Orchestre Classique de Montréal (OCM) presents


The eclectic mix of musical styles in this concert create a vibrant sensory experience.

The evening features the world premiere of Anishinaabe composer Barbara Assiginaak’s Gwekaanmat (Wind Changes Direction), a work for orchestra and pipigwan (Anishinaabe flute) as well as the Quebec premiere of Robert Rival’s violin concerto All’ombra de’ cipressi (Under the Shadow of the Cypresses) featuring OCM’s consummate concertmaster Marc Djokic. This first half of the concert will be conducted by Nurhan Arman, Music Director of Sinfonia Toronto.

In the second half of the concert conducted by Adam Johnson, soprano Sharon Azrieli will delight with her expressive performance of beloved songs by the renowned Michel Legrand.

Marc Djokic, Violin

Canadian violinist Marc Djokic is the Concertmaster of l’Orchestre classique de Montréal and Music Director of ART CRUSH Ensembl’arts. He is a Mécénat Musica Prix Goyer recipient and winner of the 2020 ECMA Classical Recording of the Year for his debut album Solo Seven. Among other distinctions, Djokic is a Prix Opus laureate and has continuously taken on the role of Artist-in-Residence at various institutions and music festivals since 2009. Over the last four years he has been featured in over 100 music videos and video recordings. 

From BC Contact to Jeunesses Musicales and Debut Atlantic, Djokic has toured several times throughout Canada and internationally as an accomplished chamber musician. As a soloist Djokic has performed with orchestras such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Quebec Symphony Orchestra. He will be premiering the violin concerto written for him by Robert Rival, Under the Shadow of the Cypresses, in a multi-city tour with several orchestras in 2022 – 2023. 

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Djokic grew up in a large musical family; he first and foremost studied with his father Philippe Djokic, one of Canada’s great soloists and a pupil of the violin pedagogue Ivan Galamian. Marc Djokic continued his studies in the United States under the tutelage of David Russell, Donald Weilerstein and Jaime Laredo. He performs on a rare Guarnerius violin from 1740, a Carl Becker 1927 and a Hannibal Fagnola 1922. 

Sharon Azrieli, Soprano

Originally from Montreal, soprano Sharon Azrieli has enjoyed international success at world-famous venues including Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, the Opéra Bastille de Paris, and with leading organizations such as the Canadian Opera Company, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and the New Israel Opera, among others.

In 2019, she was awarded the National Order of Quebec (Chevalière du Québec) for her remarkable achievements as a performer.

Upcoming recording projects include original songs and jazz standards with the virtuosic pianist & composer Matt Herskowitz, a disc of lullabies, an unusual collection of Canadian Broadway Broadway numbers by Canadian Composers, as well as an album about Jewish Divas of the 19th century which is in the works with renowned conductor Steven Mercurio.

Barbara Assiginaak, Pipigwan

Active internationally since 1995, Odawa First Nation composer Barbara Assiginaak (b. 1966; Manidoo Mnissing, Giniw dodem) has had commissions and performances from leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists across Canada, the US, the UK, Europe, Latin America and Asia. As a musician Barbara also plays, performs, and composes on the pipigwan and for voice in the traditional Anishinaabe way. Classically-trained, she holds music degrees and diplomas from Centre Acanthes (France), the Musikhochschule in Munich (Germany), The Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), and the University of Toronto. The child of a residential school survivor, Croall is also a direct descendant of hereditary chiefs who signed the major treaties in Ontario and who fought in major battles of the Indian Wars and War of 1812.

Recording credits of her music and performances include: CBC Radio One, CBC Radio Two, Bayerische Rundfunk-Bayern 3, Deutsche Radio Swiss (DRS-II), Radio France, Italian National Television, APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Canada), Kennedy Center Live Broadcasts (Washington DC). Awards include: the Glenn Gould Award in Composition (1989), numerous scholarships at the Royal Conservatory of Music/Glenn Gould School (1992-96) and awards from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (1993-98), three nominations for the K.M. Hunter Award (2003, 2007, 2012), a Visual and Expressive Arts Program Award (National Museum of the American Indian, 2009), and a Dora Mavor Awards nomination (2012).

Barbara is also the Founder and Director of Women of the Four Directions (WFD), promoting Indigenous women’s artistic and cultural activities. She has also served as an Advisory Board Member of the First Nations Composers’ Initiative (FNCI). Barbara is currently Artist-in-Residence and Cultural Consultant with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra.

Nurhan Arman, Conductor

During the 2022-2023 season Nurhan Arman continues as Music Director of Sinfonia Toronto and guest conducts orchestras in Canada, Italy, Germany, Greece and Georgia. His recent engagements include a four-concert tour in Italy with Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali, Festival Udine Castello with the Naonis & Donatello Ensemble, the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, and return engagements with Kammerorchester Arpeggione (Austria) and the San Remo Philharmonic Orchestra (Italy). In the last four seasons he has led Sinfonia Toronto in a South American tour with concerts in Peru, Argentina and Uruguay as well as a ten-concert tour in China.

Maestro Arman has brought capacity crowds to their feet on three continents. He has appeared in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Turkey, Armenia, South Korea, Mexico and throughout the United States and Canada.

Critics on both sides of the Atlantic have been unanimous in their praise. Pravda hailed Maestro Arman as a “fascinating and striking musical personality,” while the Broadcast Review in Prague reported “a spirited and nobly rounded performance.”

Born to Armenian parents in Istanbul, he played his first violin recital at the age of 13. After arriving in the United States on a Disney Foundation scholarship, he concertized from coast to coast, appearing in major US cities as well as at prestigious music festivals in Tanglewood, Spoleto, New York and Florida. After several seasons of leading US orchestras as concertmaster, he began a conducting career that has taken him all over the world.

Adam Johnson, Conductor

Thrilling audiences at the top levels of the Canadian music scene, award-winning Canadian conductor Adam Johnson has been praised as “an exciting talent” and for his “charismatic, commanding presence” on the podium. A highly-sought leader, he completed his training in his role as Assistant Conductor of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra from 2016-2018, and was appointed Resident Conductor for the 2018-2019 season. He collaborated closely with Music Director Kent Nagano on recordings for Decca and Analekta, and contributed to performances in Carnegie Hall, the Salzburg Festival, and a major European tour. He has conducted more than 65 concerts with the OSM and is frequently reengaged as a guest conductor.

Prior to his tenure in Montreal, Johnson served for three seasons with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, initially as Resident Conductor (2013-2015), and subsequently as Associate Conductor (2015-2016). He has also guest-conducted the Edmonton, Québec, Trois-Rivières, Saskatoon, Regina, Guelph and Thunder Bay symphony orchestras, as well as Symphony Nova Scotia, l’Orchestre du Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, and l’Orchestre symphonique de l’Estuaire. Internationally he has conducted the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Staatsorhester Rheinische Philharmonie and members of the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg.

Gwekaanmat by Barbara Assiginaak (premiere)
All’ombra de’ cipressi (Under the Shadow of the Cypresses) by Robert Rival (Quebec premiere)
Songs of Michel Legrand

April 11, 2023 7:30pm
To purchase your tickets visit: https://en.orchestre.ca

Pierre-Mercure Hall
300 Boul. de Maisonneuve E,
Montreal, QC H2X 3X6