Kent Nagano gets third term in Montreal

Kent Nagano gets third term in Montreal


norman lebrecht

November 11, 2013

Press release:




The OSM renews Kent Nagano’s contract until 2020

The OSM’s conductor since 2006, Maestro Nagano wishes

 to continue raising the Orchestra’s profile


MONTREAL, November 11, 2013—The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) is pleased to announce that Maestro Kent Nagano’s contract as the Orchestra’s music director has been extended until 2020. Since its association with Maestro Nagano, the OSM has consolidated its standing among leading North American orchestras and increased initiatives to get closer to its audience, while contributing to making the OSM a cultural institution that is well rooted in the community in Montreal, in Quebec and across Canada.


After serving as music advisor for two years, Maestro Nagano became the Orchestra’s music director in 2006. His first five-year term was renewed twice, most recently until 2016.


“Since Maestro Nagano has been with the OSM, he has not only measured up to his international reputation as an outstanding interpreter of the classical repertoire, he has also demonstrated his ability to bring people together around many key projects,” said Lucien Bouchard, chairman of the OSM’S board of directors. “He has contributed to raising the OSM’s profile while making a strong commitment to the community,” he added.


“Maestro Nagano is an outstanding musician who has played a prominent role in Montreal’s cultural and social life,” said Hélène Desmarais, deputy chair of the OSM’s board. “He has forged relationships with many artists in Quebec and across Canada, which have resulted in memorable artistic collaborations,” she said.


“We’re very pleased that our association with Maestro Nagano has been extended until 2020. This will enable us to build on the momentum of the recent years and move forward with new development projects that hold great promise for the OSM, the city of Montreal and Quebec”, said Marie-José Nadeau, vice-chair of the board of directors.


“Maestro Nagano’s vision, energy and passion have been decisive elements in the OSM’s success over the past 10 years. We’re delighted with the idea of continuing this excellent partnership and look to the future with great enthusiasm,” said Madeleine Careau, the Orchestra’s CEO.


“My attachment to Montreal and the close relationships I have developed with the OSM’s talented musicians over the years are among the reasons that prompted me to renew my commitment to the Orchestra. Montreal is a friendly city that abounds with creativity and a vibrant culture where European and North American cultures mesh perfectly. I’ve had the good fortune in recent years to be part of a great period in the Orchestra’s history. I hope to help create and develop other important projects during my extended tenure as music director, which will raise the OSM’s profile both in Montreal and beyond,” said Maestro Nagano.


A significant contribution

Since joining the OSM, Maestro Nagano has contributed to many of the Orchestra’s major projects, including Maison symphonique, its new home, which opened in 2011, and construction of the Grand Orgue Pierre‑Béique, which will have its inaugural concert in 2014. The OSM has become one of the foremost exponents of the rich Austro-German repertoire and the Orchestra has recorded extensively, drawing attention for several recordings of Beethoven, among others. In addition, the OSM has seen growth and significant renewal of its audiences (in 2013, the OSM had 1,300 subscribers under age 34).


Notable events

Under Maestro Nagano’s leadership, the OSM’s musicians have demonstrated the breadth of their talent, both in their performances of the great classics from the European tradition and in major events. For example, in 2009, the OSM’s celebrated its 75th anniversary with a big concert before an audience of 12,000 at the Bell Centre, at the same time as the Montreal Canadiens marked 100 years of hockey, to the sound of François Dompierre’s Les Glorieux, followed by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The Orchestra’s tours have taken it to the four corners of the globe, from Japan and South Korea to Europe and across Canada, including Nunavik, where musicians from the OSM performed Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale in 2008.


Premieres and commissions

Over the years, the OSM has commissioned a number of original works by Quebec composers. These include Simon Leclerc’s Concerto pour animateur de radio et orchestre and Écoutez mon histoireand a work by Denis Gougeon, inspired by Quebec folklore and featuring folk musician Yves Lambert. In 2011, Maestro Nagano and the OSM worked with storyteller Fred Pellerin to create a musical Christmas tale that was aired on Radio-Canada.




  • Emil Archambault says:

    So what’s with all the posts here stating that the OSM was to end his contract in 2016???

    That being said, I am very happy for Montreal. The orchestra and the city can only benefit from this.

  • Emil Archambault says:

    By the way, Kent Nagano was this week given the honorary title of “Great Montrealer” (Grand Montréalais).