Guest conductor Lina González-Granados will be bringing the sounds of the Andes, Mexico and Spain to the orchestra. With restrained drama and captivating dances, a colourful portrait of Spain comes to life through MILOŠ’s guitar in his performance of the celebrated Concierto de Aranjuez. Also on the program, Elegía andina dreams of identity, while Danzón No. 2 and The Three-Cornered Hat evoke joy and dance.
Podcast (French only)
Symphonic Tales is a new series of podcasts by the Orchestre Métropolitain presented by Radio VM. These podcasts, hosted by musicologist Marilou Garon, offer an immersion into the works on the concert programs for the 2022-2023 season.
At the Maison symphonique only
6:30 p.m. | Concert Hall
One hour before the concert, you’re invited to discover the works on the program with musicologist Marilou Garon and guest artists. For this concert, she will have a conversation with guitarist MILOŠ and composer Alejandra Odgers.
Premiered in Troy, New York, on December 10, 2000, by the Albany Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Alan Miller
Gabriela Frank is one of the most acclaimed contemporary female composers. Born in California to a Jewish father of Lithuanian origin and a mother from a Chinese-Peruvian background, she bases her artistic approach on exploring various cultural and musical identities. It was through the piano that Frank entered the world of music and, from a very young age, she has enjoyed performing not only classical works and ragtimes but also her own compositions, deeply influenced by her mother’s Andean origins. In addition to her activities as a composer, Frank is a pianist specializing in contemporary repertoire. She also hosts emerging young composers at the Gabriela Frank Creative Academy of Music, which she founded in 2017.
“I write to tell stories, and stories exist to enlarge our reality so that we can really be human, not merely a reactive organism.” – Gabriela Frank
Composed in 2000, Elegía Andina is Frank’s first orchestral work. She wrote it following a trip to Peru while she was completing her doctorate at the University of Michigan. In the piece, the composer melds western art music and aspects of traditional Peruvian music. The flute, with its pentatonic harmonies and playing techniques associated with panpipes, and horns that quote El Cholito, a folk tune with a very characteristic beat, evoke stylistic elements of Peruvian music.
Premiered in Barcelona on November 9, 1940, by guitarist Regino Sáinz de la Maza and the Orquesta Filarmónica de Barcelona conducted by César Mendoza Lasalle
The main representative of the neoclassical current in Spain, Joaquín Rodrigo was born in 1901 in Sagunto, near Valencia. He lost his sight at the age of three during a diphtheria epidemic. After completing his initial musical training, he studied in Paris with Paul Dukas, alongside Ravel and Manuel de Falla among others. He returned to the French capital in the 1930s and lived in Germany, Switzerland and Austria during the Spanish civil war. Back in Paris in 1939, just before definitively returning to this homeland, he completed his best-known work, the Concierto de Aranjuez, whose title refers to a summer palace of Spanish kings, located south of Madrid and largely rebuilt and embellished with extensive gardens in the 18th century.
Inspired by “the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds and the gushing of fountains,” Rodrigo revives the spirit of the work of Domenico Scarlatti. He explains: “Claude Debussy defined the guitar as an expressive harpsichord. I believe that is the best definition ever given of the Spanish guitar. Our guitar is the only survivor of the rich and anarchic instrumental wildlife of the Middle Ages.” From the first bars, the guitar establishes the beat with repeated chords grouped in twos and threes. The strings then pick up the motif and develop it against the luminous colours of the winds. In the following Adagio, the English horn intones a poignant melody accompanied by the guitar, which then takes up the tune, ornamenting and sharing it with the other desks before reaching a big cadenza. In the concluding Allegro gentile, the guitar sets out a dance or song in rondo form and popular style with a rhythmic tension that combines binary and tertiary metre, the strings playing staccato until reaching the conclusion on tip toes.
Premiered in Montreal on December 1, 2007, by the Orchestre de l’Université de Montréal conducted by Jean-François Rivest
After completing her musical studies in Mexico and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in composition and oboe, Alejandra Odgers moved to Quebec, where she earned a doctorate in composition from the Université de Montréal. Her works are performed in Europe as well as on the American continent, and she has won many awards in Mexico and Canada. She recently received Mécénat Musica’s prestigious Prix 3 Femmes, which will allow her to compose an opera based on Abenaki legends. Odgers draws inspiration from sources of western art music and from traditional Mexican and indigenous music.
