Founded in 1934, the Montreal symphony orchestra is one of the major cultural organizations in the city whose name it bears with pride. From Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, located in the heart of the city, the OSM shines throughout Quebec and Canada. Through its international tours and recordings, it has also become a cultural ambassador, making an important contribution to the spread of culture and artistic exchanges.
Music directors who have contributed to the artistic growth of the OSM include Wilfrid Pelletier, Désiré Defauw, Igor Markevitch, Zubin Mehta, Franz-Paul Decker, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and, from 1977 to 2002, Charles Dutoit. The excellence of the OSM has been amply proven in the course of 37 national and international tours.
The OSM made 88 recordings, of which more than 76 have been on the London/Decca label. Others have been for EMI, Philips and CBC. The OSM has received 47 awards for its recordings, of which 24 are international awards. In December of 1984, the OSM became the first Canadian ensemble to achieve Platinum status for its recording of Ravel’s Bolero.
The recognition of the OSM’s artistic excellence still continues. In April 2003, the OSM and violinist James Ehnes under the direction of Mario Bernardi received a Juno in the category: “Best Classical Album: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Larger Ensemble Accompaniment”. A few months later, the same recording was awarded a Felix. It is to be noted that the previous recording of the OSM and James Ehnes had received a Juno Award in April 2002 in the same category.
Kent Nagano will become the Orchestra’s next Music Director starting in 2006. In the meantime, Mr. Nagano will act as Music Advisor and will conduct four concerts during the 2004-2005 season.