LSM Newswire

Monday, October 27, 2008

OSM / November at the OSM

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November at the OSM


former music director of the OSM, conducts three concerts


in Strauss's breathtaking Burleske

After a triumphant European tour,


The Beethoven cycle continues


OSM Standard Life Competition: voice, woodwinds and brass

Children's Corner

Montreal, October 15, 2008 ’Äì Former OSM music director (1961 to 1967) Franz-Paul Decker will be revisiting the musicians of the Orchestra when he leads a program devoted exclusively to the works of Richard Strauss on November 4 and 6. These concerts will feature pianist Marc-Andrˆ© Hamelin, a special collaborator of the OSM for 20 years, in the highly virtuoso Burleske, a concerto work rarely performed.

On November 11 and 12, Maestro Decker will conduct well-known works by Johann Strauss father and son along with other great Viennese classics, resuming a much appreciated tradition of evenings dedicated to Viennese music.

The first shows in the Children's Corner series will take place on November 9 at 1:30 p.m. for the French-language version and at 3:30 p.m. for the bilingual version. Quˆ©bec actor Patrice Dubois, in the role of Octavio, will interact with OSM conductor in residence Jean-Franˆßois Rivest, playing the captain. Soprano Kyra Folk-Farber as well as a chorus and musicians from Joseph-Franˆßois Perrault High School will join the OSM for these exciting shows.

The celebrated contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, who is enjoying an extremely active international career, will be singing Mahler's Rˆºckert-Lieder on November 16, Mahler being a composer with whom she has often been associated. Also on the program: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 and Escenas de pˆ°jaros, the work with which Barcelona composer Ramon Humet won the International Olivier Messiaen Prize at the OSM's 2007 composition competition as well as the 24th Queen Sofia Composition Prize in 2006.

On November 26 and 27, OSM music director Kent Nagano will lead the Orchestra and Austrian pianist Till Fellner in Beethoven's sublime Concerto No. 4.

Finally, the stages and activities of the 69th edition of the OSM Standard Life Competition, dedicated to voice, woodwinds and brass, are open to the public free of charge and will take place from November 26 to 30.

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or


November 4 and 6 at 8 p.m. (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Grand Concerts: Decker and Strauss ’Äì a historic meeting. Franz-Paul Decker, conductor; Marc-Andrˆ© Hamelin, pianist.

November 9 at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. (Thˆ©ˆ¢tre Maisonneuve) Children's Corner: Adventure at sea, The further travels of Octavio. Jean-Franˆßois Rivest, conductor; Marie-Lou Dion, scriptwriter and director; Patrice Dubois, actor; Kyra Folk-Farber, soprano. At 1:00 and at 3:00 p.m.: meeting with musicians from Joseph-Franˆßois Perrault High School.

November 11 at 8 p.m.(Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Air Canada Classical Escapes: Viennese Evening. Franz-Paul Decker, conductor; Ulrike Steinsky, soprano; Alois Haselbacher, tenor. At 7 p.m.: pre-concert discussion: Jean-Franˆßois Rivest, OSM conductor in residence, presents the concert program.

November 12 at 10:30 a.m. (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Symphonic Matinees: Viennese Evening. Franz-Paul Decker, conductor; Ulrike Steinsky, soprano; Alois Haselbacher, tenor.

November 16 at 2:30 p.m. (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Musical Sundays: Marie-Nicole Lemieux Sings Mahler. Roberto Minczuk, conductor; Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto.

November 26 and 27 at 8 p.m.(Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Grand Concerts: Till Fellner and Beethoven's Fourth. Kent Nagano, conductor; Till Fellner, pianist.

November 26 to 29 (Tanna Schulich Hall, Schulich School of Music, McGill University) Semi-finals, finals and master classes of the OSM Standard Life Competition.

November 30 at 7 p.m. (Redpath Hall, McGill University) OSM Standard Life Competition chamber-music concert. Alain Trudel, trombone; Jens Lindemann, trumpet; James Campbell, clarinet; Andrew Wan, concertmaster with the OSM and Grand Prize winner at the OSM Standard Life Competition, 2007 edition.

Information on the month's concerts:

Grand Concerts:

Decker and Strauss: a historic meeting

Devoted exclusively to Richard Strauss, this concert includes the suite of waltzes for orchestra from Der Rosenkavalier, an evocation of imperial Vienna from his famous opera, as well as the Symphonia Domestica, an autobiographical work in which the composer sets to music the characters of his wife and son as well as himself. In four linked movements, the work abounds in motifs, some 40 of them, interwoven by Strauss in a masterful way.

