February 28, 2019 7:36 pm
Updated: February 28, 2019 7:39 pm

Maestro Kent Nagano prepares for final season with Montreal Symphony Orchestra

Thu, Feb 28: Maestro Kent Nagano is gearing up for his last season with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Details of his 16th season with the MSO have been unveiled and as Global's Tim Sargeant explains, the 2019-2020 season looks promising.


It’s only fitting that the unveiling of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s 2019-2020 season had some of the OSM musicians performing at the Maison Symphonique.

Maestro Kent Nagano was introduced to thundering applause as he prepares for his 16th and final season as the music director of the OSM.

The orchestra has evolved a lot under Nagano’s leadership.

Nagano’s style and influence attracts a younger crowd. As a result, audience members are a lot younger.

Nagano has also been able to bring the orchestra to many communities and various performing venues that seemed to bring the orchestra closer to the people.

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The OSM with Nagano has a long list of accomplishments, including award-winning albums and the introduction of a new summer concert series with free outdoor performances.

This also includes building the majestic Maison Symphonique, successful world tours and the establishing of OSM as one of the premier orchestras in the world.

“We are extremely competitive and that’s something that I think, for me, is a major achievement,” Nagano told Global News.

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Nagano has performed between 500 and 600 concerts with the OSM and is scheduled for another 100 in the 2019-2020 season.

The California native was named music director in 2004 and started on the job a couple of years later. He says leaving Montreal at the end of next season brings a lot of complex emotions to the surface.

But Nagano admits he has a lot to be grateful for.

“It’s a great, great honour to have had this hospitality and this warmth of the community — the support of the orchestra,” he said.

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The OSM is about to embark on a seven-day European tour before finishing the 2018-2019 season.

Members of the orchestra, meanwhile, say they will miss Nagano once he leaves.

“We’re sad to see him go. He’s done a lot for the city, and a lot for us,” Andrew Wan, OSM concertmaster, told Global News.

The current season ends June 1st and the 2019-2020 season will open September 17th.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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