Orchestre de la francophonie 2022 Season: A Return to In-Person Events with Four spectacular Chamber Music Concerts !￼
The Orchestre de la Francophonie has been preparing young musicians who have graduated from renowned institutions to play a leading role in orchestras of national or international reputation.
The three objectives at the heart of the OF’s approach are: Learning, Innovating and Sharing.
Learning, by providing the best young performers with the musical and practical tools– necessary for the success of a high-level, professional orchestral career.
Innovating, by reinventing the concert, in particular by daring to adopt new approaches, by presenting concerts according to unusual formulas and in unusual places, and by juxtaposing artistic disciplines that can feed off each other.
Sharing, by stimulating social commitment and the community involvement of the OF and its musicians, by creating mutually beneficial partnerships, by producing and distributing recordings of the highest quality, and by encouraging sharing, openness and tolerance.
To wrap up the month of July with a grand orchestral spirit, the OF is proud to present three up-coming concerts next July 21st , 25th and 29th.
Chamber music : Brahms, Derksen, Sunabacka, Nepomuk
Hello Mr Tremblay, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions for MLPBS / Gen’s Delights :
In recent news we learned that McGill University has decided to close the school’s century-old music conservatory due to rising operational costs and falling attendance . It’s heartwarming to see that post-pandemic , organizations like yours continue to promote the musical education of young musicians from around the world.
What are some of the challenges that you face to get and retain the younger generation to be interested in classical music?
“After more than two years of extremely difficult and somewhat unjustified closing of most art forms and live events, we will have to get our efforts aligned and to make sure we start by fixing the bottom of the pyramid: very young players and school programs.
Sadly I believe our government took a cowardly approach over the past years by cutting out funding for school music programs, since then, it all went downhill.
Future concert attendees were not being initiated to music at an optimum young age within a school structure that is ideal for this.
You ask me what the challenges are to retain the interest of our young generation… my answer is that this generation’s interest is almost non-existent, as they were not offered any musical exposure in their regular academic evolution.
So it is not a question of retaining, but rather of re-introduction and re-starting training. At the Orchestre de la Francophonie, we receive talented students still pursuing their studies at the conservatory or at music faculties, however in much lower numbers than 5 or even 10 years ago. This means that the bottom of the pyramid is not sending talented teenagers anymore in their early years to conservatories and universities. If this situation does not improve rapidly, in 10-15 years, we might see the further closure of several more conservatories and music university programs.
The problem with the parties involved (conservatories and universities) is that they are turning a “blind eye” to this issue, as they are fighting for class ratios and budget allowances as well as thinking about preserving their own jobs before thinking about the long-term effects of their actions.
In the specific case of the McGill Conservatory, it was clearly a decision taken by a “career-minded” administrator who seemingly was not very concerned about ensuring that flocks of young, future McGill students are given opportunities to pursue their musical studies.
My comments above might seem very direct, but they come after years of experience in both the international touring classical music scène and after years of teaching and giving masterclasses all over the world.”
– Do you witness a vast difference in the musical education received abroad versus here in North America?
“Overall yes, although some former arts havens like the Netherands have diminished their offerings in comparison to what they offered before the Right wing government slashed certain programs out.
Europe in general (of a lesser degree in the UK) has a totally different approach and attitude about musical education. In fact, they have unique programs, ideas, implementations, national guidelines, all of which are totally missing in Canada and the US. However we have to look at two important components of musical education:
First , offering to the general population and especially young kids a great music education early on in school, as well as secondly, offering a University training of the highest level for those who wish to pursue music as a career.
In the USA and in Canada, it is my belief that we have failed on both of these components. ”
-With your program, young musicians get to experience firsthand chamber music sessions and masterclasses. What are some of the essential skills that young musicians have to master in order to be prepared to enter the competitive professional world?
“To make it and succeed in this very demanding and much changed classical music ecosystem, young musicians need of course to be highly skilled and very musical, they must also be adventurous and inclusive, they must learn to be curious, they must be good at embodying the human aspects of music playing and lastly, but maybe most importantly, they must be generous: giving back to younger players, getting involved in their communities, sharing their talent with those less fortunate.”
Gen’s Delights would like to thank Mr Tremblay for his time .