Rafael Payare has worked with several European orchestras and will officially become artistic director of the Orchester Symphonique de Montréal in September 2021. (Gérard Collett)
The Orchester Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) has appointed 40-year-old Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare as the ninth musical director. On September 1, 2021, he will succeed the American conductor Kent Nagano who held the position from 2006 to 2020.
In one of his last accomplishments with the OSM, Nagano made the OSM recording of an album named one of the 20 Best Classical Albums in Canada of 2020. The album included works by Gianstera, Bernstein and Moussa.
Relationship with the musicians mentioned
Payare is the musical director of the San Diego Symphony and from 2014 to 2019 conducted the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland. He first worked with the OSM in 2018 and is said to have established an immediate relationship with the musicians. He worked with the orchestra again in 2019, cementing the bond. He will be at the OSM for at least five years.
Payare was unanimously approved by the 11-member selection committee. The committee included three of the orchestra’s musicians and was chaired by Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University.
“Rafael Payare’s passion, energy and determination, his Latin roots and his endearing personality are attributes that will undoubtedly seduce Montreal audiences, especially as our next musical director is driven by a strong desire to be. get involved in the community, ”said Madeleine Careau, CEO of the OSM.