German conductor Franz-Paul Decker has been a fervent champion of the works of his compatriot Richard Strauss, whom he had the honour of meeting in his youth. Music director of the OSM from 1967 to 1975, he took the Orchestra to new heights ’Äì and new horizons, to among other places the Osaka World's Fair in 1970, the first of numerous trips the Orchestra would take to Japan.

The musicality and virtuosity of Canadian pianist Marc-Andrˆ© Hamelin have earned him legendary status as a piano master. Long renowned for his explorations of unfamiliar works, he is now recognized around the world for his dazzling technique and the originality of his interpretations of the classical repertoire. "For 20 years now," the pianist has said, "I've had the privilege of collaborating regularly with the OSM, which always gives me great pleasure. Furthermore, it seems to me that each time the pleasure only increases, and with the OSM, I always feel as though I'm at home." He will play Burleske, a work of formidable technical difficulty, considered unperformable by Strauss's contemporary the pianist and conductor Hans von Bˆºlow.

Grand Concerts

November 4 and 6 at 8 p.m.

Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts

Franz-Paul Decker, conductor

Marc-Andrˆ© Hamelin, pianist

Richard Strauss Symphonia Domestica

Richard Strauss Burleske

Richard Strauss Suite from Der Rosenkavalier

Tickets from $24.75

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or

Children's Corner:

Adventure at sea, The further travels of Octavio

Children and their parents are invited aboard the great musical vessel of the OSM, skillfully captained by Jean-Franˆßois Rivest. In the traces of the indefatigable voyager Octavio, this time acting as navigator, they will sail the seas with the best crew of musicians going! On the program: all the world's oceans, famous ships, tropical fish, marine monsters, whales, sirens and pirates’Ķ A thrilling adventure by way of great works of the symphonic repertoire, original compositions and movie music.

Taking part in a show scripted and directed by Marie-Lou Dion are actor Patrice Dubois (interacting with the conductor), soprano Kyra Folk-Farber, the OSM and a girls chorus as well as musicians from Joseph-Franˆßois Perrault High School, everyone under the direction of OSM conductor in residence Jean-Franˆßois Rivest.

Before the shows, in the Thˆ©ˆ¢tre Maisonneuve lobbies, the audience is invited to meet some of the young students from the Joseph-Franˆßois Perrault school, who will be presenting the instruments they play.

Following the success of The Enchanted Orchestra (a concert in the 2005 Children's Corner series nominated for "Best young-audience concert" at the Prix Opus) and A Trip Around the World (a concert in the OSM Youth Concerts and Children's Corner presented in 2007), Marie-Lou Dion is back to offer the OSM's young audience a new script, one that she is directing as well. Ms. Dion, who at one point was known mostly as an actress on the small screen, has devoted more of her time over the past 10 years or so to directing, writing for the stage and teaching acting.

Since he left theatre school in Saint-Hyacinthe in 1993, Patrice Dubois has been seen in about 20 stage works in various theatres in Quˆ©bec, and in 2007 he became artistic co-director at Thˆ©ˆ¢tre PˆÄP. On television he has played a number of roles in some 15 series. For more than five years he played the character Victor Dubˆ© in Les Poupˆ©es russes. He also appears on the series Les S‰ìurs Elliott. Patrice Dubois has additionally been involved in the dubbing of about 100 films, of cartoon and of television series.

Canadian soprano Kyra Folk-Farber has appeared at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Concertgebouw and the Ignatius Huis in Amsterdam and at the Snape Maltings Hall in England. She completed her bachelor's degree in vocal performance at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Edward Zambara. She is currently doing doctoral studies in voice at the Universitˆ© de Montrˆ©al with Rosemarie Landry and Catherine Sˆ©vigny.

