, told with exotic musical instruments. Surrealist music of the early 20th century, focused on the group of composers called Les Six, returns in Walton, Milhaud, Cocteau: Surrealism before its time (May 21), while David Zinman conducts Mahler’s Fifth (May 22-23) and Kent Nagano conducts the choral work of Paul Claudel and Arthur Honegger, Joan of Arc at the Stake (May 28, 30, and June 1).
Summer may or may not get going for real in June, but during the beginning of the month, it’s safe to say that it’s good to be able to make a quick escape from spring showers. See Simon Leclerc conduct the popular group Mes Aïeux play songs from their repertoire and the music of Quebecois singer-songwriter Plume Latraverse, who joins Mes Aïeux June 5-6.
Along with the OSM, Montreal boasts another world-class orchestra, the Orchestre Métropolitan. This spring season, Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the orchestra present Verdi’s Requiem, featuring soloists and full choir on March 24 (plus a free conference in the foyer at 2 p.m.), Youth Spirit 2.0 with up-and-coming artists on April 25, and Nézet-Séguin conducts Strauss: 2 Orchestras, 1 Conductor, with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra joining in on May 10. All concerts at the Maison Symphonique de Montréal.