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Montreal, May 2, 2019 — The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Music Director Kent Nagano, and the spokesperson for the 2019 OSM’S summer season André Robitaille unveil the Orchestra’s summer programming and invite music lovers of all ages to come out and enjoy the 8th edition of the OSM Classical Spree. From Wednesday, August 7 to Sunday, August 11, 31 concerts — 11 of which will be conducted by Maestro Nagano— as well as a multitude of free performances and activities will be offered at the Maison symphonique, in the different halls of Place des Arts, at Complexe Desjardins, and out in the open on Sainte-Catherine Street. The Spree’s kick-off event will take place outdoors, on the Esplanade at the Olympic Park, a large-scale free concert for the whole family, on August 7 at 8 p.m.

The great tradition of Montreal summer festivals is unique in the world. Our city’s truly special seasonal atmosphere perfectly reflects the “DNA” of Montrealer’s spirit ; for in summer we celebrate zest for life, conviviality, and warmth after a long winter. The Classical Spree is an integral part of this festive tradition, providing the opportunity to welcome back “old friends,”— world-famous soloists, composers of the great repertoire — in a wholly different context than usual.

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The Classical Spree’s range of different musical genres mirrors the diversity of Montreal’s soundscape and its public. While maintaining our wonderful classical music offerings, this year we have broadened our artistic programming to include different realms: Indian, jazz, and Canadian Indigenous music. It is with great enthusiasm that my musician colleagues from the Orchestra, our guest artists, and I invite you to join us in celebrating music and summer!”— Kent Nagano, Music Director of the OSM.


The OSM invites you to the 8th edition of its Classical Spree in the perfect summer setting for festivities and gatherings. This one-of-a-kind festival in North America features 31 indoor concerts in addition to a multitude of free activities! Each concert’s maximum duration of 45 minutes and its ticket prices starting at only $10, are factors to encourage one and all to come out and experience classical music differently.
Masterful performers of all generations will dazzle you with symphonic concerts, chamber performances and recitals, and to broaden everyone’s horizons of musical discovery, concerts of Indian classical music and interpretations by Indigenous artists.

“I am proud and delighted once again to serve as spokesperson for the summer season. With the OSM, summertime means beauty, accessibility, and discovery, so take full advantage of it! Individuals, families, friends, come enjoy the 8th Classical Spree, a fantastic musical marathon with a great variety of affordable concerts and various activities, without forgetting the spectacular opening concert at the Olympic Park. In concert halls or under the stars, it’s a renewed promise of unforgettable, rallying moments. I can’t wait to see you there in great numbers!”— André Robitaille, spokesperson for the OSM’s 2019 summer season.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7—8 P.M. Under the direction of Kent Nagano, a massed choir and the orchestra are joined by four soloists including Leslie Ann Bradley and Mario Bahg, to launch the 8th edition of the Classical Spree a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. The great opera composer gives this work a theatrical dimension: profound vocal lyricism, powerful choruses and orchestra, and the famous Dies Irae with its striking effect. Join the OSM and 500 choristers at the Olympic Park to experience this special, highly charged and powerfully emotional moment.


On the programme at the Maison symphonique, the concert LEGEND AND POETRY WITH MARC HERVIEUX AND KENT NAGANO will feature the celebrated Montreal tenor perform Britten’s song cycle Illuminations, setting to music the poetry of Rimbaud.

Also, THE ROMANTICISM OF VADIM REPIN will showcase the dazzling virtuosity and lyrical approach of this renowned Russian violinist in a performance of Bruch’s Violin Concerto no. 1. This concerto has become so famous as to virtually eclipse the German composer’s other works! Much to the delight of festivalgoers, THE INCOMPARABLE CANADIAN BRASS, which boasts more than two million albums sold, returns to share their passion for brass with bravura and humour. Another concert, THE PHANTASMAGORICAL NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN features Latvian violinist Baiba Skride for her Montreal debut, where she demonstrates her exceptional talent in a performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 3.

Also at the Maison symphonique, the closing concert titled VIVALDI DELIRIUM! features works by this composer of the iconic Four Seasons. Audiences can discover unheard-of versions of these works on unusual instruments such as the octobass, the marimba and the cimbalom : an array of fabulous artists at this concert !

Finally, the Piano Nobile of the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier will host the recital OPERA SOIREE, with soloists Leslie Ann Bradley (soprano, photo) and winner in 2018 of the Montreal International Musical Competition (MIMC), Mario Bahg (tenor), who will deliver various grand arias and opera duets. They will be accompanied at the piano by Marie-Ève Scarfone.


Festivalgoers will get the opportunity to appreciate the talents of the OSM’s artists-in-residence, featured in various symphonic concerts, chamber music performances, and recitals. The Classical Spree is a golden opportunity to hear the renowned violinists Vadim Repin (photo), Baiba Skride (photo), and Blake Pouliot (photo), as well as pianist Herbert Schuch (photo).

