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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 9, No. 1

The Montreal Symphony Orchestra

September 3, 2003

Version française...

Seventeen months after Charles Dutoit abruptly left his post as artistic director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra over accusations of harassment, there is still little news concerning his replacement. The other player in the affair, Guilde des musiciens president Émile Subirana has also left the scene, having been voted out by the union membership. A nominating committee headed by Bernard Shapiro convened in the summer of 2002, and Board President Jacques Laurent was so confident of progress he announced at the beginning-of-season reception that a new director would be named by the end of the 2002-03 season. When La Scena Musicale asked for news in May 2003, the MSO issued a press release stating that the new director will be announced by March 2004. In January 2003, "Kent Nagano-mania" swept Montreal for a week until his people announced that he had accepted directorships elsewhere. The architectual design for the new MSO Hall and the new Conservatory of Montreal building was unveiled to controversy; with the new Liberal government in power, the outcome of the project is still up in the air. Meanwhile, the orchestra survived a rocky start to their season, giving solid performances by mid-year. Jacques Lacombe as principal guest conductor led some stirring performances and has acted as the unifying influence in the orchestra.

Some things seem to be returning to normal for 2003-04. Yo-Yo Ma accepted to headline the annual Gala after a one-year pro-Dutoit protest, and Lacombe returns in the same capacity. Maybe they should give him the job. Wah Keung Chan

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