80th Anniversary Season
Boris Brott, Artistic Director | Taras Kulish, Executive Director
2019-2020 Season Highlights
Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, Soprano Aline Kutan, Poulenc Organ Concerto, Italian pianist Giuseppe Guarrera, Handel’s Messiah & Much More!
For Immediate Release, April 24, 2019, Montreal, Quebec …. In anticipation of its 80th anniversary season (2019-2020), the McGill Chamber Orchestra is to be rebranded Orchestre classique de Montréal or OCM, as announced today by Artistic Director Boris Brott and Executive Director Taras Kulish. The celebratory launch event took place at the headquarters of BMO Bank of Montreal, the orchestra’s presenting sponsor, with the orchestra’s friends and subscribers in attendance.
Founded in 1939 by violinist, conductor, and composer Alexander Brott and his wife Lotte Brott, the McGill Chamber Orchestra quickly became one of Canada’s most established chamber orchestras, touring to five continents, recording extensively, and appearing regularly on radio and television. Now led by Boris Brott, OC, OQ, the elder son of Alexander and one of Canada’s most internationally renowned conductors, the MCO is a vibrant, innovative, and flexible ensemble consisting of the city’s best professional musicians, which presents concerts throughout the year in the finest halls of Montreal.
“My parents founded this orchestra with the highest musical standards as well as a desire to grow and educate
audiences, and to champion Canadian music and artists,” comments Brott, “Our current musicians form an
outstanding ensemble, including our recently-named concertmaster Marc Djokic. It continues to be a privilege
to carry on the legacy of this wonderful ensemble of musicians and we look forward to this new era as the
Orchestre classique de Montréal.” Maestro Brott first joined the orchestra as Associate Conductor in 1989 and
was appointed co-conductor in 2000. Upon the death of his father in 2005, he was appointed Artistic Director of
Executive Director Taras Kulish comments, “While the orchestra was founded by Alexander Brott and his
colleagues at the McGill Conservatory, our new name better reflects our identity as a professional orchestra
performing in various parts of Montreal, often in collaboration with other Montreal arts organizations. In recent
seasons, we have worked to extend our reach to inspire young audiences and also to welcome new Montrealers
to our events. The orchestra will mostly remain as a chamber ensemble however it will expand into a larger
ensemble for various concerts and collaborations as it has in the past. Our new name will more clearly define
who we are while continuing to maintain our welcoming and approachable atmosphere for both new and
Since its founding, many of the world’s greatest artists have appeared as soloists with the orchestra. At the same
time, the McGill Chamber Orchestra has championed many up and coming artists from closer to home – including offering Quebec star Stéphane Tétrault his orchestral debut back in 2007. The OCM has also built a strong reputation of championing and creating a new repertoire of orchestral music by Canadian and Quebec composers, predating the existence of the arts councils. These new works include such composers as Pierre
Mercure, Jean Vallerand, Claude Champagne, Maxime Goulet, Nicole Lizée, François Morel and of course
Alexander Brott. Artistic Director Boris Brott plans to continue to develop this tradition with the Orchestre
classique de Montréal.
“It is a joy for me to share our orchestra’s passion, tone and excellence, the hallmarks of our magnificent OCM,
on our 80th anniversary” comments Boris Brott, “We mark this milestone by bringing you a remarkable season
featuring superb Quebec and international soloists, and partnerships with the best of the best of Montreal arts
organizations. We celebrate our new name but continue our long tradition of performances with energy,
elegance and a commitment to excellence, where everyone is made to feel welcome!”
Fulfilling its mission of celebrating inclusivity and diversity, the OCM has created a new program called Culture
for Everyone. This program allows us the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with new immigrant
communities, women’s shelters, and other Montreal organizations in offering complimentary tickets to all our
performances. We have also reduced our student ticket prices to only $10 for the majority of our concerts. The
OCM wants the magic of music to be accessible to everyone.
NEW! Concerts take place Sunday afternoons at 3:00 pm*
*With the exception of September 15
Sunday, September 15 at 7:30 pm
COLOURS OF THE DIASPORA
Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue
The OCM joins forces with the historic Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue of Montreal, the oldest Jewish
congregation in Canada, for an evening of music from across the Diaspora. Up-and-coming Israeli cellist
Shulamit Sarid is soloist for Bruch’s poignant Kol Nidrei, part of a diverse evening including an excerpt from
Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition – “Goldenberg and Schmuyle,” based on portraits of two Jewish men
– and the suite from Bernstein’s West Side Story. The evening also features Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin
and String Orchestra in D minor, with OCM concertmaster Marc Djokic as soloist. (Please note the 7:30 pm
Monday, September 23 at 6:00 pm
ANNUAL BENEFIT GALA IN TRIBUTE TO JOSEPH ROULEAU
This fall, the OCM’s annual Gala will be a tribute to the incomparable Joseph Rouleau, who recently
celebrated his 90th birthday. We will honour the former opera star, beloved in Quebec as a fierce champion
of the arts, with an opera soirée featuring some of his favourite singers, including soprano Marianne Fiset,
baritone Étienne Dupuis, and tenor Antonio Figueroa. The master of ceremony will be, former Radio-Canada
host, Marie-Claude Lavallée. Proceeds from this event go to OCM’s education and mentorship programs.
