The Orchestre classique de Montréal, under Artistic Director Boris Brott, is spearheading the commissioning of long-time OCM collaborator Maxime Goulet, who will compose his first symphonic work: the Ice Storm Symphony.

Five North American orchestras are joining forces to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Great Ice Storm of 1998 with this new Québec composition. Celebrated for his inventive works such as Symphonic Chocolates and the Micro Météo song cycle, Goulet will create a moving musical portrait of the storm, one of the worst natural disasters in the province’s history.

The symphony will evoke various aspects of the ice storm, conjuring up its most striking and memorable moments. It will also serve to raise awareness of our vital ecosystem and the fragility of our environment. At the same time, the piece will deliver a message of hope, paying tribute to the empathy, generosity and heroism of the Québec people as they came together in the midst of this life‑changing event.

Five orchestras are uniting to co-commission this new work, echoing the spirit of solidarity that carried us through those dark days in 1998. All five ensembles will perform the symphony, in part or in full. The Orchestre symphonique de Laval will debut the second movement in the winter of 2021, Houston’s ROCO will premiere the first movement in the fall of 2021, the Orchestre classique de Montréal will officially debut the entire work in the spring of 2023, and the Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke and the Orchestre symphonique de Trois‑Rivières will perform the complete symphony as part of their respective 2023‑2024 seasons.

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