The Orchestre Métropolitain unveils its 2021-2022 season: Closer than ever

The Orchestre Métropolitain and its artistic director and principal conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin have announced the details of their 2021-2022 season. After the long waits and uncertainty of last year, the musicians and their conductor look forward to reconnecting with the public in the intimate setting of the Maison symphonique and to celebrating the 40th anniversary of the OM’s founding.

“After 40 years, our orchestra is more united than ever. We know each other by heart. We move as one to the beat of each passage we perform, to the sound of each chord we strike. Over time, we have become ever closer and more interconnected. I encourage you to experience this intimate relationship that I’ve cherished for more than 20 years, this special union that brings us comfort and lets us look to the future with confidence. We’re eager to see you back at the concert hall, to feel close to you again.” –Yannick Nézet-Séguin

The OM is renewing its pledge to build bridges and bring unforgettable concerts to audiences in the concert hall and, through webcasts, at home.

Twelve concert programs, six conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Yannick Nézet-Séguin is taking part in half of the programs to be performed. He kicks off the 2021-2022 season on Thursday, September 30, when internationally renowned pianist Hélène Grimaud joins the Orchestre to perform Ravel’s Piano Concert in G Major.

Five of the season’s six guest conductors are women. The Orchestre will welcome female conductors Erina Yashima, JoAnn Falletta, Speranza Scappucci, Jane Glover and, for her first Montreal concert on the podium, Nathalie Stutzmann. They join a long tradition at the OM, following in the footsteps of Agnès Grossman, its first female permanent conductor, and concertmasters Denise Lupien and now Yukari Cousineau, who have brought strength and precision to the Orchestre.

The OM will also spotlight works by women composers unjustly neglected by history. These include Florence Price (Symphony No. 1), Louise Farrenc (Symphony No. 3) and Lili Boulanger (D’un matin de printemps). With a talent for melody reminiscent of Mozart’s, the Chevalier de Saint-George, a composer who was also the son of a French nobleman and a Guadalupian slave, places the strings front and centre in his sparkling Symphony No. 1. Audiences will also be able to explore the fascinating universes of female composers of our time, such as Barbara Assiginaak (Eko-Bmijwang, As long in time as the river flows), Jessie Montgomery (Strum) and Paola Prestini (Barcarola). 

For the fourth year running, conductor Nicolas Ellis will be the Orchestre’s artistic partner. He will also conduct a concert program that combines Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and Nielsen’s Violin Concerto, the latter with Yukari Cousineau, the OM’s concertmaster.

Remarkable solists

The Orchestre Métropolitain will welcome Nicholas Angelich, this season’s soloist in resident, on two occasions. The pianist will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 and Rachmaninoff’s first two piano concertos, bringing to a close the cycle of the Russian composer’s concertos begun in the fall of 2018. Canadian artists Kerson Leong and Stéphane Tétreault will shine in Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra. Audiences will also savour the soulful playing of Miloš, one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, in Ink Dark Moon by British composer Joby Talbot.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the OM continue their Sibelius symphony cycle with the Finnish composer’s Symphony No. 4. They will also perform Promenade, a commission from Quebec composer Isabelle Panneton. The two works will be paired with the sweeping romantic fresco that is André Mathieu’s Concerto de Québec performed by the brilliant pianist Jean-Philippe Sylvestre, who will give voice to a great local composer.

Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka will deliver a rare performance of Alma Mahler’s Seven Lieder, while Daniel Lozakovich, one of the youngest musicians ever to sign with the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label, will take flight in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2.

Violist Elvira Misbakhova and clarinetist Simon Aldrich will step forward from the Orchestre to reveal their talent as soloists in Max Bruch’s Concerto for Clarinet, Viola and Orchestra. Lastly, the Chœur Métropolitain will join the Orchestre for a performance of Brahms’ German Requiem, a universal work that takes a moving yet serene look at the inevitability of death.

Experience the music in the hall… and at home

All Orchestre Métropolitain activities at the Maison symphonique de Montréal are carried out in full compliance with the Quebec government’s public health guidelines.

