Yannick Nézet-Séguin has renewed his contract with Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain — for life

'The Orchestre Métropolitain is the first of my musical families,' says the famed conductor.

'The Orchestre Métropolitain is the first of my musical families,' says the famed conductor

As Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain launches its 20th season under the artistic direction of its principal conductor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the organization has announced the renewal of his contract — for life.

"The new contract grew out of a desire expressed by the orchestra's management and musicians and by Yannick Nézet-Séguin," the orchestra announced via press release. "Such contracts between a young conductor and an orchestra he or she didn't found are extremely rare."

"Montreal is my hometown, my home port. It's where I was born, where I grew up and where I received my musical training. It's where my family lives. And the Orchestre Métropolitain is the first of my musical families," explains Nézet-Séguin, who was named artistic director of the Orchestre Métropolitain in 2000, at the age of 25, and who will conduct his 600th concert with the group later this season.

"I get a little emotional when I recall all the wonderful moments shared with Montreal audiences and how far my musicians and I have come. They have trusted me from the start," he continues. "The trust was mutual and our relationship has only grown over the last 20 years. We are now inseparable."

'Open-ended contract'

Clearly the orchestra management agrees that Nézet-Séguin makes a perfect fit. "This is an open-ended contract with the conductor everyone dreams of having on their podium, who also happens to be a Montrealer in love with his city and a person with whom our musicians have developed a sound, musically rewarding and extraordinarily human relationship and it is beyond value," says Jean R. Dupré, president and CEO of the Orchestre Métropolitain.

During his 20 years with the Orchestre Métropolitain, Nézet-Séguin was also artistic director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic (2008-18) and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic (2008-14). He is currently on contract as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra through at least the 2025-26 season, and in August 2018, he became the third music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He has an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon (which enables him to do recording projects with the Orchestre Métropolitain on Montreal's ATMA Classique label.)

Nézet-Séguin will conduct works by Berlioz, Archer and Respighi at the opening concert of the Orchestre Métropolitain's current concert season. Full details here.