Orchestre des jeunes du Québec

Orchestre des jeunes du Québec (OJQ). Youth orchestra founded by the MACQ during the summer of 1977 and officially recognized several months later, it was funded mostly by the MACQ and private donors.

Orchestre des jeunes du Québec

Orchestre des jeunes du Québec (OJQ). Youth orchestra founded by the MACQ during the summer of 1977 and officially recognized several months later, it was funded mostly by the MACQ and private donors. It comprised musicians under 30 years of age who were hired for a 25-week period (featuring province-wide tours) and received a weekly salary. Musicians were selected (40 from 200 candidates) by auditions. The OJQ thus became a permanent orchestra based in Montreal and offering the regular activities, high standards and quality training needed to meet the requirements of professional orchestras. A rallying point for the best graduates of Quebec's various musical institutions, its aim was to act as a transition between student life and the marketplace. Membership could not exceed a period of three years, as as to allow more musicians to participate.

The orchestra presented over 200 concerts between 1977 and 1991. Conductors were, among others, Mario Bernardi, Franz-Paul Decker, Rafael Druian, Charles Dutoit, Serge Garant, Pierre Hétu, Uri Mayer, Otto-Werner Mueller, Michel Plasson, Joseph Silverstein, Simon Streatfeild, Georg Tintner, and Michelangelo Veltri. Eugene Plawutsky (1981-4), Gilles Auger (1984-6) and Michel Tabachnik (1987-91) were appointed conductors in residence, and Auger was also conductor in training in 1983-4. Gaston Germain (1978-80), Louise Laplante (1981-6) and Serge Lortie (1986-91) served as general managers.

The orchestra commissioned and premiered works by Canadian composers, among them Plages by Serge Garant, Mirages by Jacques Hétu, and À deux by Michel Gonneville (1981), Lettre d'Étienne à Jacques by Michel Longtin (1983), Swiateo: un pas vers la lumière: in memoriam Claude Vivier by Michel-Georges Brégent (1984), and Konzert by Denis Dion (1987). Guest soloists included Angèle Dubeau, Maureen Forrester, Rosemarie Landry, Louis Lortie, Philippe Magnan, and Sonia Racine. In 1989, the orchestra took part in the Saugeen Bach Festival in Durham, Ont. That same year, it moved to the JMC Orford Art Centre in order to pursue its educational mandate more intensively. The summer season included 12 weeks in residence and a 3-week tour of the province. This formula was in effect for two years but, in 1991, following the MACQ's decision to withdraw its support, the orchestra ceased its activities.


Further Reading

  • Magnan, François. 'Un nouvel orchestre au Québec,' OCan, vol 5, Mar 1978

    McLean, Eric. 'For musical pros,' Montreal Star, 22 Apr 1978

    Petrowski, Nathalie. 'J'ai passé ma période de défoulage électrique, maintenant je veux faire de la musique..'. L'Actualité, Nov 1978

    Gingras, Claude. 'La vie d'orchestre avant 30 ans,' Montreal La Presse, 19 Feb 1983

    Boulay, Jacques. 'L'Orchestre de jeunes du Québec,' Sonances, vol 2, Apr 1983

    Bergeron, Carol. 'L'OJQ, un orchestre pour ceux qui veulent apprendre leur métier,' Aria, vol 9, Spring 1986