Founded in 1981, the Orchestre Métropolitain today numbers some sixty professional musicians and graduates of Quebec conservatories and music faculties.
The OM actively contributes to cultural and musical life by concentrating on developing new audiences, particularly young audiences, and by touring.
From its beginning, the orchestra adopted an approach aimed at creating wider audiences for classical music. Its accessible and wide-ranging repertoire includes classical, contemporary and sometimes even popular works. The orchestra also creates original productions with other artistic disciplines (dance, theatre, puppets, etc.). Finally, the OM strives to promote the talents of composers, musicians and soloists from Quebec and Canada.
What sets the Orchestre Métropolitain apart is its desire to make music accessible to everyone. In the pre-concert talks a speaker introduces the artists, works and composers on the program. The conductor also shares a few words, explaining the various themes and commenting on the works.
From September to May, the Orchestre Métropolitain presents its regular season at the prestigious Place des Arts and in touring venues on the island, with performances in two Montreal communities and four other cities within the Montreal Urban Community.
The summer season sees the OM give an average of ten free concerts in different parks on the island. The orchestra also performs on a regular basis in Opéra de Montréal productions at the Festival international de Lanaudière and several other festivals, and for the Concours international de la Société Radio-Canada.
The OM focuses on developing young audiences. Every year the orchestra gives school matinees to more than 5,000 elementary school students in the Montreal Urban Community. The commentary, animation and educational booklet are always very popular among young people and their teachers.