SOQ: the music first

OSQ: la musique d’abord

OSQ: la musique d’abord

The Orchestre symphonique de Québec (OSQ) will occur Wednesday night for the first time in public since the beginning of the pandemic COVID-19 under the direction of Nicholas Ellis.

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August 4, 2020 20h55

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SOQ: the music first

Emmanuel Bernier

Special Collaboration

The Orchestre symphonique de Québec (OSQ) will occur Wednesday night for the first time in public since the beginning of the pandemic COVID-19 under the direction of Nicholas Ellis.

The administration of the orchestra was only waiting for the green light from the public Health to perform in front of an audience in flesh and bone. “Going to 250 people, says the president and ceo of the orchestra Astrid Chouinard, this allows us to have 175 people in the room”, since it is necessary to include the musicians and the staff of the room in the total allowed by the authorities. “This is the first time that the Grand Theatre welcomes the public again in the salle Louis-Fréchette. This is an important event for us, but also for the cultural milieu of Quebec. We are really in recovery”, she adds.

The response of the public, who might have been reluctant to the idea of going back in a concert hall after months of a pandemic, remained the great unknown to the team of the SOQ, but the tickets were sold in about 24 hours. Ms. Chouinard believes that “it is quite encouraging for the continuation of the things”, particularly for the next concerts which will be unveiled soon.

Program dictated by the context

As to the choice of the program, it is still dictated by the context. The symphonies of Mahler and Bruckner, whose generous orchestration is not compatible with a distance of two metres between the musicians, are likely to remain some time in the cupboards. The repertoire chosen for the concert this evening focuses, therefore, works more chamber music as theOpening for winds by Mendelssohn and Serenade for string orchestra by Tchaikovsky, which will allow all members of the ensemble be on stage at one time or another in the evening. The ceo considers that there is also a “artistic interest,” evident for the musicians to play these partitions, which are rarely included in the program of the concert societies.

Astrid Chouinard considers himself “lucky” to be able to count on the talent of its chef, Nicolas Ellis for the concert. After working for a few weeks in the greenhouses in her native Saguenay region, the young musician, who has been assistant to the past director of the orchestra, Fabien Gabel has revealed his wand a few weeks ago to conduct the OSQ during two events will be broadcast live on the Web, as well as the Orchestra of the Agora, in Montreal for a concert in tribute to the staff of the health care community.

A choice shoved

The pandemic has also pushed the process leading to the choice of the next music director. Some of the chiefs who were to come and conduct this fall were candidates for the succession of Fabien Gabel, but they will ultimately not be heard before 2021… Ms. Chouinard was not discouraged, because even in normal times, “this is really a process which is long […] This is not something which can be done in six months.” Mr. Gabel, who “remains very close to the orchestra”, they should also — if all goes well — take care of four programs during the year. And the circumstances were also that good that they can shine even more spotlight on the talents of quebec and canada. “We are very fortunate, welcomes the director. We have plenty of choice in Quebec and in Canada! This is not dramatic, because we have so many artists of international caliber. This prevents us, therefore, not to make a programming of very high quality.”

Le Soleil

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