OCM announces 21-22 season: Women of Distinction, a homage to Lotte Brott

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June 9, 2021 – The Orchestre Classique de Montréal (OCM), in its second year in residence at Salle Pierre-Mercure, is proud to announce its 82nd season: Women of Distinction. The season will pay homage to the 100th anniversary of the highly accomplished principal cellist, co-founder of the OCM and manager for over four decades, Lotte Brott

“I am thrilled to be dedicating the 2021-22 season, celebrating great women, to my mother Lotte Goetzel Brott, who was an extraordinary woman, well ahead of her time,” says Boris Brott, artistic director and principal conductor of the OCM. “As her eldest son, I know she would be thrilled that the OCM is continuing the tradition of great music to which she and my father Alexander dedicated their lives.” 

After a season of online concerts broadcast from Salle Pierre-Mercure, the OCM is looking forward to returning to this wonderful venue and to welcoming its audiences in person. For those who don’t know the hall, they will be impressed with its superb acoustics, intimate size and flawless accessibility.

2021-2022 SEASON

The OCM has become known for its eclectic and diverse programming and continues on this path with a season featuring star-studded female soloists and new works by female composers. The season, presented by the BMO Bank, will feature 11 performances, including children’s concerts. Unless otherwise mentioned, all performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. and will be conducted by Boris Brott. 

The OCM is proud to have commissioned three female composers, Barbara CroallCarmen Braden and Larysa Kuzmenko, to present world premieres. On Nov. 9, 2021, the OCM opens its season with Buechner, Barber & Beethoven featuring international pianist Sara Davis Buechner in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The famous Adagio for Strings by Barber will open the concert, and the Mahler arrangement of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 95 embellish the program. This concert will also be a fundraiser for GRIS Montréal, a non-profit organization that demystifies sexual orientation and gender identity. 

On Nov. 23, 2021, the OCM presents Tales and Melodies featuring Barbara Croall in a premiere of her own concerto for pipigwan (Anishnaabe wooden flute), Gwekaanmat, while mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne will be featured in a new arrangement by François Vallières of Ravel’s Shéhérazade. She will also perform, with pianist Jean-Philippe Sylvestre, Ravel’s Cinq melodies populaires grecques

On Dec. 7, 2021, OCM’s annual and popular performance of Handel’s Messiah returns to the Oratoire St-Joseph with a wonderful quartet of soloists: Jacqueline Woodley, soprano, Marie-Andrée Mathieu, mezzo, Antoine Bélanger, tenor, and Neil Craighead, bass-baritone. Les Rugissants, directed by Xavier Brossard-Ménard, will shine in Handel’s famous choruses.

On Feb. 15, 2022, the OCM presents Echoes of the Steppes, a program of Slavic composers including Melodiya by Myroslav Skoryk, a premiere by Canadian-Ukrainian composer Larysa Kuzmenko called Kurelek’s Gallery, and Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings. Pianist Serhiy Salov with trumpet player Karen Donnelly will perform Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.1 Op. 35

Bizet’s famous opera Carmen will be presented in an abridged version the OCM is calling Carmen For Four. Two staged performances will take place: March 8 and 9, 2022, directed by Centaur Theatre’s artistic director Eda Holmes. Carmen will be played by mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, with Ernesto Ramirez as Don José, Suzanne Taffot as Micaëla and Hugo Laporte as Escamillo. 

On April 28, 2022, renowned Montreal soprano Karina Gauvin will be the star of OCM’s Forever Handel concert featuring arias and works by G. F. Handel. This concert will be a co-production with Ensemble Caprice and will be co-conducted by Boris Brott and Matthias Maute.

The penultimate concert of the season, on May 17th, 2022 will be called Grandes Québécoises. It will feature harpist Valérie Milhot, pianist Élizabeth Pion, guitarist Annie Labrie, and flutist Nadia LabrieBoris Brott and Geneviève Leclair will co-conduct this concert featuring Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp K. 299, Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D major and Patrick Roux’s Concerto Tradicionuevo. A new work for string orchestra, dedicated to Lotte Brott and written by Carmen Braden, entitled She rides her bike with a cello on her back and a baby in the basket, will be premiered.

A larger symphonic concert will end the season at the Maison Symphonique on May 27, 2022. Details will be announced at a later date. 

HONOURING GREAT WOMEN OF QUEBEC

Along with presenting amazing female performers and composers, the OCM will also honour one highly accomplished woman outside the music field at each of its performances. Here is the list of very distinguished women to be honoured at the start of each performance (see biographies below):

  • November 9, 2021: Marie Houzeau
  • November 23, 2021: Joséphine Bacon
  • December 7, 2021: Suzanne Fortier
  • February 15, 2022: Marlene Jennings
  • March 8, 2022: Danièle Henkel
  • April 28, 2022: Monique Bégin
  • May 17, 2022: Pauline Marois

Celebrating the exceptional contributions of women across many dimensions of Quebec life is an initiative that is very dear to my heart. I am proud and delighted that our organisation will be honouring this diverse group of highly accomplished women next season.” says Deborah Corber, OCM board chair. 

MUSIC FOR EVERYONE

For a third year in a row, the OCM continues its outreach initiative Music For Everyone, which has the goal of making its performances accessible to all. This initiative has already touched the lives of over 1,000 new immigrants, hundreds of senior citizens and disadvantaged community members. The OCM will continue expanding this initiative by working with several new immigrant organizations, hospitals and retirement centers. Classical music truly IS for everyone! 

YOUTH AND EDUCATION

Every year, the OCM presents youth concerts bringing classical music to thousands of children between the ages of 5 and 12. This past year, the featured digital presentation was a film version of Beethoven & the Bully which reached over 5,000 children. Next year, children will be delighted by a co-production between the OCM and Jeunesses Musicales called Opera Candy: The Gourmet Adventure of Hansel & Gretel, directed by Alain Gauthier. 

TICKETS

Ticket sales for this upcoming season will be announced at the end of summer or early fall at the very latest. Given the pandemic and the ever-changing health regulations, the OCM needs to wait a bit longer before having a clearer picture of seat allocation so as to assure everyone’s safety. Stay tuned for more details.

orchestre.ca

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