OSM: A search committee for the future Music Director has been set up (September 2017)

MONTRÉAL, September 26, 2017 – Three months after revealing the end of Kent Nagano’s mandate as music director of the OSM in 2020, the Orchestra announces that the process enabling it to find a future music director is under way and that a prestigious search committee has been formed, which met for the first time last week.

The search committee will make its recommendations to the Orchestra’s executive committee. No deadline has been set for determining the choice of the next music director.

The committee will be chaired by Suzanne Fortier, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University, and have as its senior advisor Zarin Mehta, a great executive who served as managing director of the OSM from 1981 to 1990, then as executive director of the Ravinia Festival (1990-2000) and of the New York Philharmonic until 2012. The seasoned players making up the committee hail from the music scene both local and international (Europe and the U.S.). They are Laurent Bayle, executive director, Cité de la musique-Philharmonie (Paris); Madeleine Careau, chief executive officer of the OSM; Pierre Goulet, former president of Jeunesses Musicales Internationales, current chairman of the board of the Festival d’Opéra de Québec and member of the OSM board of directors; Ara Guzelimian, dean and provost of the Julliard School (New York); Richard Lupien, president of the Jeunesses Musicales Canada Foundation and president of Pro Musica; Alexander Neef, general director of the Canadian Opera Company (Toronto); Isabelle Panneton, dean, Faculty of Music, Université de Montréal; Nancy Rosenfeld, president of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation and member of the OSM board; Andrew Wan, OSM concertmaster, along with two musicians of the Orchestra appointed by the musicians’ committee: Ali Yazdanfar, principal double bass, and Todd Cope, principal clarinet. Their recommendations will be made with an eye to the future, but bearing in mind the importance of continuity.

The excellence and vision of the OSM have been shaped over the years by its eight music directors: Wilfrid Pelletier, a Montrealer by birth and the Orchestra’s first artistic director; Désiré Defauw, Igor Markevitch, Zubin Mehta, under whose direction the Orchestra gave its first concerts in Europe; Franz-Paul Decker, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, whose collaboration with the Orchestra lasted close to 25 years; and, since 2006, Kent Nagano, who played a significant role in the building and inauguration of the new concert hall in 2011 and whose engagement and innovative ideas have helped make music more accessible. The future music director will build on the achievements of his or her predecessors, who have contributed to a democratization of the face of music and to making Montréal, each in his own way, an incontestable cultural metropolis.

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