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Montreal Symphony

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“We want to take our music beyond the walls of the concert hall.” Conductor Kent Nagano, a Californian of Japanese descent, embraces unconventional ideas in search of new audiences. The musicians of the OSM (Montreal Symphony Orchestra) perform in varied venues—everywhere from schools and Montreal’s hockey stadium to Inuit villages in Quebec’s far north. They commission Canadian composers to write unorthodox pieces, such as concerts for Inuit throat singing and the remarkable Concerto for Radio Host and Orchestra by Simon Leclerc.
Over a one-year period, filmmaker Bettina Ehrhardt accompanied the OSM from the Canadian North to Paris, witnessing how this French-Canadian orchestra, rich in tradition, is breaking new ground in music-making under the guidance of Kent Nagano. Rehearsals and concert recordings of symphonic works by Bruckner, Mahler and Debussy show how Nagano forms the music, and a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s opera Saint Francis of Assisi reveals the spiritual side of one of the most important conductors of our time.

2010, 98 min 05 s

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Best Canadian Film
FIFA / International Festival of Films on Art
March 18 to 28 2010, Montréal - Canada

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