LSM Newswire

Thursday, February 26, 2009

OSM / It's better with Orchestra! : Dress rehearsal open to the public

It's Better with Orchestra! : Dress rehearsal open to the public

Be the first to experience a unique encounter between the worlds of radio and classical music

Tickets at $30 / $15 for 15 to 30 year olds

In light of the strong demand for tickets to the concert It's Better with Orchestra!, the OSM is unusually opening its dress rehearsal to the general public. That rehearsal will be held on Sunday, March 22, 2009, at 10 a.m. in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts. Under the direction of Maestro Kent Nagano, this will be the sole opportunity, for those who have been unable to obtain tickets for the concert itself (taking place that same afternoon), to hear the world premiere of the Concerto for radio host and orchestra.

Inspired by the radio program C'est bien meilleur le matin and its intimate and friendly formula, the work, commissioned by the OSM from composer Simon Leclerc (music of Dracula and of the movie Le dernier continent) will feature three big names from French-language radio: host Ren Homier-Roy along with journalists Catherine Perrin (entertainment) and Marc Laurendeau (press review) from the same program, which has aired on the Premire Chane service of Radio-Canada since 1997. The three guest "soloists" will blend their voices with those of the instruments of the Orchestra in a dialogue, in music and words, on subjects of current interest.

"The first time Kent Nagano talked to me about the project I thought he was joking," confesses composer Simon Leclerc. "Mr. Nagano explained to me that he was fascinated by the virtuosity of the host and by the musicality that the show C'est bien meilleur le matin gave off. He wanted to transpose that world to an original work for symphony orchestra. After thinking about it for a few months, I suggested I compose a concerto for radio host and orchestra, a work inspired both by the concerto grosso and by the symphonic poem. He was excited by the idea." From current affairs to the performing arts by way of sports and the weather, Homier-Roy, Perrin and Laurendeau will guide listeners through a work in which instruments also have "something to say."

"Surprisingly," says host Ren Homier-Roy, "I never thought it was a joke. The Maestro's extreme intensity when he was making those strange remarks that what we were doing was something like music, that the rhythm of the show had a musicality of its own, and likewise our voices his seriousness and the sparkle I saw in his eye led me to believe, right away, that this crazy idea he had in his head was infinitely interesting. And it turns out I was right..."

The stage at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier will be set up like a radio studio with microphones and the traditional half-moon desk, helping bring to life the complete experience of a radio morning show for music lovers. The ninety-minute program will begin with the outstanding violinist Viviane Hagner in a performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, a composition both spiritual and intense. Rounding off the program will be Ottorino Respighi's remarkable symphonic poem The Pines of Rome, one of the OSM's biggest hits on disc.

Tickets for this dress rehearsal in the Musical Sundays series are available now at a cost of $30. A new feature this year at the OSM: those between the ages of fifteen and thirty can attend all concerts in the regular-season programming for only $15 per concert. To get your tickets and not miss out on this very special rendezvous, contact the box office at (514) 842-9951 or visit our website at

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