Five of the 12 programs performed by the OM will be filmed and made available as webcasts: Hélène Grimaud and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Leong and Tétreault: Shimmering Strings; A Nordic Tale; Brahms: A German Requiem; and Nicholas Angelich & Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Program 2.

Complete details of these virtual concert experiences will be announced in early September.

All concerts to be performed as part of the Conseil des arts de Montréal on Tour program have been cancelled.

Subscription and single ticket sales

Beginning August 25, 2019-2020 season subscribers and the general public can subscribe to the 2021-2022 season. Subscriptions include a minimum of four concerts.

Effective Wednesday, September 8, members of the public can buy single tickets for the three first concert, ‘Hélène Grimaud & Yannick Nézet-Séguin’ concert to be performed on Thursday, September 30, ‘Yannick Nézet-Séguin: Romantic Treasures, to be performed on Friday, October 29, 7:30 p.m. and ‘Leong and Tétreault: Shimmering Strings’ to be performed on Tuesday, November 30, 7:30 p.m.

Single tickets for the other concert programs will go on sale later this fall.

For complete details about the 2020-2021 season: www.orchestremetropolitain.com
To learn more about the doings of Yannick Nézet-Séguin: www.yannicknezetseguin.com 
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter @LeMetropolitain and Instagram @orchestre_metropolitain.

COMPLETE CONCERT SCHEDULE – 2021-2022 SEASON

Hélène Grimaud and Yannick Nézet-Séguin
(Season opener)

Barbara ASSIGINAAK: Eko-Bmijwang (As long in time as the river flows)
RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G Major
Florence PRICE: Symphony No. 1

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Hélène Grimaud, piano

Masterful piano playing and poetic intensity come together to create the ultimate emotional experience in Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major. Performed by internationally renowned pianist Hélène Grimaud and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, this piece by the legendary French composer is transcendent.

Dive into a dreamy orchestral memoire with Anishinaabekwe composer Barbara Assiginaak’s piece Eko-Bmijwang – As Long in Time as the River Flows. Floating on calm waters illuminated by Nokomis, Grandmother Moon, the audience takes a journey down the river to where the current changes course. Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1 blends genres, showcasing African-American spirituals, hymns and dances, while working within the mold of the classical symphony.

Thursday, September 30, 7:30 p.m.
Maison symphonique de Montréal

Also available as a webcast

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin: Romantic Treasures

SCHUMANN: Manfred, Overture
BRUCH: Concerto for Clarinet and Viola
Louise FARRENC: Symphony No. 3

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Simon Aldrich, clarinet
Elvira Misbakhova, viola

The only woman to teach at the Conservatoire de Paris in the 19th century, Louise Farrenc was a masterful composer and heir to Beethoven. Under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the OM’s explosive performance of the Symphony No. 3 bolsters Farrenc’s legacy as a noteworthy composer.

OM violist Elvira Misbakhova and clarinetist Simon Aldrich take centre stage, performing show-stopping solos in Max Bruch’s Concerto for Clarinet and Viola. The instruments’ timbres come together beautifully, enchanting the audience from the first notes to the magnificent final coda. The program opens with the overture to Robert Schumann’s Manfred, which sets a Lord Byron poem to music with strikingly poignant emotions and Romantic passion.

Friday, October 29, 7:30 p.m.
Maison symphonique de Montréal

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Leong and Tétreault: Shimmering Strings

Jessie MONTGOMERY: Strum
BRAHMS: Double Concerto
DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 5

Erina Yashima, conductor
Kerson Leong, violin
Stéphane Tétreault, cello

With Kerson Leong and Stéphane Tétreault, Brahms’s Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra presents a Romantic vision of the concerto grosso. With its powerful melodies and intricately woven construction, the piece charms and stuns, time and again.

Under the baton of German conductor Erina Yashima, Dvořák’s luminously orchestrated Symphony No. 5 reveals the mature side of the composer better known for his “New World” Symphony. With the first movement’s captivating melodies and the last movement’s poignant drama, it has an impact on everyone who hears it. Though she is only in her early forties, American composer and violinist Jessie Montgomery is at the peak of her craft. Her piece Strum, inspired by popular American folk melodies, leads the listener from nostalgia to pure delight.

