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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 →

Classical music under the stars

There is a rich tradition of classical music in Montreal, from small chamber orchestras to the city’s famed Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. While some recitals, operas and concerts can be society affairs, in summertime the OSM reaches out to the masses with hugely popular free outdoor concerts in parks throughout Greater Montréal. This summer the OSM in the Parks series of three free concerts will be held in Parc Charleroi in Montréal North on July 17; in Parc équestre in Blainville on July 22; and in Parc Bellevue in Pincourt on July 23. The OSM will perform music by such composers as Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Piazzolla and Gershwin. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and will take place rain or shine. “Only thunderstorms may oblige us to interrupt a concert,” the OSM states. The OSM also presents its fourth annual Festival La Virée classique which kicks off August 5 at 7 p.m. with a big outdoor free concert on the Esplanade at the Olympic Park, expected to draw 40,000 classical music fans. Grammy-winning Maestro Kent Nagano will conduct the OSM in a concert that will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, then present a recital concert of Bizet’s opera… / Read More →

Classical Meets Jazz at the Chamber Music Fest

Music rings out crisp and clear in the month of May as the Montreal Chamber Music Festival celebrates its 19th edition, May 8-31, with 22 concerts of both innovative, international-level chamber music and smoking-hot jazz…

Things to Do in Montreal: November 22-28

The city begins to sparkle with holiday spirit this week as rock, classical and electro music festivals light up the night, the Santa Claus Parade comes to town, one film festival ends and another begins, circus and dance delight all ages, and holiday fairs give us another reason to shop.

Montreal Fall Arts & Culture Guide

This fall, Montreal lives up to its reputation for showcasing international and homegrown artistic and cultural creations, whether at festivals or stand-alone shows. See the latest in world cinema, innovative twists on ballet, comedic opera, family-friendly circus, Shakespearean symphony, dynamic contemporary dance and visual art…

Beautiful organ music lifts up fall in Montreal

During the 15th Orgue et Couleurs Fall Festival and the Canadian International Organ Festival, some of Montreal’s most picturesque churches and concert halls reverberate with traditional organ music played by internationally-acclaimed musicians…

Chamber music meets jazz this may in Montreal

The 18th season of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, May 9 to June 1, mixes international and local string quartets, the brilliance of Bach and several evenings of jazz, all in the stunning, acoustically pleasing St. George’s Church in historical Old Montreal…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (SEPTEMBER 22-29)

There’s officially too much to do this week in Montreal. That’s my professional opinion as a go-er and a do-er. Summer may have its multitude of festivals and picnic-in-the-park ways, but autumn packs a bounty of sights and sounds: over 400 bands and artists fill the city for Pop Montreal, jazz and classical musicians join in the music scene too (not to mention Kanye and Jay-Z), stages come alive with new theatre, dance and circus arts, and fashion, visual art and film bring in creative work from around the world…

VOICES OF HOPE: MUSIC FOR A CAUSE

Voices of Hope is a World AIDS Day Benefit Concert to raise funds for La Maison du Parc, will be held on December 4th at 7:00 p.m. at The Chruch of St. Andrew and St. Paul in Montreal. Kent Nagano will be conducting L’association des musiciens de l’OSM with the Choir from the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul.

MONTREAL SYMPHONY FALL LINE-UP

The Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and their superstar conductor, Kent Nagano, have put together another great fall lineup and, once again, I’m impressed at what a forward-thinking, proactive organization they are. It’s easy for classical music to take the stance of letting the audience come to them, but the OSM continues to prove that they are an orchestra connected to their city…