The I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra is pleased to announce the concerts of its 2020-2021 season which will be held starting November 12 at St. Jax Church (formerly St. James Church). With conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni as artistic director for a 10th and final year, these concerts will certainly prove to be unmissable moments in Montreal’s cultural universe. And something new! Although the concerts will be presented before an audience as soon as public health measures permit, each of them will be broadcast live via webcast.

Like all cultural organizations, with the arrival of the pandemic, I Musici has had to cancel several of its concerts and activities. This pause has led him to reflect on how to approach music in different configurations and in new places. Thus, in the last few months, the core group of 15 musicians that make up I Musici organized the I Musici CHALLENGE for young people and offered concerts of varying geometry, ranging from duets in quartets to the ensemble, as we know it, in its entirety. These new approaches have kept the music alive and reached the public in alleys, parks, low-rent housing and long-term care centres, while maintaining its contribution to musical education and the awakening of young people to music. I Musici has thus succeeded in reaching out to its faithful while conquering new audiences.

To stop can offer beautiful gifts… This summer, I rang the doors of hundreds of houses in the city of Montreal to bring classical music to people. It was a unique experience that reminded me of the deep meaning of my profession as a musician,” said Julie Triquet, concertmaster of the I Musici Chamber Orchestra.

A 10th and final season with conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni 

For a final year as Artistic Director of the I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra and backed by multiple rave reviews, classical music lovers will have the happy opportunity to renew or discover the excellence and creativity of conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni. Now offered in the sanctuary space at St. Jax Church, located in downtown Montreal and a stone’s throw from Ogilvy’s, the concerts of the 2020-2021 season will be able to accommodate some 60 people per performance and will be broadcast in real time on a web platform in order to reach as many people as possible.

The chosen program highlights works that span more than 400 years of history! This is the perfect opportunity for all music lovers, young and old, to reconnect with masterpieces from the past and make some really interesting discoveries.” says conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni.

Programming :

Dark light

The immortal Stabat Mater of Pergolesi… and some novelties!

Thursday, November 12, 14h and 19h / Église St. Jax

“Dark, but dazzlingly clear”… the title of composer Missy Mazzoli’s work is also the summary of the concert, a survivor of the 2019-2020 season. Sombre, the deep voice of Yannick Chênevert’s double bass, featured in a concerto for this instrument that is rarely heard alone. Luminous, the celestial and aerial voices of two of the most captivating voices from here, Myriam Leblanc and Maude Brunet, in one of the most beloved works of the repertoire. Between shadow and light, we will be treated to a creation by composer Kelly-Marie Murphy, commissioned by I Musici.

Christmas Enchantment with the Meslanges Ensemble

A musical Christmas tree

Thursday, December 10, 14h and 19h / Église St. Jax

Whether or not you’ve kept your child’s soul, it’s hard to resist the magic of Christmas music! I Musici offers you the pleasure of a large-scale concert in the company of the vocal ensemble Meslanges, composed of the best lyrical chamber musicians in the metropolitan region. The warm sound of the strings is joined by the majesty of the organ and the angelic sounds of the harp. The opportunity to discover or rediscover Christmas classics from Bach to Poulenc, through Rameau and Berlioz. Like a big Christmas tree, this concert will brighten up your holiday season!

Guitar Stories…

The thousand strings of David Jacques

Thursday, February 18, 14h and 19h / Église St. Jax

Known mainly as the instrument of the cowboy and the rocker, the guitar has undergone several transformations through the ages. David Jacques, a passionate collector of antique instruments, offers us a kaleidoscopic overview of the guitar. Through a repertoire of breathtaking variety, he will go from Vivaldi to flamenco, including works from here, strumming and caressing a dozen different guitars in the process.

Feliz cumpleaños, Astor!

Piazzolla is 100 years old!

Friday, March 19, 14h and 19h / Église St. Jax

On March 11, 1921, one of the greatest Argentine composers, Astor Piazzolla, was born. A century later to the day, I Musici pays homage to the man who gave tango its letters of nobility. The brilliant  young conductor Nicolas Ellis (Révélation Radio-Canada classique 2018-19) shares the stage with the multitalented Jonathan Goldman, not only an emeritus bandoneonist, but also a musicologist specializing in Piazzola’s passionate and spirited work.

Emotions on the edge of your skin

The passionate impulses of the Slavic soul

Thursday, April 15, 14h and 19h / Église St. Jax

I Musici and his conductor visit musical places that are dear to them, including the Tchaikovsky piece that closes the concert, imbued with a poignant nostalgia. All the colors of 20th and 21st century Slavic music illuminate this program that travels through Russia, Serbia, and even Transylvania. Among the many creators rarely heard here, two composers, one of whom is from Montreal (Ana Sokolovic), offer fascinating works for an evening that combines tradition and modernity, while giving pride of place to emotion and lyricism.

From Bohemia to Havana

The universe of the Cuban chef Cosette Justo Valdés

Thursday, April 29, 14h and 19h / Église St. Jax

What do Johann Stamitz, born in Bohemia in the 18th century, and Guido López Gavilán, born in Cuba at the end of the 20th century, have in common? These two composers form the confines of the universe of Cosette Justo Valdés, a young dynamic conductor who trained at the Havana Conservatory and now heads the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. With a detour to Poland by Lutoslawski and Bohemia – again – by Josef Suk (a student of Dvořák), Cosette Justo Valdés makes her Montreal debut in a trip of contrasting colors under the suns of Europe and the Caribbean…

The reception of the public and the conduct of the concerts will be meticulously designed to ensure a safe and pleasant experience for spectators, in accordance with the directives of the Direction régionale de santé publique and CNESST. The capacity of the hall will be reduced to approximately 65 seats, with a safe space between each seat according to the rules in effect; the concerts, which last approximately one hour, are presented without intermission; the wearing of a face cover is mandatory in the building, but spectators may remove it once they are seated in their seats in the hall and the ticket exchange policy is relaxed.

This programming will be complemented by a variety of school and community activities as well as touring concerts.

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