Founded in Montreal in 1981 by some of the finest music graduates from Québec conservatories and music faculties, the Orchestre Métropolitain now numbers about 60 professional musicians. From the very outset, the Orchestre Métropolitain adopted a wide public approach that focused on broadening audiences for classical music. Since 2000, the Orchestre Métropolitain has enjoyed a string of successes under the direction of its conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The Orchestre Métropolitain has developed a unique approach founded on an unshakeable determination to democratize classical music by bringing it to people in their neighborhoods. Since its inception, the Orchestre Métropolitain has made a priority of introducing people to classical music and breaking down economic barriers with a policy that makes tickets affordable to everyone. The Orchestre Métropolitain is also a byword for very high quality entertainment and an invitation to enjoy musical culture through pre-concert talk, and through its conductor who discusses each of the works on the program.
In 2012, Montreal-born Yannick Nézet-Séguin added the Music Directorship of The Philadelphia Orchestra to his roles as Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and long-time Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain (Montreal), where he has served since 2000. 2017/18 will be his tenth and final season with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. In 2020/2021, he will succeed to James Levine as the third Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera.
In addition to his activities with his own orchestras, Yannick enjoys close collaborations with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Bayerischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Opera in 2017/18 includes Parsifal and Elektra at the Metropolitan Opera and Die Zauberflöte at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden (Chamber Orchestra of Europe) recorded live for Deutsche Grammophon. Further highlights include a European tour with the Orchestre Métropolitain of Montreal, the first international tour in the orchestra’s history, and European tours with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Yannick studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in Montreal and choral conducting at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey before going on to study with renowned conductors, most notably the Italian maestro Carlo Maria Giulini. His honours include Musical America’s Artist of the Year (2016), Royal Philharmonic Society Award; National Arts Centre Award; Prix Denise- Pelletier; Prix Oskar Morawetz. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Québec in Montreal (2011), Curtis Institute in Philadelphia (2014), Westminster Choir College of Rider University (2015) and McGill University in Montreal (2017). He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2012, Companion of the Order of Arts and Letters of Québec in 2015, Officer of the Order of Québec in 2015 and Officer of the Order of Montreal (2017).