Sunday, October 6 at 3:00 pm
ART OF THE ORGAN
Maison symphonique de Montréal
In collaboration with the Canadian International Organ Festival
The new season resounds with the brilliant sounds of the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique of the Maison
symphonique de Montréal. Acclaimed organist Jean-Willy Kunz performs a concerto by Handel, and organist
Alcee Chriss is soloist for the magnificent organ concerto by Poulenc. The Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue
Choir and Cantor Gideon Zelermyer, under the direction of Roï Azoulay, will perform a selection of beautiful
High-Holiday repertoire with strings and organ. Montreal composer Maxime Goulet’s Présentation
concertante opens the concert, presenting each of the OCM’s superb musicians in turn.
Sunday, November 3 at 3:00 pm
Salle Pierre Mercure
The OCM joins forces with the Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal for a performance of Vivaldi’s joyous Gloria.
The varied Sunday afternoon concert also features the Bach-Busoni Piano Concerto in D minor, with pianist
Anne-Marie Dubois, and Canadian composer Vania Angelova’s dramatic Pagan Dance on Burning Coals.
Sunday, December 8 at 3:00 pm
Crypt Church, Oratoire St Joseph
In collaboration with the Oratoire St Joseph du Mont-Royal.
Hallelujah! Handel’s beloved masterpiece returns, in the Crypt Church of the Saint Joseph’s Oratory. The
outstanding array of soloists including soprano Aline Kutan, mezzo-soprano Annamaria Popescu, tenor
Zachary Rioux, and baritone Gregory Dahl. A multitude of joyous voices, including Les Chantres Musiciens,
Les Filles de l’Île, and the OCM choir join the orchestra to proclaim the start of the holiday season.
Sunday February 16 at 3:00 pm
AN AFTERNOON IN VIENNA
Victoria Hall in Westmount
In collaboration with the City of Westmount, Noncerto, and the Austrian Society of Montreal.
Experience the glory and elegance of 19th-century Vienna in this sumptuous afternoon of music by Johann Strauss Jr. and Franz Léhar. The brilliant soprano Aline Kutan also joins the orchestra to perform delightful
operetta arias of the day.
Sunday March 8 at 3:00 pm
ALL THAT JAZZ
Oscar Peterson Hall
Join us for a swinging afternoon of jazz standards and Broadway favourites with virtuoso jazz pianist Matt
Herskowitz and soprano Sharon Azrieli, including music by Kurt Weill, Michel Legrand, Gershwin and
Sondheim. Also on the programme, Montreal composer Airat Ichmouratov’s One day of an almost ordinary
life for klezmer clarinet and string orchestra, with the superb clarinettist André Moison.
Sunday May 24 at 3:00 pm
BEETHOVEN & BROTT
In collaboration with Concours Musical International de Montréal.
Italian pianist Giuseppe Guarrera won the hearts of Montrealers in 2017, when he took the People’s Choice
Award at The Montréal International Music Competition, as well as the 2nd prize. The Sicilian-born Guarrera
joins the orchestra for an exhilarating afternoon of music by Beethoven and Alexander Brott.
Sunday June 7 at 3:00 pm
ODE TO JOY
Maison symphonique de Montréal
As part of Festival Classica
The OCM closes its 80th anniversary season with Beethoven’s iconic 9th Symphony, Ode to Joy! featuring over
200 performers including Choeur de Laval, Société chorale de St-Lambert, and Les filles de l’Île. Soloists include
Chelsea Rus, soprano; Florence Bourget, mezzo-soprano; Steeve Michaud, tenor; and Nathan Keoughan, bass-baritone. This celebratory concert, dedicated to Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, includes the overture to Fidelio and Paraphrase in Polyphony by Alexander Brott, based on a theme by Beethoven.
TICKETS: $10 – $72 | Available online at orchestre.ca or by phone at 514-487-5190 The OCM is grateful for the continuing support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Canada, its Presenting Sponsor,
BMO, and all of its donors and sponsors.