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http://www.concordia.ca/content/concordia/en/offices/archives/honorary-degree-recipients/2019/June/kent-nagano.html

Honorary degree citation - Kent Nagano

By: Guylaine Beaudry, June 2019

Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Mr. Kent Nagano, world-renowned music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal.

Kent Nagano grew up in a musical family on a farm in California. As he has said, “Of course, there wasn’t a heck of a lot to do on a farm after six at night. So we made a lot of music together.”

Parti de la côte de la Californie centrale, il a parcouru le monde avant de s’installer à Montréal en 2006, où il a contribué à l’essor de l’OSM, qu’il a dirigé dans plus de 500 concerts. Plus que jamais auparavant, l’OSM est reconnu et respecté internationalement pour son caractère distinct, et est salué par la critique partout où il se produit.

As a teenager, Kent Nagano took time away from playing classical piano to, as he has said, “behave badly” and play in “really bad, purely imitative, typical garage rock bands.”

To his parents’ relief, he returned to the classical music fold after 18 months, but the populist excursion stuck with him. He has set about solving classical music’s “grey hair problem” by bringing music to the people in several successful Montreal outreach programs that are in perfect harmony with Concordia’s values.

Kent Nagano a notamment lancé en 2012 la Virée classique de l’OSM, qui est devenue l’un des plus importants festivals urbains de musique classique du continent. Il a également mis sur pied La musique aux enfants, qui initie les enfants d’âge préscolaire à l’apprentissage intensif de la musique et contribue à leur réussite scolaire à long terme.

La musique aux enfants has left quite an impression on some of the program’s children. According to one of their teachers, when they play superheroes, "There's Superman, Spiderman — and then there's Maestro Nagano."

The Maestro will be leaving the OSM after the 2020 season to concentrate his efforts on the Hamburg Staatsoper. We look forward to his final season in Montreal, where he has left an indelible mark.

Monsieur le Chancelier, au nom du sénat et du conseil d’administration de l’Université, j’ai le privilège et l’honneur de vous présenter Maestro Kent Nagano, afin que vous lui décerniez un doctorat ès beaux-arts honoris causa.

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