Children's Corner

November 9 at 1:30 p.m.: French-language show

November 9 at 3:30 p.m.: bilingual show

November 9 at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.: get-together with musicians

Thˆ©ˆ¢tre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts

Jean-Franˆßois Rivest, conductor

Marie-Lou Dion, scriptwriter and director

Patrice Dubois, actor

Kyra Folk-Farber, soprano

Orchestre symphonique de Montrˆ©al

Girls choir from Joseph-Franˆßois Perrault High School

Musicians from Joseph-Franˆßois Perrault High School

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov The Sea and Sindbad's Ship, from Scheherazade, symphonic suite, Opus 35 (excerpt)

Richard Strauss Also sprach Zarathoustra, symphonic poem, Opus 30 (excerpt)

Benjamain Britten Moonlight, Four Sea Interludes, from the opera Peter Grimes (excerpt)

Claude Debussy Jeux de vagues, from La Mer (excerpt)

Patrick Sobczak ˆÄ l'abordage, OSM commission

Claude Debussy Sirˆ®nes, from Nocturne (excerpt)

Jean Sibelius Tapiola, symphonic poem, Opus 112 (excerpt)

Dimitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Opus 65, "Adagio" (excerpt)

Bedrich Smetana The Moldau, from the symphonic cycle Mˆ° Vlast (excerpt)

Claude Vivier Lonely Child (excerpt)

Bruno Coulais Caresse sur l'ocˆ©an, from the soundtrack to the movie Les Choristes (excerpt)

John Williams Prologue, from the soundtrack to the movie Hook (excerpt)

Individual tickets:

Children: $13.75

Adults: $27.50

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or

Air Canada Classical Escapes:

Viennese Evening

(this program is reprised in the Symphonic Matinees series)

Vienna stirs up romantic images of fairy tales with sparkling chandeliers, dazzling ballrooms and beautiful elegant women, in an atmosphere of infectious gaiety and excitement. Vienna is also the city par excellence for music.

The Viennese evenings were among the most loved and best attended when Franz-Paul Decker was music director of the OSM. For a rare occasion the conductor revisits that universe and invites us to an evening of waltzes, polkas, marches and operetta arias. Musical tipsiness and surprises are in store.

At 7 p.m., at a pre-concert discussion, Jean-Franˆßois Rivest, the OSM's conductor in residence, will present the concert program.

Air Canada Classical Escapes

November 11 at 8 p.m.

Symphonic Matinees

November 12 at 10:30 a.m.

Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts

Franz-Paul Decker, conductor

Ulrike Steinsky, soprano

Alois Haselbacher, tenor

Johann Strauss II Tritsch-Tratsch Polka

Johann Strauss II Furioso Polka

Johann Strauss II On the Beautiful Blue Danube

Johann Strauss I Radetzky March

and other Viennese classics

Tickets from $24.75

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or

Musical Sundays:

Marie-Nicole Lemieux sings Mahler

Marie-Nicole Lemieux is known for her dark, voluptuous voice, an ideal vehicle for the romantic vocal music of Gustav Mahler inspired by texts by the German poet and Orientalist Friedrich Rˆºckert. Mahler composted four of the five songs while staying at Villa Mahler in the summer of 1901. The last song is a poem that Mahler set to music in July 1902 for his wife, Alma Mahler. That evening in her diary she noted: "It almost made me cry. What profundity there is in such a man! And how I am lacking in soul! I am often made aware of just how little I am and how little I possess in comparison with his incommensurable wealth!" At its premiˆ®re, Mahler enjoyed one of his great successes. Wrote Paul Stefan: "We exulted with [Mahler], we shared, successively, his affliction, his childish moods, joyful or dreamy. We took pleasure in marveling at his knowledge and at his mastery of the small forms, as though at a magnificent flowering of beautiful poems."

The program begins with Escenas de pˆ°jaros by Ramon Humet, an orchestral synthesis of birdsongs that earned its author the International Olivier Messiaen grand prize at the OSM's 2007 composition competition and the 24th Queen Sofia Composition Prize in 2006. In the second part we will hear Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, the final movement of which is one of the most sensational and most thrilling in the repertoire. "Never before had one of my orchestral works cost me so much difficullty," wrote Tchaikovsky, "but neither have I ever felt so much love for any of my compositions.

This much anticipated concert will be under the direction of Brazilian conductor Roberto Minczuk, a protˆ©gˆ© of Kurt Masur, who is music director of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and artistic director of the Orquestra Sinfˆ¥nica Brasileira in Rio de Janeiro.

Musical Sundays

November 16 at 2:30 p.m.

Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts

Roberto Minczuk, conductor

Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto

Ramon Humet Escenas de pˆ°jaros

Gustav Mahler Rˆºckert-Lieder

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4

Tickets from $24.75

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or

Grand Concerts:

Till Fellner and Beethoven's Fourth

Alfred Brendel evoked the intelligence, the sensitivity, the curiosity and the vast esthetic appetite of his disciple Till Fellner, born in Vienna in 1972, winner of the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in 1993 and one of the most interesting younger pianists on the international scene. He will be performing, under the direction of Kent Nagano, Beethoven's Fourth Concerto, a masterwork of the concerto literature devoid of all formal constraints and overflowing with lyricism and poetry. The piano seems to be in a perpetual state of grace and of improvisation here, supported by an orchestra of great richness. This concerto will appear on an upcoming recording by the OSM.

