Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) presents

Intersecting Echoes from the New World

In his magnum opus, the Symphony “From the New World,” Dvořák combined elements of his individual melodic and rhythmic discourse with American folk music. One of these intersectional musical themes was also taken up by British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor in his Hiawatha Overture, a suspenseful work with Romantic inflections inspired by a poem by Henry Longfellow. British composer Hannah Kendall depicts the lives of Matchwomen in a factory with her piece The Spark Catchers, premiered in 2017. The spark to illuminate this intersecting program is the OSM’s first-time guest conductor from Quebec, Mélanie Léonard.

Mélanie Léonard, born in Montréal and raised in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield (Qc), is the Music Director of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra and Symphony New Brunswick. Prior to her appointment in Sudbury, she held the positions of resident conductor (2009-2012) and associate conductor (2012-2013) with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

She guest conducted at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and with several Canadian Orchestras, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, I Musici, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, Stratford Symphony Orchestra, Niagara Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil. Mrs. Léonard is a sought after studio recording conductor. She lead the orchestra and choir in the studio recording of the music for Aura (music byGabriel Thibaudeau et Marc Bell), a multidisciplinary show produced by Moment Factory and presented at the Montreal Notre-Dame Basilica. She recorded soundtracks for movies, multimedia projects, and more recently for Paradise City, an immersive environment in a South Korean Hotel complex.

She worked with renowned artists such as Herbie Hancock, Charles Richard-Hamelin, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Shauna Rolston and actors John Rhys Davies (Lord of the Rings) , Garrett Want (Star Trek) and John de Lancie (Star Trek).

In 2014, she founded the Wild West New Music Ensemble in Calgary, for which she was Music Director and Conductor (2014-2016). During the same year, she co-founded the Calgary New Music Festival and served as its Artistic Director until 2016. She was also the music director of Vaudreuil-Soulanges choir. Maestra Léonard was music collaborator for La Croisée des Cheminson ICI Radio-Canada Première Calgary from 2013 to 2016 and in 2017, Orford Music invited her to give a conference about artistic leadership (Finding human connection in a virtually connected society). In 2018-2019, she was adjudicator for Festival et concours de musique classique de Lanaudière and Festival des harmonies et orchestres symphoniques du Québec.

In 2021-2022, she is making her debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke.

Mélanie Léonard completed her Doctorate in orchestral conducting at Université de Montréal under Maestri Paolo Bellomia and Jean-François Rivest. She holds a bachelor degree in Music Theory from the same university. She received her Masters of Music in Orchestra Conducting from the Hartt School of Music (Hartford, Connecticut), where she studied with Maestro Christopher Zimmerman. In 2012, she received the Jean-Marie Beaudet prize in orchestral conducting, awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Samuel Coleridge-TaylorHiawatha, Overture, op. 30
Hannah KendallThe Spark Catchers
Dvořák, Symphony no. 9 in E minor, op. 95, “From the New World”

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 7:30pm
Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 10:30am
To purchase your tickets visit: www.placedesarts.com