Montreal Symphony Kicks Off 2014 OSM Classical Spree Today

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal has announced details of the 2014 edition of its popular three-day Festival, "La Virée Classique" (OSM Classical Spree), which takes place today, August 14 to 16, 2014. Now in its third season, the Festival will offer thirty, 45-minute concerts in four concert venues in the heart of Montreal's arts and entertainment district, including Maison symphonique de Montréal-the new 2,100-seat home of the OSM in the historic Place des Arts.

The Festival begins on Thursday, August 14, with music director Kent Nagano leading the Orchestra in a FREE, large-scale open-air presentation of Carl Orff's magnificent Carmina Burana on the Esplanade Financière Sun Life of Olympic Park with a chorus of 1,000 voices. The OSM Classical Spree also includes an awaited performance (concert version) of Leonard Bernstein's rarely-heard opera, A Quiet Place, on August 15 at Maison symphonique de Montréal. The Festival's presentation of chamber music, recital, and symphonic pieces will continue in four separate Place des Arts venues-Maison symphonique de Montréal, Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, Cinquième Salle, and Salle Claude-Léveillée (Studio-théâtre)-with a roster of rising young talent and such international artists as violinist Vadim Repin; pianists Rafa? Blechacz, Andreas Haefliger, and Marc-André Hamelin; soprano Erin Wall, and OSM music director Kent Nagano.

Free Events and Famility Activities
The OSM Classical Spree will also offer a host of free events both, many designed especially for families, in addition to interviews, exhibits, workshops, and artist talks. Events include a Story Hour for Little Ears, Percussion and Trumpet Workshops, and performances by Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal and Chameleons of the Piano. Full Festival details can be found at

Tickets, affordably priced from $10 to $40 CAN, may be purchased online at, and by phone at 514-842-9951, where advisors are also available to help shape your personal musical itinerary.

Esplanade Financière Sun Life at the Olympic Park
Music director Kent Nagano will kick-off the Festival by conducting Carl Orff's landmark work, Carmina Burana, with the OSM, joined by soprano Aline Kutan, tenor Antonio Figueroa, baritone Trevor Scheunemann, and a chorus of 1,000 singers. This free open-air concert will be performed on Thursday, August 14 at 7:30 pm.

At Place des Arts
Following the opening free performance on Esplanade Financière, OSM Classical Spree at Place des Arts will present a marathon of thirty, 45-minute concerts in four different concert halls. The 2014 season will showcase a roster of up-and-coming new stars as well as established word-class artists in a broad range of programs spanning repertoire from the 17th through the 21st centuries. Below is a sampling of highlights from each venue:

Maison symphonique de Montréal
At Maison symphonique, the OSM's new home, Maestro Nagano will take the podium for seven concerts: Lalo's Symphonie espagnole with violinist Vadim Repin; two performances of Brahms's German Requiem with soprano Erin Wall; baritone Russell Braun and the OSM Chorus under the direction of Andrew Megill; a performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27,in B-flat major, K. 595 with virtuoso soloist Marc-André Hamelin; Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 played by the young Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz; and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 64 with German violinist Veronika Eberle.

Kent Nagano will also conduct a concert version of Leonard Bernstein's opera A Quiet Place, featuring musicians from the Orchestra, soprano Claudia Boyle, mezzo-soprano Susan Platts, baritone Gordon Bitner and bass-baritone, Nathan Berg as well as the OSM Chamber Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Andrew Megill.

Other concert highlights at Maison symphonique are tenor Marc Hervieux performing Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Orford Academy Orchestra led by Jean-François Rivest, and a program featuring Quebec singer, lyricist, and keyboard artist Pierre Lapointe with OSM organist-in-residence Jean-Willy Kunz in an unusual voice and organ concert exploring the sounds of the Grand Orgue Pierre Béique.

Théâtre Jean-Duceppe
The perfect sightlines of the 755-seat Théâtre Jean-Duceppe will host two chamber music concerts, one presenting pianist Marc-André Hamelin, German violinist Veronika Eberle, violist Neal Gripp, and cellist Matt Haimovitz in a performance of the Brahms Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25; and a second with young pianist Karin Kei Nagano and the Cecilia String Quartet performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 13 in C major, K. 415.

Two pianists will take the stage in recital: Andreas Haefliger in a program of Schumann's Fantasy, Op. 17 and Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109; and Marc-André Hamelin's performance of Schubert Impromptus and Busoni's transcription of Bach's Prelude and fugue in D major, BMV 532.

More recitals at this venue comprise tenor Marc Hervieux with Claude Webster at the keyboard in a program of Italian love songs, and a duo-recital by violinist Vadim Repin and pianist Andrei Korobeinikov with an evening offering Bartók's Rhapsody No. 1 for violin and piano, Debussy's Violin Sonata in G minor, and the Stravinsky Divertimento.