Tuesday, November 30, 7:30 p.m.
Maison symphonique de Montréal

Also available as a webcast

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Miloš et JoAnn Falletta: An Invitation to Dance

KODÁLY: Dances of Galánta
Joby TALBOT: Ink Dark Moon
RACHMANINOFF: Symphonic Dances

JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Miloš, guitar

Take in the virtuosity and warm sound of Miloš, one of the greatest guitarists of his generation, in his performance of British composer Joby Talbot’s Ink Dark Moon. With its contemplative charm, Balkan-inspired dance rhythms and movie-music orchestration, Miloš’s guitar tells quite the story.

Featuring lively rhythms, Hungarian folk melodies and brilliant orchestration, Kodály’s Dances of Galánta takes the audience on a journey through time to the heart of the rustic, pre-industrial village of Galánta. On the podium, internationally renowned conductor JoAnn Falletta will also be leading Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, the composer’s swan song. At once powerful and ethereal, the piece was written by the Russian composer while he was in exile.

Friday, January 28, 7:30 p.m.
Maison symphonique de Montréal

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A Nordic Tale

Isabelle PANNETON: Promenade
MATHIEU: Concerto de Québec
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 4

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Jean-Philippe Sylvestre, piano

The great Romantic-style musical fresco Concerto de Québec, written by local composer André Mathieu, is a piece that demands virtuosity. Yannick Nézet-Séguin will also conduct Isabelle Panneton’s Promenade, a piece commissioned by the Orchestre Métropolitain, showcasing the Quebec composer’s refined harmonic style.

Can one find the sublime at the heights of despair? Sibelius’s Symphony No. 4—gloomy and dominated by the tritone, an interval suggestive of evil spirits—masterfully expresses human emotions like fear, rage and doubt in a way that words cannot. With this performance, the OM continues its cycle of the Finnish composer’s seven symphonies.

Friday, February 11, 7:30 p.m.
Maison symphonique de Montréal

Also available as a webcast

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Nielsen and Bartók: Two Concertos

NIELSEN: Violin Concerto
BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

Nicolas Ellis, conductor and artistic partner
Yukari Cousineau, violin

A beautiful, charming melody performed by Yukari Cousineau on violin? Irresistible! And that’s what Nielsen’s Violin Concerto has to offer: simplicity, joy and intoxicating melodies. Each of the piece’s two movements begins like a trance, troublingly slow and meditative, before quickly taking off in an explosion of brilliance.

What’s a concerto without a soloist? For Béla Bartók, the answer is in his Concerto for Orchestra, which puts the virtuosity of different musicians in the spotlight, alternating solo performances between brass instruments, strings and other instrumental duets. This balancing act, conducted masterfully by conductor and artistic partner Nicolas Ellis, transports the audience from stiff formality to playfulness; from a mournful funeral march to an exuberant celebration of life.

Saturday, March 26, 7:30 p.m.
Maison symphonique de Montréal

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Symphonic Waves: Alma and La Mer

Paola PRESTINI: Barcarola
Alma MAHLER: Seven Lieder (orch. Matthews)
DEBUSSY: La Mer

Speranza Scappucci, conductor
Adrianne Pieczonka, soprano

The sun rises over La Mer, Debussy’s most well-known orchestral work. Seamless symphonic colours, texture and nuance paint the changing seas. In three sketches, La Mer presents vivid portraits of light, violent winds and a return to peace at sea.

With the voice of internationally renowned Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, Alma Mahler’s work takes centre stage. The Viennese composer drew upon poignant and passionate verse by some of the greatest poets of her generation to craft a delicate and chromatic piece. In its orchestral arrangement, the composition’s sensual moments are intensified and elevated. The program opens with Barcarola, an early composition from Brooklyn-based Italian American Paola Prestini, internationally recognized for her music and innovative ideas.

