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“I have big dreams for the OSM”

The summer season of the Orchester symphonique de Montréal (OSM) and its popular Symphonic Spree promise to be festive and expressive, like the new musical director, Rafael Payare. The young Venezuelan conductor offers a first summer program combining old and contemporary pieces under the theme of the Americas.

If the last visit to Montreal by the new conductor of the OSM dates back to last December, it is because the shows scheduled for January were canceled due to the fault of the long pandemic.

“It was difficult not to see the orchestra for such a long period,” explained Rafael Payare, during the launch of his first summer program at the helm of the OSM. But I arrived, we started playing and we had this incredible connection that made me say, ‘oh, I missed you so much!’”.

In addition to the 16 outdoor chamber music concerts, major concerts in Montreal parks (which will be hosted by spokesperson, actress Magalie Lépine-Blondeau, who will also be at the helm of the Classical Spree Kick-Off ) and the trio of concerts at the Festival de Lanaudière in June and July, the Classical Spree will be back for a 9th edition, from August 10 to 14, with more than a hundred works on the program. A total of 24 new concerts will be presented in four venues at Place des Arts. The OSM will welcome local and international artists from the American continent.


The kick-off will be on August 10 with the big return of the free concert – and always very popular – presented at the Esplanade of the Olympic Park. The evening will begin with the “New World” Symphonywill include an Aboriginal song and sail from West Side Story to Concerto for trumpet by the Cuban Paquito D’Riveira, then to the works of Prévin and the Venezuelan Castellanos. Guests include author Natasha Kanapé Fontaine, singer Jeremy Dutcher, soprano Jeanine De Bique and trumpeter Pacho Flores.

The conductor wants the music of the Americas to be a perfect balance between pieces from the classical repertoire and contemporary pieces. “In both cases, there will be some pieces that have never been performed in Canada,” added the successor to Kent Nagano. It’s a bit like having a tasting menu in which all the dishes go well together. »

“The OSM is one of the best in the world with its high standards and its artistic level always trying to rise; it’s phenomenal and it’s the way to make music, continued the man who will be going on tour with the OSM for the first time in South Korea in July. For me, it’s an absolute dream and a privilege to make music. I’m really excited to experience this first summer at the OSM and in Montreal. »

The 24 indoor concerts are on sale now at