Louise and Sophie Desmarais provide unprecedented financial support for the artistic vision of the Orchestre Métropolitain

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Montreal, September 30, 2021 – Just hours before its season-opener concert, the Orchestre Métropolitain (OM) has received a donation of an unprecedented generosity from Louise and Sophie Desmarais. Donating a total of $2.5 million over 10 years to support the vision of the Orchestre and its conductor, they have become Artistic Development Patrons of the OM.

For both donors, giving the OM the means to realize its ambitions is an act as natural as it is deliberated. “Art and music have always had the power to bring people together,” explain Louise and Sophie Desmarais. “They are essential to the well-being of the community. It was with great emotion that we decided to support the artistic development efforts led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a key figure in Montreal’s cultural life. For us, the impact of his leadership in music and business along with his attachment to local musicians were motivating factors in this philanthropic process. Music lets the soul take flight and gives us the freedom to be carried away and experience emotions. Continuing to help give wings to the creativity of the OM’s conductor and musicians is a way of looking to the future with hope and of supporting the aspirations of music and the promotion of local talent.”

Artistic freedom at the service of the community

The OM has been thinking big when it comes to its artistic future. Two years ago, in September 2019, the Orchestre and its conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin made a lifetime commitment to each other, an act almost without precedent in the world of classical music. For the internationally renowned conductor, such a commitment offered a rare opportunity to realize an artistic vision, raise the ensemble’s profile on the world stage and have a significant impact on Montreal’s cultural life.

Today’s equally historic announcement expands the range of possibilities for continuing to grow and boost a major local orchestra that is a source of pride for Montrealers. “Creative freedom is one of the most valuable things you can give an artist,” says Mr. Nézet-Séguin, the Orchestre Métropolitain’s artistic director and principal conductor. “This support fills me with joy and brings a new burst of energy to developing, in collaboration with the musicians, large-scale projects and inspiring concerts with great artists.”

At a time when individuals and industries face so many challenges, it is all the more important to support what brings us together. “The pandemic has confirmed how crucial a role the OM plays in the cultural space,” notes Jean R. Dupré, President and CEO, Orchestre Métropolitain. “This major donation ensures the Orchestre will be able to continue innovating, to continue breaking down social isolation and rallying a community put to the test in recent months. This unifying, humanistic role will also extend to the international stage, of that you can be sure. We want to offer our heartfelt thanks to Louise and Sophie Desmarais for this unprecedented financial support.”

Opening concert

The donation arrives as the OM’s 2021-2022 season is about to begin. Joined by world-famous pianist Hélène Grimaud on Thursday, September 30, at 7:30 p.m., the OM will perform Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major. The program will continue with the Symphony No. 1 of African-American composer Florence Price and include Eko-Bmijwang, a work by Anishinaabe First Nations composer Barbara Assiginaak.

For complete details of the 2021-2022 season: orchestremetropolitain.com

To learn more about the doings of Yannick Nézet-Séguin: www.yannicknezetseguin.com

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter @LeMetropolitain and Instagram @orchestre_metropolitain.

About the Orchestre Métropolitain

One of Quebec’s leading cultural ambassador for 40 years now, the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal promotes symphonic music by forming a unique bond with the public. For more than two decades, the OM has grown under the artistic direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The exceptional collaborative relationship the Montreal conductor has developed with his musicians has given birth to many musical projects inspired by his vision, all deeply anchored in the values of closeness, boldness and authenticity. The OM enjoys an enviable international reputation and is proud to showcase Quebec talent through its concerts at the Maison symphonique de Montréal, webcasts, award-winning recordings (ATMA, Deutsche Grammophon) and community projects, in addition to its many artistic collaborations.

About Yannick Nézet-Séguin

In September 2018, Yannick Nézet-Séguin became the third music director of the Metropolitan Opera of New York. Music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012 and of the Orchestre Métropolitain since 2000, he is Honorary Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, which he helmed from 2008 to 2018. He is also an Honorary Member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Yannick works with several leading orchestras and maintains close ties with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Munich) and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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