Discovering Abenaki legends and songs during a visit to the Maison amérindienne led to the composition of Toni alossan. The composer found herself confronting a new challenge: creating music respectful of the character of the indigenous melodies while also composing a new work that associates western and traditional music. Toni alossan is built in the form of an arch and incorporates Abenaki melodies. Two horns open and close the work, and each of the Amerindian songs is assigned to an instrument family, giving the song its own personality. In the orchestra, drums, congas and bongos evoke the double-skinned drum used to accompany indigenous singing. The maracas depict Abenaki rattles.
“With this work, I wanted to pay a modest tribute to all who help maintain the songs, traditions and legends across time.” – Alejandra Odgers
El Sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat), Suite No. 1
Premiered in London on July 22, 1919, conducted by Ernest Ansermet
The modern Spanish school came into its own with Isaac Albeníz (1860-1909) and Enrique Granados (1867-1916), who, as the first exponents, brought it to the world’s attention. Following in their footsteps were Manuel de Falla, Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) and Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999), the most popular ambassors, with de Falla generally considered the greatest of them all.
In 1917, de Falla composed a two-scene pantomime ballet titled El Corregidor y la molinera (The Magistrate and the Miller’s Wife), based on a story by Spanish novelist Pedro de Alarcón (1833-1891). Like his preceding masterpiece El Amor brujo (Love, the Magician, 1915), the music is steeped in the harmonies of the cante jondo, the authentic Flamenco singing of the Andalusian Roma, which de Falla was well acquainted with.
After attending the premier of The Magistrate, the renowned impresario Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) commissioned a more elaborate version reorchestrated for large forces. Renamed El Sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat), which was the title of Alarcón’s novel, this definitive version received its premiere at the Alhambra Theatre in London in 1919, with none other than Pablo Picasso responsible for the sets and Léonide Massine in charge of choreography. The two orchestral suites drawn from The Three-Cornered Hat omit two Flamenco-style songs sung by a mezzo-soprano but retain most of the other music.
Premiered in Mexico City on March 5, 1994, by the Orquestra Filarmónica de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México conducted by Francisco Savín
Arturo Márquez, one of the most eminent Mexican composers, discovered music through his father, a mariachi player, and his grandfather, a traditional musician. This early exposure to various musical styles would influence his future works. From the age of 16, while also studying piano, violin, tuba and trombone, Márquez began to compose. Following studies at Mexico’s Conservatorio Nacional de Música with, among others, Federico Ibarra and Joaquín Gutiérrez, Márquez became a student of composer Jacques Castérède in Paris. He subsequently enrolled in the University of California, where he obtained a master’s degree in composition. Márquez is a creator of orchestral works, chamber music, choral music and film scores. Between 1990 and 2004, he composed eight danzones for various instrumental formations, integrating popular-style music with more formal contemporary writing. One of the most famous is the Danzón No. 2.
Evolved from the Cuban habanera, danzones are a dance that has been performed in Mexico’s Veracruz region since the 1800s. Márquez’s Danzón No. 2 takes up the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic features of the traditional dánzon and retains its rondo form. Alternating lyric sequences with colourful and pulsating interventions from the orchestra, the work begins with a sensuous melody played on the clarinet, discreetly accompanied by the claves, piano and pizzicato strings. Sustained by the claves’ obsessive beat, the music gradually builds until it pulls the entire orchestra into an irresistible whirlwind, a kind of apotheosis of the dance.
“A show of raw power, an aural force to glue you to your seat.” – Los Angeles Times
Praised for her “rich, heartfelt orchestral sound” (Chicago Sun-Times), “rhythmic vitality” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “raw power” (LA Times), Colombian-American Lina Gonzalez-Granados has distinguished herself nationally and internationally as a singularly-talented young conductor. Her powerful interpretations of the symphonic and operatic repertoire, as well as her dedication to highlighting new and unknown works by Latin-American composers, have earned her international recognition, most recently as the recipient of the 2021 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, the Third Prize and ECHO Special Award (European Concert Hall Organization) of La Maestra Competition, as well as the 2020 and 2021 Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Award.
After winning the Fourth Chicago Symphony Orchestra Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition, Lina was named the new Solti Conducting Apprentice under the guidance of Maestro Riccardo Muti, from February 2020 and continuing through June 2023. Last season, she was also appointed Resident Conductor by the LA Opera, a post she will hold thru June 2025, opening this season with a production of Lucia de Lammermoor. She has also held positions as Conducting Fellow of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Seattle Symphony.
Lina’s 2022-23 season brings her back to the Seattle Symphony, along with highly-anticipated debuts with the Orchestre Métropolitain, NACO, Indianapolis Symphony, Sarasota Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Philadelphia Opera, Borusan Philharmonic, Aalborg Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, as well as performances at Caramoor and Grafenegg Festivals.
