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The Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal Unveils its 2008-2009 Season Programming

Montreal, April 1, 2008 — The Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal and its Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin are pleased to unveil a spectacular 28th season: 7 concerts at Place des Arts, 18 concerts in different Montreal boroughs, and something new: Sunday afternoon performances of 2 of the 7 regular season concerts. The Métropolitain’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, has strengthened the bond with “his” orchestra this year by conducting 17 season concerts out of 25.

The Orchestre Métropolitain’s 28th season shines with a dazzling display of colour. For openers, the bewitching magic of La Valse by Maurice Ravel will be presented alongside the composer’s own brilliant orchestration of Mussorgsky’s spectacular Pictures at an Exhibition.

We are particularly proud this year of our impressive roster of soloists, who join the Orchestre Métropolitain for some of the high points of the repertoire. Two young conductors among the rising stars on the international scene complete the impressive cast: the French conductor Fabien Gabel and the Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård will respectively lead the orchestra in Beethoven and Bizet: Symphonies in C, and Sibelius’ Finlandia.

The season gives pride of place to the noble art of singing: of the seven concerts, three prominently feature the human voice. Among the first-class young performers currently active on the Canadian and international scenes, Marianne Fiset and Julie Bouliane will sing Berlioz and Rachmaninov, Measha Brueggergosman, Krisztina Szabo, Joseph Kaiser, and Jonathan Lemalu will be heard in Mendelssohn’s monumental choral work, Elijah, and Christianne Stotijn and John Mac Master perform in Song of the Earth, continuing the orchestra’s performances of Mahler’s complete symphonic cycle begun seven seasons ago.

Two concerts also showcase the melodious violin. The Orchestre Métropolitain’s second principal violin, Noémi Racine-Gaudreault, performs a new work by Canadian composer R. Murray Shafer, and Caroline Chéhadé, winner of the 2007 Prix d’Europe, will play Sibelius’ well-loved Concerto for Violin. Finally, the pianist who created a sensation last summer at the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau is back to perform Bartók’s Concerto for Piano No. 3, to audiences’ general delight.

As always, orchestral symphonic music is at the heart of our programming: this year we feature a treasure-trove of symphonies by Beethoven, Bizet, Dvorák, Sibelius, Haydn, and finally Bruckner, whose Symphony No. 8 crowns the season.

New to this year’s schedule are presentations on Sunday afternoons of two regular-season concerts conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin (September 28, 2008 and February 22, 2009). This choice better

accommodates the sizeable audience whose schedules or family and school constraints do not always allow them time to attend weeknight concerts.

Eighteen performances in a range of Montreal boroughs will reach an even wider audience while providing soloists with the opportunity of performing their repertoire on several occasions. Thanks to the Montreal Arts Council, the Métropolitain is able again this year to carry out its outreach mandate, with some ten performances in Montreal boroughs and suburbs of concerts presented in downtown Montreal. And again this year, the Métropolitain is pleased to be associated with the Fall Festival Orgue et couleurs, with which it has collaborated since the beginning.

On May 4, 2008, the Orchestre Métropolitain conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin invites audiences to enjoy the most beautiful voices currently being heard on the concert stage: Renée Fleming, Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, and Matthew Polenzani with perform at the fourth annual benefit concert, Hitting the High Notes to raise funds for the Orchestre Métropolitain and Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Also in May 2008, the Orchestre Métropolitain conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni will accompany the finalists and winners of the 2008 Piano Competition sponsored by the Montreal International Music Competition (MIMC), a world-class competition for young performers embarking upon a professional career in music.

The Orchestre Métropolitain, in collaboration with some of the orchestra’s musicians, is also proud to offer school boards and schools an interesting and varied educational programme. It includes workshops for primary school students entitled La musique et la nature (Music and Nature) and Autour du monde avec Tintin (Around the World with Tintin), and for secondary school students, a workshop called Dans le vent! (It’s in the Wind!) with the Métropolitain’s Wind Quintet.

This summer and from September 28, 2008 to June 15, 2009, the Orchestre Métropolitain invites music-lovers of all ages to join us and bring out their Classical side!

Source: Danielle Lachance, Director of Communications, 514-598-0870, ext 25

The Orchestre Métropolitain wishes to thank the Caisses Populaires Desjardins movement for its contribution to this season’s unveiling

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