The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Music Director Rafael Payare are embarking on the orchestra’s 10th edition the Virée Classique program; from August 16 to 20. This wide-ranging edition will feature 26 concerts and more than a hundred free activities. Also this summer: a popular tradition continues as the Orchestra will present four free concerts in parks. The OSM will also return to the Festival de Lanaudière to give four concerts conducted by Rafael Payare. There are lots of activities for everyone this summer.

Rafael Payare

Music Director Rafael Payare is looking forward the OSM summer concerts

Describing the summer concerts, the OSM Music Director Rafael Payare stated; “To promote musical discovery in all its forms, strengthen social ties in the community, contribute to the development of music lovers’ sensitivity and curiosity, and encourage amateur musicians and young emerging artists. This is the goal which the Virée classique set for itself at the beginning and fulfills with success year after year.”

The Virée Classique will kick off with a large-scale free concert on the Olympic Esplanade on August 16 at 7:30 pm.

For this kick-off, the OSM and its Music Director summon invite audiences to join them on A Stroll Through the Museum to Opera Arias. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard will sing a selection of celebrated opera arias and violinist Bomsori will perform Waxman’s sultry, impassioned Carmen Fantasie based on Bizet’s operatic masterpiece. A short trip from the opera house to the museum will have us gaze upon Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. This powerful work will transport listeners from the fantastic world of legend to the great cities of Europe. A concert to unleash the imagination, conducted by Rafael Payare.

The festival’s rich programming features 26 concerts that will explore a wide variety of musical spheres; from major classical works to Balinese music, including jazz, film soundtracks, music from the Balkans and the Middle East, each performed in one of four concert halls. These multiple musical styles from various cultures are designed to conjure memories of travel or carry listeners off to the fantastic world of tales and legends. Concerts are maximum one hour in duration and are presented without intermission, allowing enthusiastic music lovers to attend more than one concert on the same day. Spectators can also enjoy concerts while seated on the stages of the Théâtre Maisonneuve and the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, for an unusual and intimate experience.

Free Outdoor programming

During this 10th edition, around one hundred activities for all audiences will take place over 10 locations in the Quartier des spectacles. Encounters with artists, outdoor film screenings, yoga sessions with music, concerts for all ages, talks, reading zones: everyone is invited to join in the fun! A new feature this year: one of our octobasses will be exhibited in the Foyer Antonia-Nantel at the Maison symphonique. The complete programming can be found at

Rafael Payare will conduct 9 concerts, including two performances of Orff’s iconic Carmina Burana, and a family concert inviting all generations to discover a world of fantastic creatures as imagined by various composers!

This year, the OSM welcomes three artists-in-residence who will perform in various contexts all festival long: violinist Bomsori, cellist Nicolas Alstaedt and pianist Francesco Piemontesi. Other featured artists include Charles Richard-Hamelin (piano), Godwin Friesen (piano), Paul Merkelo (trumpet), Dina Gilbert (conductor), Sarah Dufresne (soprano), Margaret Little (viola da gamba), the Ensemble Obiora, the Ensemble Oktoecho and the FILMharmonic Orchestra.

Tickets for the 26 in-hall concerts are now on sale. Online at, by telephone: 514-842-9951 or 1-888-842-9951.

4 free orchestral concerts from July 26 to 29

On July 1, 1938, Wilfrid Pelletier conducted the OSM’s first free summer concert on the lookout by the Mount Royal Chalet. This tradition continues as the Orchestra sets up its stage in parks located in Montreal (Jarry Park), Blainville, Brossard and Terrebonne, offering communities sunlit evenings to the sounds of the clarinet and saxophone played by André Moisan and of the luminous voice of Suzanne Taffot. André Robitaille will host these concerts conducted by Simon Rivard.


July 7: Festival De Lanaudière
July 8: Festival De Lanaudière
July 26: OSM – Equestrian Park, Blainville
July 27: OSM – Poly-Arena Park, Brossard
July 28: OSM – Jarry Park, Montreal
July 29: OSM – Ile-Des-Moulins Park, Terrebonne
August 4: Festival De Lanaudière
August 5: Festival De Lanaudière
August 16: Olympic Park Esplanade
August 16 to 20: 10th Viree Classique