“A Cool Classical Journey” In Montréal This Summer

Montréal, June 13, 2013 – Following the tremendous success of last summer’s first celebration, the second edition of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s A Cool Classical Journey will be held over two days, on Friday, August 16 and Saturday, August 17. Thirty 45-minute concerts linked by a Mozart theme will feature masterpieces and favorites from the classical repertoire. Accessible to all, A Cool Classical Journey is intended for a broad audience including music lovers, tourists discovering the lively music scene of Montreal, and audiences connecting with classical music for the first time.

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s (OSM) A Cool Classical Journey explores Mozart’s works and his profound influence on composers such as Schubert, Mendelssohn, Rossini and Beethoven. The 2013 edition will also have a special focus on the clarinet, an instrument that Wolfgang Amadeus loved. The two-day event will take place in the city’s cultural center and will be hosted in four venues: The Maison symphonique de Montréal―the Orchestra’s new home inaugurated in fall 2011; Place des Arts’ Cinquième Salle and Studio-Théâtre, and Salle Beverley Webster Rolph at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

Recently returning from a thriving spring tour in South America, where the OSM presented seven acclaimed concerts in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Colombia, A Cool Classical Journey precedes the Orchestra’s celebration of its 80th season, beginning in September 2013. This momentous anniversary year will be led by the visionary Music Director Kent Nagano, who has taken the ensemble to new heights and pushed the boundaries of its programming for the last seven years.

From One Generation to the Next

Among the musicians to perform are clarinetist Jörg Widmann; pianists Alexandre Tharaud, Menahem Pressler, Angela Hewitt, André Laplante and David Jalbert; violinists Augustin Dumay and Alexandre Da Costa; the Mozart Chamber Ensemble; and for the first time, OSM organist in residence Jean-Willy Kunz. Guest appearances will be made by some of the brightest performers of the rising generation such as pianist Kit Armstrong, cellist Stéphane Tétreault and violinist Hyeyoon Park. Always an audience favorite, Canadian Brass will be on hand once again. Pianist Menahem Pressler and violinists Alexandre Da Costa and Marianne Dugal will act as ambassadors for A Cool Classical Journey.

Programming Highlights

At Maison symphonique, Kent Nagano will lead the Orchestra in two all-Mozart evenings featuring the composer’s monumental Requiem. Additional repertory will include Mozart’s celebrated Clarinet Concerto; Concerto No. 22, K. 482  featuring Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt; and Mozart’s Concerto No. 9, K. 271 (Jeunehomme) performed by Les Violons du Roy with guest French pianist Alexandre Tharaud. On August 16, the performance will also highlight French violinist Augustin Dumay.

At Cinquième Salle, the Mozart Chamber Ensemble will perform chamber-music works including Mozart’s Divertimento, K. 138 and Haydn’s Quartet in C major, Op. 76 No. 3 (Emperor).  Angela Hewitt will offer a concert of works by Ravel and Mozart. Menahem Pressler will present the Rondo in A minor, K. 511 and Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat major in recital, and will share the stage with Augustin Dumay for Mozart’s Piano and Violin Sonata in B-flat major. In a unique performance, Kent Nagano will conduct musicians from OSM and the prodigious American pianist Kit Armstrong― a protégé of Alfred Brendel who will be performing in Montreal for the first time― in the Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414. The program will also include Widmann’s Fieberphantasie for strings, clarinet and piano, with pianist Kyoko Hashimoto. This intimate venue will conclude A Cool Classical Journey with chamber musicians Augustin Dumay (violin), Matt Haimovitz (cello), and André Laplante’s (piano) rendering of Brahms’ Piano trio No. 1 in B major.

Meanwhile at Studio-Théâtre, the young American pianist Kit Armstrong will also perform a concert dedicated to Bach and Mozart featuring Bach’s Prelude and Fugue No. 1, BWV 870 and Chorale Preludes, as well as Piano Sonata No. 17 in B-flat major, K. 570 and Fantasia, K. 608. On August 17, virtuoso violinist Hyeyoon Park will present Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 2 in D major, and OSM’s concertmaster Andrew Wan will play Mozart and Franck with pianist Philip Chiu. Later that evening the Schumann Quartet and Calidore Quartet will present chamber music performances, along with a recital by young pianist Xiaoyu Liu, the Grand Prize winner of the 2012 OSM Standard Life Competition.

A Cool Classical Journey’s grand finale will include Hyeyoon Park, Menahem Pressler, and Kit Armstrong with the OSM at Maison symphonique in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 and the Concerto for two Pianos, K. 365.

A full schedule of events can be found online at www.osm.ca.

Meet the artists, and family activities

In the spirit of the young prodigy that Mozart was, selected performances showcasing young artists will be crafted especially to please and entertain children. Youngsters will be delighted to see, among other shows, French composer Francis Poulenc’s The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant, a touching introduction to classical music that never fails to captivate children and their parents since its premiere in 1946.

Throughout the two day event, audiences will have the chance to meet the musicians at Place des Arts’ Salon urbain, and participate in family friendly activities scheduled at the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme in collaboration with Place des Arts. The École nationale de lutherie and YAMAHA will be holding instrument demonstrations, and the youth choir Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal and the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal will give free performances. Instrument making workshops and a reading corner―where music books, recordings, music sheets, and listening stations are displayed― will also be offered.

Tickets and info

Tickets are available online at www.osm.ca/en by clicking on A Cool Classical Journey, and by phone at 514 842-9951. Prices range from $10 to $30 CAN. Lodging and concert packages will also be available.

For more information, visit vireeclassique.osm.ca  or www.osm.ca, or call 514 842-9951.

About Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

Since its founding in 1934, the OSM has distinguished itself as a leader in the orchestral life of Canada and Québec. A cultural ambassador of the highest order, the OSM has demonstrated its excellence in the course of over 40 national and international tours, including the most recent in South America in spring 2013, and has produced nearly 100 recordings with some of the most prestigious labels, earning 49 national and international awards. The OSM carries on that rich tradition under the leadership of its music director, Kent Nagano, while featuring innovative programming that looks at orchestral repertoire from a different perspective and strengthening the Orchestra’s connection with the community.

On September 7, 2011, the OSM under Kent Nagano inaugurated its new home, the Maison symphonique de Montréal. The construction of this concert hall was made possible thanks to the Government of Québec. The hall’s acoustics and theatre design bear the signature of the firm Artec Consultants Inc. Its architecture was entrusted to a consortium consisting of Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. and Ædifica Architects.

About Montréal

A hotbed of culture and creativity, Montréal is an irresistible mix of European chic, cutting-edge culture and cool urban vibe. Duality lies at the heart of the city, which shines through in its French-English history, old and modern architecture, and traditional and avant-garde styles. Montréal is where high-tech meets haute cuisine, where sleek skyscrapers and tiny boutiques nestle together and where major international festivals are born and thrive. Of course, it’s the people―more than 3.7 million citizens representing 120 cultural groups―that infuse Montréal with its legendary joie de vivre, passion and warmth. From its bustling downtown to the cobbled streets of Old Montréal to its many vibrant neighborhoods, Montréal invites you to discover its endless charms!