Announcing the 2022-23 Season at Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

May 31, 2022

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal has announced the programming for its 89th season, which marks Rafael Payare’s first season as Music Director. Highlights will include 4 world premieres, 17 concerts for young audiences, tours in Europe and the US, and a spotlight on choral singing. In total, musicians will give over 100 concerts at the Maison symphonique and at Bourgie Hall, joined by some 50 guest soloists and conductors.

Payare shares “I am touched by the kindness and warmth I have received since I arrived and have great confidence in our shared future with the Orchestra. This season is especially meaningful, since we have built it to allow everyone to rekindle that lost enjoyment of concerts fully invested with a human presence, welcoming and gratifying for the senses.

As Music Director,  Payare will conduct twenty concerts at the Maison symphonique this season, including a full-scale season-opener featuring the world premiere of a work by Thomas Larcher, followed by Gustav Mahler’s monumental Symphony no. 2, “Resurrection.” This concert also kicks off the OSM’s Mahler cycle, which extends over several seasons. The cycle continues in the spring with his Symphony no. 5, and to close the season, his Symphony no. 3.

Maestro Payare will also conduct a concert where theatre with orchestral music blend, with Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dreamalso featuring the OSM Chorus. Staged by Catherine Vidal, excerpts from Shakespeare’s play will be performed by up-and-coming actors. Internationally renowned Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan will make her OSM debut in a concert spotlighting Claude Vivier’s Lonely Child and Berlioz’s iconic Symphonie fantastique. Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva pays a visit to Montreal for an evening entirely devoted to Richard Strauss—an important composer for Payare—featuring the imposing Four Last Songs and the great symphonic poem A Hero’s Life.

Integrating the works of Latin American origin in the Orchestra’s repertoire, Payare will conduct the Cantata Criolla by Venezuelan composer Antonio Estévez. Subtitled “The one who sang with the Devil,” this work will be heard in a triple program that also includes Strauss’ Don Quixote with cellist Alisa Weilerstein and the world premiere of Melina by OSM Composer-in-Residence Ana Sokolović.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of its first European tour, this fall the Orchestra revisits two of the major cities that were part of that initial expedition. From October 21 to 28, Payare leads the OSM in concerts in Zagreb, Budapest, Vienna, Brussels and London with soloists Vikingur Olafsson, Bruce Liu, and Augustin Hadelich. The tour features Liszt’s Les préludes, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 10, op. 93 in E minor, Canadian R. Murray Schafer’s Scorpius, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye, and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto no. 2, op. 63 in G minor. The Wiener Singakademie also joins forces with the OSM on October 24 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, in Brahms’ Nänie and Schicksalslied, followed by Mahler’s grandiose Symphony no. 5.

Later in the spring, OSM heads to the United States, with stops in Washington and New York City. The OSM had been slated to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in March 2020 and is, therefore, excited to take the stage of this legendary venue for its 45th concert there on March 8, 2023, after an appearance at the Kennedy Center in Washington (March 6). Led by Rafael Payare, the Orchestra will perform Dorothy Chang’s Precipice, Bartók’s Piano Concerto no. 2, BB 101, and Mahler’s Symphony no. 5. Pianist Yefim Bronfman will join the Orchestra on this tour.

With Payare, the OSM continues to pursues the mission of accessibility to music by young people. This season will offer a total of 17 concerts for young audiences: 12 school matinees, 3 family concerts as well as the final round of the OSM Competition (piano edition) in November, when for the first time, finalists will be accompanied by the Orchestra.

Learn more about the 2022/23 season here.