Montreal Symphony Announces 2006-07 Season, Nagano's First
By Vivien Schweitzer - 17 Feb 2006
The Montreal Symphony's 2006-07 season, the first under the leadership of music director Kent Nagano, will include a survey of Beethoven's symphonies, performances by pianists Nikolai Lugansky and Lang Lang, and a return visit by Valery Gergiev.
Nagano was named music director in March of 2004, two years after Charles Dutoit resigned abruptly when musicians accused him of autocratic behavior. His appointment, announced after more than a year of speculation that he was the orchestra's top choice, was considered a coup and was greeted with joy by musicians.
The season opens on September 6 with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Ives' The Unanswered Question, and Galina Ustvolskaya’s Symphony No. 4.
Gergiev returns to conduct the OSM in works by Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony ("Pathetique"). Conductor and composer Peter Eötvös will lead a program of works by Debussy, Bruch, and Lutoslawski, plus one of his own works, zeroPoints, written as a tribute to Pierre Boulez.
A program called “Nature and Music” will include Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony ("Pastoral"), two of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, played and conducted by the French violinist Renaud Capuçon, and a work by Canadian composer Michel Longtin called Et j’ai repris la route, an OSM commission. Nagano will conduct.
Jacques Lacombe, OSM’s principal guest conductor for the past four seasons, will lead six concerts, including Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Richard Strauss’s Bourgeois gentilhomme, with narration by Rémy Girard.
Guest conductors will include Neville Marriner, Roger Norrington, Marek Janowski, and Lawrence Foster. Soloists will include soprano Renée Fleming; pianists Maria João Pires, Nikolai Lugansky, Stephen Hough, and Lang Lang; violinists Joshua Bell, Renaud Capuçon, and James Ehnes; and tenor Ben Heppner.
Other highlights include the first OSM International Composition Prize, which will be held in the autumn of 2006, and premieres by Canadian composers Michel Longtin and Ana Sokolovic. The orchestra will also perform works by Canadians Otto Joachim, Allan Gordon Bell and Andrew Yin Svoboda.
A blueprint for Nagano's OSM
Robert Everett-Green - 17/02/06
Fromthe Globe & Mail
New composition awards, a Beethoven symphonic cycle and several collaborations with authors and actors are on the horizon for l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, which revealed plans yesterday for the 2006-2007 season, its first with incoming music director Kent Nagano.
Nagano said that music of the 19th century would be the foundation for his first year in Montreal, along with new or recent works by composers from Canada and abroad. He will conduct 22 of the 61 concerts, including several collaborative ventures with other Montreal cultural institutions, including the Musée des beaux-arts.
The OSM has rearranged its calendar to make room for three new series, one of which, the Signature Performances, may provide the best clue as to how Nagano intends to develop Canada's most celebrated orchestra. The series includes full performances of Tristan und Isolde (with Canadian tenor Ben Heppner) and Schoenberg's massive song cycle Gurrelieder, as well as a new Luc Plamondon text to accompany Schubert's incidental music for Rosamunde (with Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka) and a Paul Griffiths text inspired by General Roméo Dallaire's Rwandan experience and performed with Beethoven's music for Egmont.
Nagano's other concerts feature music by Mahler, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Étienne Méhul, Mozart, Vivaldi, Charles Ives, Darius Milhaud, Luigi Nono and Olivier Messiaen.
He will take the orchestra to Ottawa and Toronto, in a three-way exchange that will also bring the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to Montreal's Place des Arts.
The OSM has commissioned new works for the season from Montrealers Ana Sokolovic and Michel Longtin, both to be conducted by the music director. There will also be music by European contemporaries, including Sofia Gubaidulina and George Benjamin, who will conduct his own works along with pieces by Sibelius and Ravel.
Preliminary judging for the OSM International Composition Prize, which Nagano initiated soon after accepting his new job, will take place in the fall of 2006, with a concerts of the four finalists' works on the agenda for January.
Guest artists next season include conductors Valery Gergiev, Roger Norrington and Peter Eotvos; sopranos Renée Fleming and Valdine Anderson; contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux; pianists Lang Lang, Maria Joao Pires and Marc-André Hamelin; violinists Joshua Bell and James Ehnes; actors Colm Feore and Christopher Plummer.
Madeleine Careau, the OSM general manager who presided over a five-month players' strike last year, said that her administration would embark on "a reflection process on objectives" for the orchestra under Nagano, who on the cover of the season brochure is pictured seated alone in the empty auditorium of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. No doubt one of the objectives of the OSM, which carries a deficit of $3.47-million, will be to fill all those seats by the time the music starts on Sept. 6.