Kent Nagano


- Conductor Emeritus -

“In today’s world, it is impossible to be isolated from the community, from the city. One must participate in the social structure. If music does not correspond to present-day society, it may quickly lose its relevance.”

— Kent Nagano

Conductor Emeritus of the OSM

In February 2021, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal conferred on Kent Nagano the honorary title of Conductor Emeritus, in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the Orchestra, to Montreal, and to the province of Quebec. He becomes the third Music Director of the OSM to receive this recognition after Wilfrid Pelletier and Zubin Mehta. Following sixteen years at the helm of the OSM, Kent Nagano’s legacy is invaluable. Apart from captivating Montreal audiences in performances, the Maestro made the Maison symphonique de Montréal, a world-class architectural and acoustical gem, a reality. He also ensured the Orchestra’s acquisition of the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique as well as of three octobasses, led several award-winning recordings, established the Classical Spree a festival that brings the OSM closer to a broader, more diverse public, conducted memorable concerts on the Olympic Park’s Esplanade, and launched La musique aux enfants, a music education program dispensed within Montreal’s public school system. He fulilled the OSM’s tradition of major tours, masterfully showcasing Montreal’s premiere Orchestra on several continents and solidifying its international reputation. Finally, confident that music is a medium for dialogue, peacemaking, and friendship, he twice brought the OSM to communities in the Nord-du-Québec region to perform, among other works, the new opera Chaakapesh, an OSM commission and a collaboration with Inuit and First Nations creators.


Kent Nagano is acclaimed as an outstanding conductor for both operatic and orchestral repertoire. He has been General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Chief Conductor of the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg since September 2015. In addition, he serves as Artistic Director of the Wagner Readings with Concerto Köln and the Dresden Festival Orchestra, and as patron of the Herrenchiemsee Festival. In 2006, Nagano was appointed Honorary Conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, in 2019 of Concerto Köln and in 2021 of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM).

The many highlights of Kent Nagano’s collaboration with the OSM as Music Director from 2006 to 2020 include the inauguration of the orchestra’s new concert hall, the Maison symphonique de Montréal in September 2011. Nagano and the OSM have toured in Canada including the Northern Territories, and internationally in Japan, South Korea, Europe (latest tour in 2019), Latin America and the USA. In July 2018, Kent Nagano conducted Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion with the OSM on the occasion of the Salzburg Festival opening concert.

Recent recording releases include a 3-CD box set of works by Olivier Messiaen (BR Klassik label, 2021) as well as Nagano’s second book, 10 Lessons of my Life (Berlin Verlag, 2021) in which he recalls ten highly personal encounters in his life, each bringing important lessons that transcend his career path. Previously, in 2015 Kent Nagano published “Erwarten Sie Wunder!” (Berlin Verlag), a passionate appeal for the relevance of classical music in today’s world. This book was also published in English by McGill-Queen’s University Press and in French by Éditions du Boréal.


The Americas (2019);

Europe (March 2019);

Nunavik and Côte-Nord (September 2018);

Krakow and Salzburg (July 2018);

United States (March 2016);

China and Japan (October 2014);

Europe (March 2014);

South America (April-May 2013).