Season 2021-2022 – Message from Rafael Payare – Music Director

Message from Rafael Payare - Musical Director

Season 2021-2022

As Music Director Designate of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, I write these words with a sense of honour and anticipation. I am honoured that the OSM has placed its trust in me in this new artistic partnership, and I look forward to the discoveries we will make together in the coming years of collaboration.

From the first time I conducted the OSM, the artistic bond was palpable—I could even feel the electricity in the air. Every musician dreams of this moment of complicity, where artistically, everything seems possible. The energy of that moment is one that I look forward to recreating, again and again, with the OSM and with the audience.

From the first time I performed with the OSM, the artistic connection was palpable – I could feel the electricity in the air.

But the pleasure of making music is also the pleasure of being involved in the community. I am looking forward to discovering for myself the vast, multicultural territory that is Quebec, and to getting to know the beautiful city of Montreal with its unique flavour that exists nowhere else in North America. I hope we can build projects that will bring the Orchestra even closer to the Montreal public by welcoming music lovers from all walks of life – especially young people – to our concerts and programs.


During this season, I will have the great pleasure of sharing, with you, works that mean a great deal to me personally, for example the music of Brahms, Shostakovich or Dvořák, but also of conducting OSM mainstays such as Ravel’s La valse or Debussy’s La mer. By combining our strengths and exploring new musical territories, I am delighted to be able to create, with the Orchestra, new encounters between music and the public in Montreal.

Montrealers know that the OSM is one of the world’s great orchestras. The Orchestra has a unique personality and a distinctive sound. Its recordings and international tours are legendary. It will be my privilege to contribute to this rich tradition of art and activity.

After more than a year of restrictions surrounding public events, we all look forward to the warmth and energy of live concerts. I can’t imagine of a better time to join the OSM family, as we all emerge from a difficult period with renewed appreciation for the importance of the living arts in our lives.