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Meet-a-Montrealer: Maestro Kent Nagano

Grammy-winning Maestro Kent Nagano has come a long way from the American concentration camps his Japanese-American parents and grandparents were imprisoned in during the Second World War. Nagano, born in Berkeley, California, in 1951, overcame much racism in his youth, was given his first real big break by the late Frank Zappa in 1982. In the 1980s Nagano was a student of legendary American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, and Nagano would go on to win Grammy Awards and work with the likes of Björk, Sting and Paul McCartney, as well as Sophia Loren, Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev. Nagano – the rock star of the classical world – was named Music Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in 2006, a contract extended until 2020. Nagano sat down to talk about Montréal and his upcoming projects. What is your favourite pastime? My favourite pastime is making music. How long have you been a Montrealer? I was convinced since the first time I visited Montréal around 1999 that this city was the place to be. What is the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? (Laughs) You know, I’m really not cool at all. But my daughter thought it was really cool… / Read More →

SPRINGTIME WITH THE MONTREAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

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…