Tribute to Kent Nagano, C.A.L.Q.
Born in America with Japanese roots, Kent Nagano has conducted most of the world's finest orchestras, from Boston to Berlin and New York to Vienna. We are enormously proud that Montréal is home to a maestro with such an impressive track record. Quebecers have been won over by his curiosity, respect and openness, as well as by his ideals of tolerance. Mr. Nagano is also celebrated for his ability to apply his insightful understanding and avant-garde approach above and beyond his programmed repertoire. By crafting daring combinations of activities (ice hockey, storytelling and popular song mixed with symphonic music), he has paid homage to our roots, our legends and our heroes. By bringing classical musicians to venues that had never before hosted a symphony orchestra, Mr. Nagano has shown that public participation and accessibility go hand in hand with high standards and depth. He recently set up a project aiming to introduce preschool children to intensive music learning as a means of supporting them in their overall development and contributing to their success in school over the long term.
In his role as a trailblazer, Mr. Nagano has made classical music accessible to a segment of the population that previously viewed Place des Arts as a "no-go area". Today, the Maison Symphonique is a beloved meeting place marked by a sense of discovery, reunion, sharing and harmony; its atmosphere and acoustics are similarly impressive. Thanks to Kent Nagano, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) reflects the city's values, vitality and originality; at the same time, its elegant conductor wears a tuxedo and a hockey jersey with equal aplomb!
This text was read in French on May 29, 2017, when Mr Nagano received the honorary insignia of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec. Held at PHI Centre in Montréal, the tribute was organized by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and hosted by Claude Deschênes.