Kent Nagano to Stay at Helm of Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal until 2016

Kent Nagano to Stay at Helm of Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal until 2016

In the wake of a memorable season that witnessed the inauguration of Maison symphonique, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal announces the extension of the contract of its music director, Maestro Kent Nagano, through to the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season. The OSM and Kent Nagano are pleased to confirm that they are carrying on their fruitful collaboration by exercising the option of the two additional years stipulated in the current three-year contract, which has been in effect since September 2011. That collaboration may continue for a longer period further to a mutual agreement between the two parties.

From the moment of his appointment to the title of music director in September 2006, Kent Nagano has distinguished himself by the presentation of innovative concerts that are a source of common bond, and through his initiatives with respect to the community, which have kindled pride and enthusiasm in Montrealers – all the while contributing to the prestige of the Orchestra here and elsewhere.

The chairman of the OSM board, Mr. Lucien Bouchard, expressed his delight at being able to count on the excellence of the Orchestra’s music director: “Maestro Nagano’s creative vision has contributed magnificently to the success of the OSM, particularly in the framework of the inaugural season of our new home, Maison symphonique de Montréal. We are thrilled at the prospect of undertaking future projects with him, such as the 80th anniversary of the OSM, the welcoming of the Grand Orgue Pierre Béique, and, of course, further recordings and tours.”

“This agreement extends the length of Kent Nagano’s mandate with the OSM to ten years, in addition to his two years as music advisor,” stated OSM chief executive officer Madeleine Careau. “Kent Nagano is an exceptional conductor whose work is warmly welcomed by audiences and critics alike. His commitment to our community and his unflagging dedication to offering programs of the highest artistic quality – programs that move music lovers and the general public in today’s context – have contributed greatly to the success of our organization, both in the city itself and on the international scene.”

This is Kent Nagano’s second contract with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal as music director. The first contract, of five years’ duration, ran from 2006 to 2011. The second contract, for an original duration of three years and renewable for an additional two years, became effective on September 1, 2011.

“I am honored and delighted to accept the OSM's generous invitation to continue the engagement as music director of this extraordinary, brilliant, and prestigious orchestra with whom I have had the privilege of sharing so many special and outstanding artistic experiences over the past years,” explained Maestro Nagano. “The opening of OSM's new home has been a moment of exceptional joy, symbolizing the importance of the musical arts in our 21st century, and confirming the greatness of the city of Montreal while illuminating its presence on the international stage. The OSM has made unusually exciting developments over the past 7 years and now it is important to stabilize these gains while continuing our evolution and looking forward. In culture we must always reevaluate and reflect upon the changes of the world and especially in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. As complex and challenging as they are, I find our times fascinating, lively, fruitful and look forward to bringing Quebec's inspiring traditions and its orchestra culture via the OSM into the new and different context of the 21st century. ”

Kent Nagano is renowned for interpretations of clarity, elegance and intelligence. He is equally at home in music of the classical, romantic and contemporary eras, introducing concert and opera audiences throughout the world to new and rediscovered music and offering fresh insights into established repertoire. In September 2006 he became Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and General Music Director of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.

In September 2011, Kent Nagano and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal inaugurated Maison symphonique de Montréal, their new residence. This concert hall was made possible by the Government of Québec and was built by architects Diamond & Schmitt and Ædifica in cooperation with Artec Consultants Inc. for acoustics and theatre design.

Highlights with the orchestra have included the complete cycles of Beethoven and Mahler symphonies, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, concert versions of Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Tristan und Isolde, Das Rheingold and Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise, and concert series featuring the works of Dutilleux (2010-2011) and Boulez (2011-2012). Nagano has taken the orchestra on a coast-to-coast tour of Canada and also to Japan, South Korea, on an extensive European tour, to Nunavik in Northern Québec (with seven OSM musicians), twice to Carnegie Hall, and to the Edinburgh International Festival. The OSM has recorded eight albums under Kent Nagano: Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with tenor Klaus Florian Vogt and baritone Christian Gerhaher (Sony), works by composer Unsuk Chin featuring violinist Viviane Hagner (Analekta), Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 4 (1926) and Scriabin’s Prometheus with Alain Lefèvre (Analekta), Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 4 and 5 with Till Fellner (ECM/Universal) and Symphonies Nos. 3, 5, 6, 8 and 9 (Sony/Analekta). Symphony No. 9 was recorded during the inaugural concerts of Maison symphonique de Montréal.