Press release for immediate distribution

Maestro Charles Dutoit and the OSM in the Maison symphonique

Presented as part of the Switzerland program
MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE 2016 Special Event

with guest pianist: Martha Argerich

Montréal, Monday, February 23, 2015 — While the 16th edition of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, presented by RBC in collaboration with Bell, is in full swing with it special featured guest country, Switzerland, festival organizers are extremely honoured to announce an exceptional event, which will be presented during the 17th edition of the festival, in February 2016: the return of Maestro Charles Dutoit with the OSM in the Maison symphonique for two memorable evenings with Martha Argerich. The performances will be held on Thursday, February 18 and Saturday, February 20, 2016, at 8 p.m., in the Maison symphonique de Montréal.

This programming masterstroke has been in the works for some time, involving discussions between Alain Simard, the maestro and the OSM. Originally, it was hoped that Mr. Dutoit would be able to perform with the OSM this year during MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, as part of our edition devoted to Switzerland—and what better ambassador for his fabled Alpine homeland! However, the strict schedules of the maestro and the OSM made the project impossible right now (and a glance at the tireless conductor’s bio, annexed to this news release, will reveal the difficulty of the scheduling task at hand!).

No problem: MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and Switzerland have made the special effort to continue their collaboration to ensure the maestro’s unexpected and wonderful return to Montreal: the happy event will therefore take place next year, coinciding with the legendary conductor’s 80th birthday! The reunion will be triply memorable: first, Mr. Dutoit was the very first honorary president of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, in 2000, when he conducted the OSM during the tribute concert to the soundtrack music of The Red Violin, accompanied by renowned American violinist Joshua Bell. Second, the maestro will reunite with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, 14 years after his 24-year tenure as its legendary conductor, a period that witnessed its elevation into the ranks of the world’s greatest orchestras, with an array of award-winning albums and international tours. Finally, the maestro will lead the orchestra in the new symphony house, the venue he had long hoped Montreal would have during almost a quarter century as director of the OSM! 

An exceptional concert, with an exceptional program: the maestro and the OSM will present the overture of Le Carnaval romain, op. 9 by Berlioz, the Piano Concerto no 1 in C Major, op. 15, by Beethoven, Petrushka (the original version from 1911) by Stravinsky and the 2nd suite of Daphnis and Chloé by Ravel. Adding even more panache to this exceptional evening, Dutoit has invited his former wife and fellow Swiss (born in Argentina), Martha Argerich. Considered worldwide to be one of the greatest pianists of our era, she was the soloist on the first OSM tour of Europe with Charles Dutoit in the early ’80s and has performed with the OSM many times, in Montreal, in Carnegie Hall, and on albums.

These two unique concerts, co-presented with MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, are produced by Spectra Musique, which has previously produced a number of concerts and filmed TV performances by Charles Dutoit and the OSM, notably with Oscar Peterson and the Théâtre Sans Fil for L’Enfant et les sortileges (The Child and the Spells) by Ravel. We offer our thanks to Charles Dutoit for his faith in us, as well as Kent Nagano, the OSM musical director musical, and the direction and musicians of the OSM, especially Madeleine Careau, CEO of the OSM, who also sits on the board of directors of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE. From the very beginning, they have enthusiastically supported this ambitious project and agreed to reserve an entire week in the OSM calendar to prepare this extraordinary program and ensure that this encore performance will be a legendary event.

All parties concerned are completely dedicated to presenting two fabulous musical evenings guaranteed to leave a lasting mark in the musical annals of Montreal. Tickets are sure to go fast, so fans are advised to purchase them as of Thursday, February 26, at 9 a.m.… or even earlier for subscribers of the Spectra Newsletter (free subscription at and the OSM Newsletter (free subscription at, who can take advantage of an exclusive pre-sale now. 

Tickets go on sale Thursday at 9 a.m.

  • OSM: 1600 St. Urbain St.; 514 842-9951,
  • Place des Arts and Maison symphonique de Montréal: 175 Ste. Catherine St. W.; 514 842-2112, 1 866 842‑2112 or