Based in Montreal, Quebec, Orchestre Métropolitain (OM) and its artistic director and principal conductor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, have introduced the conducting academy as part of OM’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Applications were open to conductors between the ages of 18 and 35 residing in Canada during the 2021-22 orchestra season. They had to be enrolled in, or have recently completed an orchestral conducting program at a higher education institution.
Selected from 32 applicants, the academy’s young conductors are Marie-Claire Cardinal, Monica Chen, Benoît Gauthier, Félix Ste-Marie, Trevor Wilson, and Naomi Woo.
The candidates will be immersed in OM’s performance surroundings and will have backstage access to rehearsals and concerts. Additionally, they will receive unique mentoring from Nézet-Séguin.
Regular interaction with the OM’s team members and musicians will occur for training purposes and the conductors will also have roles in OM’s educational offerings and artistic activities.
As this is OM’s first academy initiative, it will be documented in collaboration with Télé-Québec’s La Fabrique culturelle, which will produce a video highlighting the academy experiences and the learnings required to become an orchestral conductor.
“We want to give them an extra chance to swim in the symphonic environment, to get an idea of how it really happens on the spot, during rehearsals, backstage, in preparation for concerts,” said Laura Eaton, OM’s Head of Education. “We also want them to be able to meet our musicians, to know the expectations of being a professional musician.”
Titled “Closer Than Ever,” OM’s 40th season will begin on September 30, 2021, starting with pianist Hélène Grimaud performing Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major.
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