Rafael Payare has been announced as the 9th music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM). The Venezuelan conductor, who in October 2020 extended his contract as music director of the San Diego Symphony through 2025-26, will begin his role in Montreal in the 2022-23 season. He succeeds Kent Nagano, whose tenure as music director of the OSM began in 2006 and ended in 2020.
Payare has studied with Claudio Abbado and Daniel Barenboim. He also trained with Lorin Maazel; following Maazel’s 2014 death, Payare became the Castleton Festival’s principal conductor. From 2014-2019, he was music director of the Ulster Orchestra.