Her momentous 2021-22 season highlights included heralded debuts with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl, Chicago Symphony (an acclaimed last-minute stand-in), New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony (USA), Houston Symphony, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Barcelona Symphony, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, Kristiansand Symphony, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Polish National Radio Symphony, Orquesta del Principado de Asturias, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and Tenerife Symphony. She also led a production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Dallas Opera.
Born and raised in Cali, Colombia, Lina made her conducting debut in 2008 with the Youth Orchestra of Bellas Artes. She holds a Master’s Degree in Conducting with Charles Peltz, a Graduate Diploma in Choral Conducting from New England Conservatory with Erica Washburn, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from Boston University. Her principal mentors include Riccardo Muti, Marin Alsop, Bernard Haitink, Bramwell Tovey and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Firmly positioned as a leading exponent of his instrument, Miloš has appeared in some of the most important concert halls and at major festivals around the world, including with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, and Cleveland Orchestra.
His first three releases on Deutsche Grammophon achieved chart-topping successes around the globe and turned him into “classical music’s guitar hero” (BBC Music Magazine) overnight. His recording of Rodrigo’s concerto with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the London Philharmonic had the Sunday Times calling him “The King of Aranjuez”, while his record, Blackbird–The Beatles Album — including duets with Gregory Porter, Tori Amos, Steven Isserlis, and Anoushka Shankar – was released to unanimous praise. Miloš’ 2019 album, Sound of Silence, joined his previous albums, in reaching No. 1 on the UK Classical charts, and on Amazon.
Miloš is the first ever classical guitarist to have performed in solo recital at the Royal Albert Hall in London, The Guardian commenting: “More extraordinary by far was the way a single guitarist could shrink the Hall’s cavernous space into something so close.” The Independent concluded: “not only a magician, but a serious and accomplished musician”.
In August 2018 Miloš made a triumphant return to the hall. In front of 6000 people at the BBC Proms, he performed the world premiere of Joby Talbot’s guitar concerto, Ink Dark Moon written especially for him, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Committed to commissioning new repertoire for the guitar, Miloš joined the NAC Ottawa in May 2019 to perform another concerto written especially for him, ‘The Forest’ by Howard Shore.
In 2021, Miloš released his sixth album The Moon and the Forest, featuring the Talbot and Shore concerti as well as Ludovico Einaudi’s ‘Full Moon’ and Schumann’s ‘Traumerei’. This latest album marks Miloš’s 10-year anniversary with Decca and was hailed by Gramophone as offering “new perspectives on the relationship between guitar and orchestra, performed with conviction and elan”.
Taking every opportunity to promote classical music to the widest possible audience, Miloš often finds himself in the role of a radio and TV presenter. He is a passionate supporter of music education and acts as a Patron of the Mayor of London Fund for Young Musicians and the Awards for Young Musicians. Miloš records exclusively for Decca Classics, and BBC Music magazine included him amongst six of the greatest classical guitarists of the last century. He lives in London and performs on a 2007 Greg Smallman guitar.
Yukari Cousineau, Concertmaster
Marcelle Mallette, Associate Concertmaster
Johanne Morin, Assistant Concertmaster
Florence Mallette, 2nd Assistant Concertmaster
Marie-Claire Cousineau *
Julien Oberson *
Nancy Ricard, Principal
Lyne Allard, Associate Principal
Dominic Guilbault, Assistant Principal
Lucie Ménard, 2nd Assistant Principal
Helga Dathe *
Daniel Godin *
Elvira Misbakhova, Principal
Pierre Tourville, Associate Principal
Brian Bacon, Assistant Principal
Suzanne Careau *
Caroline Milot, Principal
Thérèse Ryan, Associate Principal
Vincent Bergeron, Assistant Principal
Christine Harvey *
René Gosselin, Principal
Marc Denis, Associate Principal
Gilbert Fleury, Assistant Principal
Catherine Lefebvre *
Marie-Andrée Benny, Principal
Caroline Séguin, Principal Piccolo
Mélissa Tremblay, Principal
Simon Aldrich, Principal
Michel Bettez, Principal
Horns Jocelyn Veilleux, Principal
Antoine Mailloux, Principal
Patrice Richer, Principal
Matthieu Bourget, Principal Bass Trombone
Alain Cazes, Principal
Julien Bélanger, Principal
Alexandre Lavoie, Principal
Robin Best, Principal
Jennifer Bourdages, Principal
* November 4 only
The Steinway Piano that is used at Maison symphonique de Montreal was generously offered to the OSM by philanthropist David B. Sela, who has agreed to lend it to the Orchestre Métropolitain.
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