For many years Nicolas Lemieux dreamed of producing a magnificent symphony concert on the slopes of Montreal’s Mount Royal. When he proposed bringing together three orchestras at the foot of the mountain to celebrate the city’s 375th anniversary, he said to himself, “In life, everything is possible.”
When Madeleine Careau, the CEO of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), heard about the project, she exclaimed, “What an incredible idea!” Nicolas Lemieux’s vision was truly monumental.
Conductor, composer and OSM POP series orchestrator and associate director Simon Leclerc also found the idea far-fetched. But once over their astonishment, both he and Careau gave in to the enthusiasm that brought Lemieux’s grandiose project to fruition.
Last August 19, after one year of work, Lemieux and his GSI Musique team regaled an audience gathered on the slopes of Mount Royal with two hours of music performed by three orchestras (a total of 400 musicians and choristers), sharing the stage with 20 artists including Rufus Wainwright, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Patrick Watson, Alain Lefèvre, Isabelle Boulay, Wyclef Jean and Elisapie.
This remarkable concert conducted by Leclerc and featuring three orchestras – the OSM, the Orchestre Métropolitain and the McGill Symphony Orchestra – was broadcast live to parks in each of Montreal’s 18 boroughs.
“For the OSM, it was a unique opportunity to get closer to our Montreal fans and thank them by performing beautiful music,” declared First Violin Marc Béliveau.