New Montreal Symphony hall will need a name

Posted on: June 8, 2009

In Saturday’s (6/6) Gazette (Montreal), Arthur Kaptainis considers naming possibilities for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s new concert hall, opening in 2010. “You can dismiss straightaway anything like ‘the new MSO concert hall.’ This formula (in French) disappeared long ago in Quebec government literature. Fear not. The MSO will be the principal tenant, with 240 days a year. But that leaves 125 days for other organizations, like the Orchestre Métropolitain. These groups cannot be expected to perform in a facility whose very name makes them feel unwelcome. In most cities the symphony and the space are linked, but distinct. … Names these days are universally for sale and there is no reason to suppose the private-public partnership on the northeast corner of Place des Arts will constitute an exception. … We should not give up on the possibility of a name that reflects Montreal’s cultural richness and musical heritage. Whoever (or whichever corporation) wins the auction could opt to name the hall after a distinguished musical person of the past.”

June 8, 2009