Each season, the Orchestre Métropolitain invites a great local or international performer, conductor or composer to take part in a residency. In addition to encouraging artistic collaboration, local audiences are introduced to prominent musicians from different backgrounds.
This year, the OM offered the sought-after position of soloist-in-residence to renowned Franco-Swiss flutist Emmanuel Pahud, and he accepted without hesitation! His arrival is one of the 2022–2023 season’s key events. We spoke with the musician just before he came to Quebec.
OM: Greetings Mr Pahud. Why did you accept the invitation of Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain to be the guest soloist in residence for their 2022-2023 season?
E. P.: Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the OM are one of the liveliest and warmest music making combos worldwide nowadays, and the audience as well as we guest soloists know that very well. I am thrilled about this invitation and this collaboration in and around Montreal!
OM: When did you first meet conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin?
E. P.: On stage, or better in the studios, in the summer of 2008, when we got together to record an album of Opera paraphrases and fantasies for flute and orchestra. But we had heard and know from each other already before. I was struck by Yannick’s ability to breathe the music with me, his soloist, and convey this way of making music to the orchestra.
OM: Did you participate in the development of the concert program? If so, in what way? What is your musical approach?
E.P.: Of course, a programme is elaborated in continuous discussion between the presenter, the conductor and the soloist. In this case, we wanted to focus on the french repertoire, and present pieces written by each a woman and a man. We had already performed the Ibert Flute Concerto together a few years ago at Domaine Forget, and wanted to explore further music from the 20th century, and very naturally this lead us to the Chaminade Concertino and the Poulenc Sonata.
OM: Which work(s) do you most enjoy playing in this program? Which, if any, is the most challenging?
E.P.: I enjoy every work I am playing, and wouldn’t want to have to make a choice. The Chaminade Concertino is one of the dreams of every flute player to play in their teens, and the Poulenc Sonata in this orchestration gets an incredibly voluptuous, colourful, and rich texture. All this music is very expressive for the Flute, with irresistible melodic lines, with very virtuosic moments as well.
OM: At what point in your musical career did you decide that the flute would be your instrument of choice?
E. P.: I chose to play the flute at age 5 when I heard my neighbour playing the Mozart Flute Concerto next door, and started a year later. It was only 10 years later, when I first performed it on stage with orchestra at age 15, that I decided to become a professional flute player.
OM: Have you ever come to play in Quebec or visited Quebec? If so, what is your relationship with the public here?
E. P.: I have been already performing a few times in Montreal and in Québec, and have been coming since 1995 every other summer to Domaine Forget in Charlevoix for the Music academy and festival. I love it here, and I am looking forward to deepen the connections in Montreal across this season with my visits in October and January.
Don’t miss out on the Orchestre Métropolitain’s concerts with Emmanuel Pahud this season, including his debut at the Maison symphonique de Montréal on October 16.
The flutist will be taking part in 2 concerts alongside the orchestra at the Maison symphonique and 5 concerts across the city as part of the CAM Touring Program. He will wrap up his residency with a chamber music program at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’s Bourgie Hall.