To open its 83rd season, the Orchestre classique de Montréal (OCM) is paying tribute to its beloved late artistic director, Boris Brott. The OCM will present a program that reflects the spirit of the great conductor, with works celebrating the major milestones of his incredible life. Led by Geneviève Leclair, a protégée of Maestro Brott, this season opener will take place on Tuesday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Salle Pierre-Mercure at the Centre Pierre-Péladeau. New this season: patrons who purchase one adult ticket can reserve one free ticket for a child aged 12 or under.

photo credit: Dina K Photography

The evening will be hosted by Sylvia L’Écuyer, a great music lover and colleague of Boris, who recently retired after an illustrious career at Radio-Canada. The concert will open with Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, a Jewish prayer that speaks to Boris’ roots of which he was immensely proud. The solo will be performed by the celebrated cellist Stéphane Tétreault, whose career was launched by Maestro Brott at the age of twelve.

Next, three songs by Tomson Highway will evoke Boris’ commitment to Indigenous peoples. These songs, from Highway’s musical The (Post) Mistress, were specially arranged for an OCM recording that was broadcast on Radio-Canada last November to mark the composer’s 70th birthday. These arrangements of the songs will be performed live for the very first time by soprano Elizabeth Polese.

Manuel Ponce’s Concierto del sur will recall Boris’ early days as a student of Igor Markevitch in Mexico in 1958. Latin-American works—and guitar music in particular—held a special place in Boris’ heart throughout his life. Guitarist Tariq Harb, a Jordanian-Canadian with Palestinian roots, will be the soloist.

The inclusion of Astral Visions by Alexander Brott will come as no surprise, as Boris was a great champion of his father’s works and of contemporary music in general.

Finally, excerpts from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story will pay tribute to Boris’ tenure as assistant to the great American conductor at the New York Philharmonic in 1968 and 1969. Soprano Elizabeth Polese and tenor Antonio Figueroa will perform a selection of the most beloved songs and duets from this world-famous musical.

A reception will follow on the stage in celebration of Boris’ life, with wine and hors d’oeuvres provided by Snowdon Deli. This fundraising event is graciously sponsored by the OCM’s Board of Directors.

Concert tickets range from $25 to $69, while tickets that include the reception range from $189 to $219, depending on seat selection. A $100 donation receipt will be issued with the purchase of a ticket that includes the reception.

BORIS: His Life in Music

Tuesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. – Salle Pierre-Mercure

Sylvia L’Écuyer
, host

Tariq Harb, guitar

Stéphane Tétreault, cello

Antonio Figueroa, tenor

Elizabeth Polese, soprano

Geneviève Leclair, conductor

Orchestre classique de Montréal


Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch

Excerpts from The (Post) Mistress by Tomson Highway (arrangements by François Vallières):
On dit que la rose (Some Say a Rose) – Quand je danse (When I Dance) – T’ai-je dit? (Have I Told You?)

Concierto del Sur, concerto for guitar by Manuel Ponce

Astral Visions, third movement by Alexander Brott

Excerpts from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein:
Tonight – Maria – Mambo – One hand, One Heart – Somewhere

Tickets (concert only): $25–$69

Tickets (including reception): $189–$219

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