Kent Nagano will also conduct Bˆ©la Bartˆ„k's The Miraculous Mandarin, a forebear of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in its orchestration and rhythms, and two Nocturnes by Claude Debussy, both the Bartˆ„k and Debussy having been recorded by the OSM, the second honoured with a Juno Award in 1991. "The title Nocturnes is to be interpreted here in a general and, more particularly, in a decorative sense," noted Debussy. "Therefore, it is not meant to designate the usual form of the nocturne, but rather all the various impressions and the special effects of light that the word suggests."

Rounding off the program is Orchestral Theater 1: "Xun" by Tan Dun, author of the score to the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. "Theatrical and ritualistic," wrote Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times, "Tan Dun's music sculpts sound and transforms everything into a riveting experience that is hard to define but very easy to appreciate." In this work Tan Dun has written something that reflects his compositional concepts and his personal ideas. He evokes his childhood memories of shamanistic rituals and integrates them into the symphonic fabric. "Xun" is written for orchestra musicians and their voices.

Grand Concerts

November 26 and 27 at 8 p.m.

Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts

Kent Nagano, conductor

Till Fellner, pianist

Claude Debussy Nocturnes 1 and 2

Tan Dun Orchestral Theater 1: "Xun"

Bˆ©la Bartˆ„k Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin

Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4

Tickets from $24.75

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or

Non-series concerts:

OSM Standard Life Competition

and chamber-music concert

The 69th edition of the OSM Standard Life Competition, devoted to woodwinds, brass and voice, will take place from November 26 to 30, under the presidency of Mr. Jean ˆâlie. We must point out the presence of two great ladies of the vocal arts on the jury: Madam Renata Scotto (judge for the finals, voice category), soprano and teacher at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Italy, and Madam Franˆßoise Pollet (judge for the semi-finals and finals, voice category), soprano and teacher at the Conservatoire national supˆ©rieur de musique et de danse in Lyon, France. Mr. Jean-Pierre Brossmann, former executive director of Thˆ©ˆ¢tre du Chˆ¢telet, in Paris, as well as Maestro Kent Nagano, music director of the OSM, will join the jury for the finals. Mr. Welz Kauffman, president and CEO of Chicago's Ravinia Festival, will act as chairman of the jury. Master classes will be offered by oboist Louise Pellerin, trumpeter Jens Lindemann and by singers Franˆßoise Pollet and Renata Scotto.

The Competition will conclude with a chamber-music concert on November 30 at 7 p.m., featuring trombonist Alain Trudel, trumpeter Jens Lindemann, clarinetist James Campbell and violinist Andrew Wan, concertmaster with the OSM and Grand Prize winner at the OSM Standard Life Competition, 2007 edition.

All Competition activities are free of charge and open to the public.

Title sponsor of the competition: Standard Life; principal partner: Espace musique; major partner: Schulich School of Music, McGill University.

Non-series concerts

November 26 to 29: OSM Standard Life Competition

Tanna Schulich Hall, Schulich Music School, McGill University

November 25, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: master class given by oboist Louise Pellerin

November 26, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: woodwinds semi-finals

November 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: master class given by trumpeter Jens Lindemann

November 26, 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.: master class given by soprano Franˆßoise Pollet

November 27, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: brass semi-finals

November 28, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. voice semi-finals

November 28, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: master class given by soprano and director Renata Scotto

November 29, 9:30 a.m. to noon: woodwind finals

November 29, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.: brass finals

November 29, 4:00 to 6:30 p.m.: voice finals

November 29, 9:00 to 10:30 p.m.: awarding of prizes

November 30 at 7 p.m.: gala chamber-music concert

Redpath Hall, McGill University

Alain Trudel, trombone

Jens Lindemann, trumpet

James Campbell, clarinet

Andrew Wan, OSM concertmaster

Grand Prize Winner at the OSM Standard Life Competition, 2007 edition

Free admission, open to the public

Information: 514 842-9951 or

The Orchestre symphonique de Montrˆ©al is presented by Hydro-Quˆ©bec

in association with National Bank

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