OSM CEO Madeleine Careau announced that she will leave her position at the end of June. After 24 years at the head of the orchestra, the woman who stood out for her leadership and visionary spirit came to the conclusion that the time had come for her to pass the torch to someone else.
The announcement was made late Monday afternoon to the OSM’s 200 employees and musicians. “Serving the OSM has been an immense honor for me for almost 25 years now. This is the most beautiful chapter of my professional life. A chapter that provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with exceptional people,” she wrote in a letter given to her team.
During her reign, Madeleine Careau was able to provide financial stability which threatened the survival of the institution at the time she was hired, notably thanks to the creation, in 2009, of the OSM Foundation. She was also the one who created a more “serene and fruitful” climate, we can read in the press release.
To achieve these objectives, Madelaine Careau was able to count on influential people, three in particular, whom she wanted to thank: Michael Turcotte, president of the board of directors upon her arrival, Jacques Laurent, her successor for four years, and Lucien Bouchard, who has held this position since 2004.
The latter wanted to highlight the immense contribution of Madeleine Careau to the influence of the Orchestra since she joined it in February 2000. “Often working in the shadows, while the reflectors are projected on the musicians and their leader, Mme Careau was a great conductor in her own way, ensuring that all teams, artistic and administrative, followed the same score and collaborated in harmony for the good of the institution and its various audiences. »
Madeleine Careau had wanted to retire a few years ago, but the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had the effect of putting her decision on hold. She now leaves the OSM with a feeling of accomplishment. “At almost 90 years old, the OSM still has solid foundations, its place among the great North American orchestras is indisputable, its future is still as promising. »
During her mandate, Madeleine Careau took several important actions that contributed to the development of the OSM. Let us mention the recruitment of maestro Kent Nagano in 2006, the launch of the Classical Spree, the opening, in 2011, of the Maison symphonique, in 2016, the creation of the Music for Children program, and the hiring, in 2021, of Rafael Payare, the current artistic director of the Orchestra.
During an interview with the author of these lines, Madeleine Careau looked back on her rich career. After a stint with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and the Quebec Summer Festival, she joined the core that created the ADISQ at the end of the 1990s.
From 1983 to 1985, she was chief of staff to the Minister of Culture Clément Richard. Then, in 1985, she agreed to team up with Guy Fournier to set up Télévision Quatre-Saisons.
Over time, she became a specialist in television galas. It is therefore naturally to her that we turn to create the Gemini gala. For many years, she was responsible for the Paris office of Just for Laughs before becoming Luc Plamondon’s unwavering right-hand man during the Notre-Dame-de-Paris adventure.
In the fall of 1999, during a visit to Quebec, he was asked to take on an enormous challenge: to get the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) out of the difficult period it was going through. After a long hesitation, she accepted this mandate.
Madeleine Careau was made Knight of the National Order of Quebec in 2020. After a quarter of a century at the head of the OSM, she leaves a strong mark.
The OSM board of directors will soon create a recruitment committee to ensure the succession of Madeleine Careau. The committee’s work should take place over a few months.