Maison symphonique de Montréal presents

Symphonic Love Stories: From Tchaikovsky to Bernstein

The mythical lovers of literary fame inspired composers to write passionate, often dramatic works: in a succession of contrasting episodes, Tchaikovsky depicts the protagonists’ ardent but thwarted feelings in Romeo and Juliet; and Wagner illustrates ill-fated love with utmost sensuality in Tristan and Isolde. Bernstein’s Serenade is a philosophical reflection on love featuring, in this performance, the OSM’s brilliant concertmaster Andrew Wan.

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
Alexander Shelley, conductor

Alexander Shelley succeeded Pinchas Zukerman as Music Director of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in September 2015. The ensemble has since been praised as “an orchestra transformed … hungry, bold, and unleashed”(Ottawa Citizen) and Alexander’s programming credited for turning the orchestra “almost overnight … into one of the more audacious orchestras in North America.” (Maclean’s Magazine).

Born in London in October 1979, Alexander, the son of celebrated concert pianists, studied cello and conducting in Germany and first gained widespread attention when he was unanimously awarded first prize at the 2005 Leeds Conductors’ Competition, with the press describing him as “the most exciting and gifted young conductor to have taken this highly prestigious award. His conducting technique is immaculate, everything crystal clear and a tool to his inborn musicality”. In August 2017 Alexander concluded his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Nürnberger Symphoniker, a position he held since September 2009. The partnership was hailed by press and audience alike as a golden era for the orchestra, where he transformed the ensemble’s playing, education work and international touring activities. These have included concerts in Italy, Belgium, China and a re-invitation to the Musikverein in Vienna.

In January 2015 he assumed the role of Principal Associate Conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he curates an annual series of concerts at Cadogan Hall and tours both nationally and internationally.

Described as “a natural communicator both on and off the podium” (Daily Telegraph) Alexander works regularly with the leading orchestras of Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australasia, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Gothenburg Symphony, Stockholm Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Melbourne and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras.

This season’s collaborations, which see Alexander performing on 6 continents, include return visits to Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg and São Paulo Symphony.

Highlights of the previous season include debuts with the Helsinki and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestras, with Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and at the Aspen Festival in Colorado as well as re-invitations to the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, RTE National Symphony Orchestra and the Tivoli Festival with the Copenhagen Philharmonic. In 2019 he led an extensive tour of Europe with National Arts Centre Orchestra performing in cities such as London, Paris, Stockholm and Copenhagen.

Andrew Wan, violin

Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet, Overture-fantasia (20 min.)
Bernstein, Serenade for Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussions (after Plato’s Symposium, 32 min.)
Wagner, Tristan und Isolde, Prelude and “Liebestod” (17 min.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 7 pm
Until Tuesday, February 23, 2021

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