Kent Nagano conducts Barber, Gershwin, and Shostakovich – With Charles Richard-Hamelin

OSM Classical Spree Festival, 6th edition

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Charles Richard-Hamelin — Pianist

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

Kent Nagano — Conductor

Program notes

As part of the 2017 Classical Spree Festival, French-Canadian pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin, maestro Kent Nagano, and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) present a concert of works by Barber, Gershwin, and Shostakovich.

The concert begins with two of the most popular works of classical music ever written by American composers: Barber's Adagio for Strings, an orchestrated version of the slow movement from the composer's String Quartet No. 1, and Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin's jazz concerto for piano and orchestra, performed here by the French-Canadian pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin. Gershwin saw the concerto as "a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness." The OSM closes the concert with excerpts from Shostakovich's ballet The Golden Age.

To celebrate the musical traditions of Canada, the concert is preceded by a friendship song performed by Nicole Gagnier and Sage Harrington of the Kanehsetake Mohawk Territory. They are joined on stage by the Red Urban Project's Turtle Island Dancers, representing the Huron, Anishnabe, Mohawk, Ojibwe, Algonquin, Cri, Oji-Cri and Inuit nations, as well as Kanehsetake elder Cheryl McDonald.

Photo: Charles Richard-Hamelin © Elizabeth Delage

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Thursday, March 16, 2023