The Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal’s Classical Spree is back for its seventh edition, with free concerts and activities for the whole family from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2. More than 500 artists from over 10 nations will converge on the city to perform approximately 30 indoor concerts, starting at $10 per ticket.
The festival kicks off at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, with a free concert accompanied by a live circus performance. The orchestra, joined by Cirque Éloize, will perform classical pieces inspired by One Thousand and One Nights. Actor and comedian Emmanuel Bilodeau, the festival’s ambassador, will be hosting the event.
The following concerts and activities all take place in and around Place des Arts and the Complexe Desjardins.
Several kid-friendly concerts will be held at Place des Arts. On Sept. 1, the OSM will perform Little Red Riding Hood at 10:30 a.m. in the Maison Symphonique de Montréal. At 2 p.m., listen to another classic tale set to music with Opera Candy: The Delicious Adventures of Hansel and Gretel in the Piano Nobile at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. Both Concerts are $10 for kids 17 and under. At 4 p.m. a live organ performance will play the soundtrack during a screening of two classic films by comedy duo Laurel and Hardy in the Maison Symphonique de Montréal.
The festival is hosting several musical discussions for kids 8-12 and their parents in the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme. Topics will include the intricacies of instruments like the recorder, the Western concert flute, the triangle, and the cymbalum. There will also be demonstrations of how to play the instruments.
In the gallery of the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme, there is a children’s area where there will be storytime, music, and crafts.
The Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, a children’s choir, will perform two free concerts on Saturday in the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme. From Gregorian chants to modern compositions, they will explore the long and rich history of choral music.
Gregory Charles accompanied by musicians from his TV show Virtuose will perform a free concert on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m in the Grande-Place of Complexe Desjardins. Ba-Rock will explore common musical themes between baroque composers and modern rock bands like AC/DC.
There will also be an on-site daycare centre for parents who want to attend the less kid-friendly concerts.
For a complete list of concerts and activities, visit osm.ca/en/classicalspree.