Director: Alexis Hauser
Ensemble Contact: ensembles.music [at] mcgill.ca (Christa Emerson)
Participation: Entrance is by audition (see audition schedules). This ensemble is open to music students, and McGill University students from other faculties. If you are a member of this ensemble, find your schedule on the ensemble hub website.
About the McGill Symphony Orchestra
Each year, the McGill Symphony Orchestra presents a varied cross-section of orchestral music from early 18th century classics to celebrated contemporary composers. Its home venue is Pollack Hall, but it also performs regularly in venues such as the Église St. Jean-Baptiste and Montreal’s remarkable Maison symphonique. High professional standards are required from every member of the orchestra, since one of its objectives is to prepare young musicians for successful auditions with major orchestras around the globe. Along with two performances each of six concert programs, the MGSO's annual activities include collaborations with Opera McGill, winners of the School’s concerto competitions, distinguished members of the Schulich School of Music faculty, and with internationally acclaimed artists such as Ida Haendel, Jane Eaglen, Joseph Rouleau and Jane Archibald, among others. Past guest conductors have included prominent figures such as Kent Nagano, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Gordon Gerrard and Mark Wriggelsworth.
The MGSO is often heard on CBC and presents regular audio/video webcasts for an ever growing international audience. The orchestra participates regularly in the Montreal Nouvelle Musique festival and has performed works by composers including Boulez, Messiaen, Dutilleux, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Lutoslawski. The MGSO will present the premiere outside of Europe of Wolfgang Rihm’s “Transitus” (2012/13) in February 2016. In recent years, the orchestra has performed works by important Canadian composers including Claude Vivier, whose Orion was recorded by MGSO for the Naxos label, Ana Sokolovic, Jean Lesage, John Rea and Alexander Brott. In addition, resident composers are commissioned every two years for a composition to be world premiered by the orchestra.
The MGSO has performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall and will make its debut in Toronto's Koerner Hall in November 2015. Commercial audio CDs include Mahler Symphonies Nr. 2 and 10, Messiaen's "L'ascension and Tchaikovsky's Symphony "Pathétique". Recent videos include Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloé" - Suite No. 2 and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 "Babi Yar".