Friday, April 8, 7:30 p.m.
Maison symphonique de Montréal

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Jane Glover and Nicholas Angelich

CHEVALIER DE SAINT-GEORGE: Symphony No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”
Mozart: Symphony No. 31 “Paris”

Jane Glover, conductor
Nicholas Angelich, piano (soloist in residence)

With its military rhythms, unprecedented scale and expressive piano in dialogue with an enthusiastic orchestra, there’s no question as to why Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 earned its “Emperor” nickname. Under the baton of conductor Jane Glover, soloist in residence Nicholas Angelich will be performing this legendary piece.

Why deny yourself pleasure? Confident and proud of his talent, Mozart composed a symphony that he knew Parisian audiences would love. Grandiose in its effects, bold in its use of clarinet and overflowing with melodic ideas, Symphony No. 31 radiates with the charm and exuberance of youth. And with melodic talent reminiscent of Mozart’s, Chevalier de Saint-George—a composer born to a French nobleman and African slave in Guadeloupe—puts strings at centre stage in his dazzling Symphony No. 1.

Friday, April 29, 7:30 p.m.
Maison symphonique de Montréal

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Brahms: A German Requiem 

Luis Ernesto PEÑA LAGUNA: Oraison, pour chœur et orchestre
BRAHMS: A German Requiem

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Solists to be announced
Chœur Métropolitain*, prepared by François A. Ouimet and Pierre Tourville

Under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the OM and the Chœur Métropolitain will perform A German Requiem—a piece where the human voice reaches new heights. Grappling with universal themes while confronting death with serenity and wonder, Brahms celebrates life on earth and beyond.

In contrast with Latin requiems replete with God’s wrath and repentance, Brahms’s work is a calming ode to the human spirit. The innovative and dramatic composition’s German libretto evokes feelings of hopefulness, sung by a choir and soloists in the style of an oratorio. A German Requiem is positively one of a kind.

*With the participation of professional choristers

Friday, May 20, 7:30 p.m.
Maison symphonique de Montréal

Also available as a webcast

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Nathalie Stutzmann in Her OM Debut

PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 2
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”

Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
Daniel Lozakovich, violin

One of the leading woman conductors of the day, Nathalie Stutzmann steps onto the OM’s podium. For this, her Montreal debut in the role, the great French artist conducts an all-Russian program. Give into the many charms of one of the most prized violin concertos in the repertoire – whose muscular melodies transport you from Russia to Spain – then plumb the depth of emotion in Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique.”

A low bassoon melody colours the opening measures of the Symphony No. 6. Inspired, it stirs the soul and sets the tone for this French-titled Russian symphony. With great panache, violinist Daniel Lozakovich, one of the youngest musicians ever signed by the prestigious Deutsche Gammophon label, takes flight in Prokofiev’s sombre yet elegant Violin Concerto No. 2.

Saturday, June 4, 3 p.m.
Maison symphonique de Montréal

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  Nicholas Angelich and Yannick Nézet-Séguin (program 1)   STRAVINSKY: Funeral Song Lili BOULANGER: D’un matin de printemps RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 1 RAVEL: Ma mère l’Oye, for piano four hands RAVEL: La Valse  Nicholas Angelich and Yannick Nézet-Séguin (program 2)   STRAVINSKY: Funeral Song Lili BOULANGER: D’un matin de printemps RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 2 RAVEL: Ma mère l’Oye, for piano four hands RAVEL: La Valse  

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor and piano
Nicholas Angelich, piano (soloist-in-residence)

Soloist in residence Nicholas Angelich takes on Rachmaninoff’s first two piano concertos. The first illustrates the Russian composer’s dazzling gift for melody and masterful piano composition, walking the line between virtuosity and the impossible. The second features rousing bravado and some of the composer’s most famous melodies. Angelich will also be joined by conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin on piano to perform Ravel’s piano duet Ma mère l’Oye.

  Saturday, June 18, 7:30 p.m. Maison symphonique de Montréal  Sunday, June 19, 3 p.m. Maison symphonique de Montréal   Also available as a webcast  

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