I Musici de Montréal unveils its 36th season

Montreal, April 17, 2019 – The Artistic Director of I Musici de Montréal, Jean Marie Zeitouni, unveiled the orchestra’s program for its 36th season at a performance today in the Alexis Nihon office tower lobby, hosted by Cominar, the ensemble’s new Principal Partner. The lunch-hour event featured I Musici’s 15 musicians, several guest artists and broadcaster Mario F. Paquet. The audience learned details of upcoming concerts and was given a taste of what the orchestra has in store for the new season.

Highlights of I Musici de Montréal’s 36th season

Once again this year, I Musici de Montréal’s concerts will be divided into two series: I Grandi Concerti and I Concertini. The orchestra will maintain its residence at Bourgie Hall at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, so audiences will continue to enjoy their concerts at the same magical location in the heart of downtown Montreal. This season, I Musici will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Jacques Offenbach, and the 150th of that of Albert Roussel, giving listeners an opportunity to discover works by these great composers.

The six concerts in the I Concertini series will each be presented twice on Thursdays, at 11:00 a.m. and 6 p.m. By popular demand, the number of I Concertini programs will increase from five concerts to six this season. These musical rendezvous of about an hour will allow the audience to discover emerging artists and works not widely known by the general public through illuminating comments by conductors and musicians. In addition, I Musici is renewing its commitment to contemporary composers by presenting the works of Americans Missy Mazzoli, Morten Lauridsen, John Adams and John Corigliano as well as Guillaume Connesson from France, Estonian Arvo Pärt and Canada’s John Macpherson. The orchestra is also proud to announce that it is commissioning new works from Canadian composers Kelly-Marie Murphy and Dinuk Wijeratne.

Montreal music lovers will find the four concerts of the I Grandi Concerti series powerful and moving. The first concert, conducted by Jean-Marie Zeitouni, will celebrate the beauty of the human voice with the addition of a choir formed exclusively for this event. Then, I Musici will have the great honour of welcoming back the renowned violist Maxim Rysanov, who will serve as both soloist and conductor in a concert on the theme of friendship that draws its inspiration from the works of Schubert. In the third concert of the series, violinist Vadim Gluzman will be sure to impress with a program featuring Beethoven but also some avant-garde works. The season will culminate with a presentation by Jean-Marie Zeitouni and French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet of four masterpieces from Haydn and Beethoven. This concert, which will illustrate the transition from the classical to the romantic period, will be enhanced by the unique tones of Bourgie Hall’s Erard piano. The concerts in this series will start at 7 :30 p.m. rather than 8 p.m. in order to accommodate the very busy lives led by today’s concertgoers.

Jean-Marie Zeitouni will also invite some up-and-coming conductors to lead the ensemble this season. We’ll enjoy the work of Sri Lankan Canadian Dinuk Wijeratne in a concert featuring music inspired by Eastern influences with notable support from soloist Shawn Mativesky on tabla. In February, rising star Gemma New will present a program that celebrates the great Johann Sebastian Bach’s impact on his contemporaries.

Continuing to fulfill its mission of helping Montrealers discover, or rediscover, Canadian soloists, I Musici will welcome cellist Cameron Crozman, violonist Kerson Leong, and horn players Louis-Philippe Marsolais and Louis-Pierre Bergeron. Fans of the vocal arts will also be in for a treat with the return of soprano Myriam Leblanc for two concerts. Music lovers will have a chance to hear soprano Magali Simard-Galdès, mezzo-sopranos Maude Brunet and Rose Naggar-Tremblay as well as tenors Jacques-Olivier Chartier and David Menzies.

As Canada’s foremost generalist chamber orchestra, I Musici will further explore the repertoire of great but overshadowed composers of all eras. From Ferdinand Ries to Charles Koechlin, from Gabriel Pierné to Alfred Schnittke, you are in for some wonderful discoveries this coming season!

Other I Musici initiatives for the 2019-2020 season

As a complement to its two signature series, I Musici de Montréal is proud to support up-and-coming artists and team up with BOP | Ballet Opéra Pantomime for an exceptional show combining classical music, modern dance and theatre. They will present Vaisseau-coeur from September 10 to 12, 2019 at Bourgie Hall, in partnership with the Arte Musica Foundation. This ambitious project will bring together more than 50 musicians, and four dancers, around works by Poulenc and Messiaen.

In another initiative that will support the next generation of talented musicians, I Musici would like to take this occasion to announce the creation of a new multiyear partnership with the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. As well, the orchestra will pursue or enter into collaborations with prominent educational and community partners, such as the Commission scolaire de Montréal, the École Joseph-François-Perrault, Une école montréalaise pour tous, the McCord Museum and The Secret Mountain. More on these collaborations will be revealed during the 2019-2020 season.

I Musici de Montréal would like to thank its partners for their vital support: First, our Lead Partner, Cominar; our Artistic Initiatives Partner, COPAP; and I Grandi Concerti Series Partner, Laurentian Bank Securities | Imbeau Morin, Investment Advisors. Thanks also go out to our artistic collaborators, the Arte Musica Foundation and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, our Advertising and Media Agency Upperkut, as well as our in-kind partners Cantini, Café Brossard and La Blandinerie. Last but not least, I Musici de Montréal could not shine as brightly without the unstinting support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Bénédicte Frémont

I Musici
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