Young Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare will succeed American Kent Nagano as musical director of the Orchester symphonique de Montréal (OSM), the organization announced Thursday.
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Mr. Payare, 40, will become the orchestra’s 9th musical director – and first South American – from the 2022-23 season, for a period of at least five years, the OSM said in a statement. .
He will succeed maestro Kent Nagano, who directed the OSM from 2006 to 2020.
Rafael Payare began collaborating with the OSM in 2018, establishing an “instant” natural relationship with the musicians, according to the Orchestra.
“I sincerely hope to offer the OSM public, in complete complicity with the musicians, many moments of happiness, pride and hope,” said Rafael Payare, quoted in the press release.
A trained horn player, Rafael Payare “is one of the most prominent conductors of his generation and the most in demand on the international scene”, underlines the OSM.
“His innate sense of music, his brilliant technique and the charisma he exudes on the podium characterize his style and his musical approach.”
He graduated from the famous “El Sistema” music education program founded by José Antonio Abreu for young people from working-class neighborhoods in Venezuela.
In 2004, he began his formal studies in conducting with Maestro Abreu.
Mr. Payare won a prestigious international competition for young conductors in Denmark in 2012.
Between 2014 and 2019, he conducted the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland, as Music Director, and currently holds that same position in the United States with the San Diego Symphony.
In recent years, he has also conducted a large number of prestigious symphony orchestras, in Berlin, Vienna, London, Munich and Paris.
In the coming weeks, he will conduct three OSM concerts, which will be broadcast on the internet.
The first of these concerts, including “Le carnaval romain” by Hector Berlioz and Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms, will be presented for free on Sunday on OSM.ca and Medeci.tv.