Also in this series is a recital titled American Songs with mezzo-soprano Susan Platts, soprano Claudia Boyle, and bass-baritone Nathan Berg accompanied by Esther Gonthier at the piano in works by such renowned 19th and 20th century American composers as Foster, Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Bernstein.

Cinquième Salle
Two young prize-winners will be in the spotlight at Cinquième Salle. Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz, winner of the prestigious 2014 Gilmore Artist Award, will perform an all-Chopin program; and first prize winner of the Montreal 2013 International Musical Competition, the young Belgian violinist Marc Bouchkov, will offer a program of Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky with Georgiy Dubko at the piano.

The versatility of the Cinquième Salle's stage design is a perfect setting for two special family programs. In Annabelle Canto-starring soprano Christina Tannous and pianist Dominic Boulianne-a young singer loses her voice and her memory on the morning of an important concert. Where could her talent have gone? The young Annabelle and her pianist Henri go off to find her voice in this Jeunesses Musicales of Canada production. In a second event designed for young audiences, the Pentaèdre Ensemble will present the wonderful tale of Prokofiev's beloved Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Marc Béland.

Chamber concerts include a concert of Maurice Ravel's Mother Goose and Poulenc's Sextet with pianist David Jalbert; an afternoon with Swiss pianist Andreas Haefliger performing Schumann's great Piano Quintet with OSM violinists Olivier Thouin and Marianne Dugal, violist Natalie Racine, and cellist Sylvain Murray (all OSM musicians); and a unique quartet of outstanding chamber players featuring pianist Andrei Korobeinikov, violinists Vadim Repin and Andrew Wan, violist Neal Gripp, and Israeli cellist Matt Haimovitz gives a performance of Bartók's Piano Quintet in C major.

Salle Claude-Léveillée
The 128-seat Salle Claude-Léveillée (the former Studio-théâtre) is Place des Arts' most intimate performance space, dedicated as a platform for young artists.

The series here opens with a duo-recital by two OSM Standard Life Competition winners, violinist Yolanda Bruno and pianist Isabelle David, in a program of works by Fauré, Ravel, and Debussy. Additional duo-recitals will be given by two young Canadians violinist Eva Lesage and pianist Leonid Nidiak-ages 11 and 12, respectively-in an inspiring concert with bilingual narration; and violinist Veronika Eberle and pianist Rafal Blechacz will perform works by Bach, Ysaÿe, and Mozart.

Notable piano recitals feature the 16 year-old Malaysian talent Tengku Irfan, who has already played with several Asian orchestras and performed at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. The teen-aged virtuoso will offer a program of Rachmaninoff's Sonata No. 2, two transcendental studies by Liszt, and Twelve-Tone Variations, one of his own compositions. Young pianist Karin Kei Nagano will also demonstrate her skills in a recital of Haydn, Debussy, and Chopin.

For chamber music, violinist Andrew Wan, clarinetist Todd Cope, cellist Brian Manker and pianist David Jalbert will present a concert dedicated to Brahms and Beethoven; and the Cecilia String Quartet will play a program of early works by two master composers, Dvo?ák's the Cypresses and Beethoven's first string quartet, the String Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1.

For more information and tickets, visit

About Orchestre symphonique de Montréal: Since its founding in 1934, the OSM has distinguished itself as a leader in the orchestral life of Canada and Québec. A cultural ambassador of the highest order, the OSM has demonstrated its excellence in the course of more than 40 national and international tours, including the most recent in Europe (Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Germany) in April 2014, and has produced nearly 100 recordings with some of the most prestigious labels, earning 49 national and international awards. The OSM carries on that rich tradition under the leadership of its music director, Kent Nagano, while featuring innovative programming that looks at orchestral repertoire from a different perspective and strengthening the Orchestra's connection with the community.

On September 7, 2011, the OSM, led by Kent Nagano, inaugurated its new home, the Maison symphonique de Montréal. The construction of this concert hall was made possible by the Government of Québec. The hall's acoustics and theatre design bear the signature of the firm Artec Consultants Inc. Its architecture was entrusted to a consortium consisting of Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. and Ædifica Architects.

About Montréal: A hotbed of culture and creativity, Montréal is an irresistible mix of European chic, cutting-edge culture and cool urban vibe. Duality lies at the heart of the city, which shines through in its French-English history, old and modern architecture, and traditional and avant-garde styles. Montréal is where high-tech meets haute cuisine, where sleek skyscrapers and tiny boutiques nestle together and where major international festivals are born and thrive. Of course, it's the people?more than 3.7 million citizens representing 120 cultural groups that infuse Montréal with its legendary joie de vivre, passion and warmth. From its bustling downtown to the cobbled streets of Old Montréal to its many vibrant neighborhoods, Montréal invites you to discover its endless charms!

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