Just one of the great things about being the COC's General Director is that I get to represent my company at cultural events all over the world. So I went to Montreal yesterday afternoon for the inauguration of the new concert hall for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, la Maison Symphonique de Montréal. Since my arrival in Canada this is the second opening of a new concert hall that I got to attend (the first being Toronto's splendid Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory) and I found myself sitting there last night thinking how lucky I am to live and work in a country that, against all odds, continues to grow its cultural infrastructure.
The hall itself has been designed by the same team that was responsible for our Four Seasons Centre, Diamond & Schmitt Architects, Sound Space Design and Fisher Dachs Associates, with the addition of Artec Consultants. Its shoebox shape has a functional beauty that reminded me of our R. Fraser Elliot Hall and, as one might expect, the acoustics are glorious: detailed, warm, rich and transparent.
There really is no better piece to open a new hall than Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and it was a real pleasure to see Kent Nagano and the musicians of the Montreal Symphony embrace the possibilities of their new home. Preceding the symphony was a marvelously showcase of Quebec composers and writers with pieces by Claude Vivier, Gilles Tremblay, a new commission by Julien Bilodeau and texts by Joséphine Bacon, Yann Martel, Marie-Claire Blais and Wajdi Mouawad that had also been commissioned by the orchestra for the inauguration.
Now, I'm just about to return to Toronto for our rehearsals of Iphigénie en Tauride and Rigoletto. In two weeks from today we will open our 2011/12 season.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (0) / permalink
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