Reflecting on what Kent Nagano has brought to the Montreal Symphony

Posted on: February 21, 2020

“Consider the man who will lead the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in its now-annual visit to [Toronto’s] Roy Thomson Hall this coming Wednesday: Kent Nagano,” writes William Littler in Saturday’s (2/15) Toronto Star (Canada). “This will be the last appearance here by … the orchestra’s music director. The tenure he began in 2006 comes to an end in early June with performances of Mahler’s Second or so-called ‘Resurrection’ Symphony. Those performances will take place in Montreal’s Maison Symphonique, itself the crowning achievement of his music directorship—a world-class concert hall that in 2011 rescued the orchestra from captivity in the cavernous Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier…. Nagano may have been born in California, but much of his career has been spent as a European figure…. Since 2015, he has also been general music director of the Hamburg State Opera, a contract scheduled to extend to 2025. His work in Montreal has involved broadening the repertoire, expanding educational activities and resuming active recording…. He leaves in June an Honorary Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec…. An easy man to replace? Of course not…. The search committee is headed by an astute former manager, Zarin Mehta.”