The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal today announced the appointment of Rafael Payare as its next Music Director. Effective from the 2022/23 season, the five-year contract will see him succeed Kent Nagano.
Commenting on the announcement, Rafael said:
“It’s an immense honour – to be given the opportunity to work, create and explore new musical possibilities with the wonderful group of artists that is the OSM, is a hugely exciting prospect. It is my heartfelt wish that, in close synergy with the musicians, we can give the OSM’s audience many moments of joy, pride and hope.”
The OSM’s Chief Executive, Madeleine Careau, added:
“Rafael Payare’s passion, energy and determination, his Latin roots and his engaging personality are attributes that will undoubtedly appeal to Montreal audiences, especially since our next Music Director is driven by a strong desire to get involved in the community.”
Born in Venezuela and a graduate of El Sistema, Rafael made his debut with the OSM in 2018, returning the following season. He will conduct three concerts with the orchestra later this month, the first of which – featuring Brahms and Berlioz – will be live-streamed on 10 January via OSM.ca and Medici TV.
Currently Music Director of the San Diego Symphony and Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival, last season saw Rafael conduct the Gewandhausorcheser Leipzig, Münchner Philharmoniker, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and NHK Symphony. Forthcoming guest conducting highlights include dates with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre national de France, Philhadelphia Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Staatsoper Berlin.