The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal is considered the most prestigious symphony orchestra in Canada and one of the best in North America.
Composed of 92 permanent musicians and a choir, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal gives nearly 100 classical music concerts per year, the vast majority in the main concert hall, the Maison symphonique.
In addition to major concerts, symphony series and recitals, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal also gives shows for young people and shows featuring a more pop-music style of classical music as part of the OSM Pop series, which stars artists such as Les Trois Accords, Ariane Moffatt, Roch Voisine and many more.
Founded in 1934, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s first Artistic Director was the Montrealer Wilfrid Pelletier (1935–1941), whose name adorns the first concert hall built in 1963 on the site that would become Place des Arts. The OSM earned its place of prominence on the international scene under the direction of Charles Dutoit (1977–2002), owing notably to important tours and fine recordings. From 2006 to 2020, Kent Nagano took the helm of the OSM, inaugurating the Maison symphonique, the Orchestra’s home venue, as well as the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique. Conductor Rafael Payare succeeded him in 2021 as Music Director Designate and fulfills his first complete programming with the 2022–2023 season.
An orchestra making its mark internationally
The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal has greatly accentuated its presence at a number of festivals and on tour in Europe, Asia and South America in recent years. The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal is also reputed for its hundred or so recordings over the years, which have earned it some fifty national and international awards, on prestigious labels including Decca, EMI, Philips, CBC Records, Analekta, ECM and Sony, as well as under its own label.