TEWEIKAN, SITAR, AND THEORBO The festival offers an opportunity to explore different music from around the world and to enjoy performances by Indigenous artists, works of Indian classical music, as well as music from 17th-century Italy! First up, a celebration to the eternal heartbeat of the Teweikan, an Indigenous genre, where Florent Vollant welcomes to the stage one bright young stars of our current Indigenous renaissance, multi-disciplinary Metis artist Moe Clark. Together with an intimate ensemble of the OSM musicians, this concert explores diverse musical heritages with MAKUSHAM! FLORENT VOLLANT.

Next, in CLASSICAL MUSIC OF INDIA: “MORNING MUSIC” Nishat Khan, virtuoso sitar player and heir to one of the most distinguished North Indian musical traditions, will give two concerts where each one features a raga, specifically conceived to awaken and reflect resonances proper to those moments. Finally, tireless explorer Sylvain Bergeron—critically acclaimed for his musical intelligence and remarkable technique—will guide audiences on a journey across Italy in the 17th century in THEORBO AND GUITAR IN THE BAROQUE ERA. Performing on both these instruments, he will deliver some of the finest gems by Piccinini, Granata, and Pellegrini!


At 5e salle, PLAY A STORY WITH SOPHIE CADIEUX!, an interactive concert featuring a musically illustrated story, with works chosen by the public. Also Saturday, at Piano Nobile, join the RECORDERS ON THE RUN! for a lap around the track that will take your breath away. From the sopranino to the great bass, these musicians use different types of recorders to showcase an array of music. They can do it all!


PLACE DES ARTS and its public spaces turn into the prime venue for learning more about music and musicians. Enjoy an abundance of options and varied programming, all designed to inspire the artist in you :

  • Free concerts
  • Talks with Classical Spree artists
  • Film screenings at the Théâtre Maisonneuve
  • Virtual reality demonstrations at Espace OSM
  • Musical awakening activities with educators from La musique aux enfants programme

For a weekend, COMPLEXE DESJARDINS morphs into a veritable concert hall! Catch performances by emerging ensembles and by the Classical Spree Symphony, made up of Quebec musicians from all walks of life. To be part of it, the auditions are open now until June 2. The details can be found on the website of the Fédération des harmonies et orchestres symphoniques du Québec.

The Classical Spree takes to the streets! Experience music in new and extraordinary ways, right on SAINTE-CATHERINE STREET: Enjoy these participative activities to get you moving to the rhythm of the festival:

  • Immersive yoga sessions with musical performance
  • Bhangra workshop, dance from India’s Punjab region
  • Percussion workshops

Summer would not be complete without the OSM’s beloved outdoor concerts! On July 23, 24, and 25, music lovers are invited to join host André Robitaille in attending three major free concerts in the parks. The Orchestra, conducted by Adam Johnson, will perform works of Argentina, Hungary, Russia, and Turkey’s colors, among others. The guest soloist this year is Canadian violinist Kerson Leong (photo), winner of the 1st Prize in the 17 and under category of the 2013 OSM Competition!  July 23 : WILFRID-BASTIEN PARK, SAINT-LEONARD, MONTREAL  July 24 : BLAINVILLE EQUESTRIAN PARK, BLAINVILLE  July 25 : SORBONNE PARK, BROSSARD

I believe that the OSM’s outdoor programming in the parks is an absolute must for all music lovers in Montreal. These concerts do much to bring the magical and intoxicating waves of musical energy to the summer cityscape, resounding through the streets during the summer, something that makes the warm season so special in the hearts of Montrealers. ”— Claude Gagnon, President, Operations, BMO Financial Group, Quebec

Presale for OSM subscribers on now and for newsletter subscriber as of May 3 at noon TICKETS AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC AS OF SATURDAY, MAY 4 For programme details or to purchase tickets: OSM.CA/514 842-9951 or 1 888 842-9951

THE OSM THANKS ITS PARTNERS: The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal wishes thank its public partners : the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine, the ministère du Tourisme du Québec, Canadian Heritage, the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the City of Montreal which contribute to the realization of its summer activities. Presenting sponsor of the OSM: Hydro-Québec Presenting sponsor of OSM in the Parks: SiriusXM Collaborator of OSM in the Parks: BMO Host of the Classical Spree: Place des Arts Privileged partner: Complexe Desjardins Associate partner: Tourisme Montréal Venue sponsors: Domtar, Yamaha Music Canada, Twigg Musique Volvo Presenting partner and collaborator of the concerts at the Maison symphonique : Domtar and ICI MUSIQUE (Opening concert only) Suppliers: Solotech, ESKA Artistic partners : Alliance chorale du Québec, BAnQ Grande Bibliothèque, Fondation de la Place des Arts, Fédération des harmonies et des orchestres symphoniques du Québec, Office national du film, Festival Présence autochtone, YogaTribes Media partners : CISM 89,3, ICI MUSIQUE, Ludwig van Montréal, Medici.tv Public partners: Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Canada Council for the Arts, Gouvernement du Québec

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