Ana Sokolović takes the helm of the Quebec Contemporary Music Society

The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) has a new face: Ana Sokolović, a 54-year-old composer born in Belgrade and active in Montreal for 30 years, succeeds Walter Boudreau as head of the most important Canadian institution dedicated to contemporary music. .

The choice of m.I Sokolović comes just over seven months after the announcement of the departure of Mr. Boudreau, who had headed the SMCQ since 1988. The appointment is notable as it establishes the primus inter pares Composers from Quebec, whose fame extends far beyond our borders.

Thanks in particular to your opera. swadba (Marriage), the maestro ranks, according to the specialized site Operabase, as the fourth most performed live opera composer in the world during the 2010-2019 decade.

In other times, those of Jacques Hétu, being deceived or recognized, aroused suspicion and jealousy. Times are changing, fortunately. They even change quickly, and coexistence is one of the priorities of the new director of the SMCQ, interviewed by Duty. “I have never been in an art direction position. I have my vision of society, which I see holistically. Therefore, my work is based on collaboration with many people. »

in contact with the public

When Ana Sokolović is asked about the relationship between the SMCQ and the Le Vivier cultural space, the answer goes further: “We are all collaborators in the same territory and we are all going to collaborate. Not only Le Vivier: there are other organizations, other arts, other branches. We will have this opening in front of dance, theater, opera, of course, and with other production companies. »

Another priority: the audience. “What interests me is contact with the public. The society [actuelle] it is different from the society of even 10 years ago. You have to recover the connection with the audience, which has changed due to technology, due to what is happening socially, the good and not so good things in life. »

While maintaining the years of tribute (of which she was the subject in 2011-2012), the portrait concerts, the Montreal/New Music Festival and the educational work of the SMCQ, Ana Sokolović wishes to multiply collaborations and open up “a little more internationally.

For this reason, he highlights that “the SMCQ is not just a production house: it is a society”. A term that, in his opinion, implies “a crossroads of ideas, contacts between composers, performers and the public”. “I would also like to include musicologists, establish a complete “artistic-general” connection, links with my teaching and my research chair in operatic creation. We have to develop research, because we have to adapt, even to technology, to reflect society in a current way. »

The teacher cannot reveal her plans yet: “I have a lot of ideas, but as for the implementation, nothing has been approved. I start in July. Also, the next season and part of the next were developed by Walter Boudreau. Therefore, it will be a slow appropriation. »

We cannot help but ask the future artistic director of the SMCQ what she thinks of the fact that the great symphonic tribute to the centenary of Jean-Paul Riopelle, in 2023, is entrusted to Serge Fiori. “I have nothing to say. The decision belongs to the WSO [Orchestre symphonique de Montréal]. I have great esteem for Serge Fiori”, answers Ana Sokolović. “It is a way of seeing the tribute to Riopelle. We can pay tribute to Riopelle in a thousand and one ways, and I hope that, in the future, we will pay tribute to Riopelle in a thousand and one ways. »

to see on video

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