MONTREAL —; Maestro Kent Nagano is considered one of the most inspiring and exciting music conductors in the world – and you’ve got to have pretty good stamina to keep up with him.
Nagano, who is currently the musical director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO), is performing his final concerts of the 2015-2016 season, but there won’t be any down time for the musicians or the maestro.
Montreal neighbourhoods take top spots as Canada’s music creation capitals
Drugs at Montreal’s music festivals: is prevention enough?
WATCH: Montreal toddler hears music for the first time
Just as this season ends, the summer classical spree will soon begin.
Nagano will be conducting seven concerts over three days.
“It’s a lot of work, a lot of rehearsals and a tremendous amount of artistic tension, but it’s fun and we all look forward to this,” he told Global News in an exclusive one-on-one interview Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s crazy these couple of days when we’re playing so many concerts.”
Nagano is celebrating his tenth season as music director of the MSO, and this most recent one has been a resounding success.
The musicians and the maestro recently completed a 10 city, almost non-stop, tour of the U.S.
It left music critics and classical connoisseurs yearning for more.
“One hundred per cent of the reviews were spectacular. Just simply brilliant,” Nagano said.
It was the largest and most significant American tour of the MSO in almost 30 years.
“New York is a pretty spectacular place, San Francisco is still a beautiful place, Chicago is a great city, Washington D.C.,” listed Nagano, as he sat on stage of the Montreal concert hall, the Maison Symphonique, built specifically for the MSO in 2011.
“This tour was an important one in that we visited virtually all the major urban centres of the United States of America.”
The MSO is also home to where the musicians recorded a Juno award winning album in 2015.
“There’s not a person in the organization and not a person in the orchestra who didn’t feel a really strong emotion for having been recognized for this great achievement,” he said.
Despite all the accolades and awards Nagano and the MSO has received, one of the biggest challenges is attracting a younger audience.
“We’ve come from what my colleagues call a grey-haired audience, where most people have grey hair, to what’s considered one of the youngest audiences in the world,” Nagano said.
Audiences of all ages will have plenty of opportunities to see Nagano in the future.
His contract as music director continues until 2020.