Montreal Symphony’s Kent Nagano receives YMCA Peace Medal

Posted on: September 22, 2017

“Kent Nagano comes in peace, and now he has the medal to prove it,” writes T’Cha Dunlevy in Thursday’s (9/21) Gazette (Montreal, Canada). “The soft-spoken conductor of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) was an honorary recipient of a YMCA Peace Medal on Wednesday, along with six other laureates celebrated during a charity dinner in Old Montreal on the eve of the International Day of Peace. Far from jaded about the symbolic award, the maestro spoke with eloquence and passion about the importance of focusing on peace in these troubled times. … ‘There is the broader meaning of this kind of recognition right now in 2017. The concepts of partnership and international harmony is something very much at the forefront of everyone’s minds.’ Classical music has a long history of responding to the sociopolitical contexts in which it is created, Nagano said. As proof, he pointed to Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, which the OSM performed to launch its new season on Tuesday [and] ‘deals with the various conflicts facing the world in 1906,’ [Nagano] said. ‘But those same problems remain glaringly obvious today….. Mahler’s way through is that with love and forgiveness we’ll find some kind of peace.’ ”

Posted September 22, 2017