2010-12-10

Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal: Getting Back in the Limelight

In the early 2000s the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM), one of Montreals foremost cultural institutions, underwent two upheavals. First, management was thrown into turmoil by the unexpected departure of the OSMs celebrated music director, Charles Dutoit, just as the orchestra and its Swiss conductor were about to mark 25 years of successful partnership with celebrations planned for the 200203 season. Then, in May 2005, the orchestras management and board were faced with a strike by the orchestras musi-cians. The authors describe the efforts of the orchestras general manager, Madeleine Careau, to revive its fortunes, notably through a campaign to restore the OSMs prestige, which had been severely eroded by these two events.
With the support of internal and exter-nal collaborators, Careau turned her attention to the most pressing issues, namely the choice of a new conductor, the orchestras planned new concert hall and the creation of a foundation to ensure stable, long-term financing for the OSM. To help bring this recov-ery plan to fruition, Careau drew on her extensive network of contacts. An all-female leadership team was formed at the OSM, as Careau called on Mélanie La Couture (CEO), Hélène Desmarais (deputy board chair) and Monique Jérôme-Forget (chair of the Que-bec treasury board) to use their talents, expertise and influence to give new lustre to the OSM at home and abroad.

Serge Poisson-de Haro PhD (IESE Business School, Spain) is Assistant Professor in the management department at HEC Montréal. His teaching and research interests are in the strategy field. He is particularly interested in understanding the strategic management issues of artistic organizations. He has served on the boards of not-for-profit organizations such as the Canadian Opera Company and DareArts For Children. He publishes regularly in the International Journal of Arts Management and was a speaker at the 2009 AIMAC conference in Dallas, Texas.
François Normandin MA (history; Université du Québec a Montréal), MBA (HEC Montréal), is currently pursuing doctoral studies in strategic management at HEC Montréal. He has a particular interest in partnerships between for-profit and not-for-profit organiza-tions.

International Journal of Arts Management, Volume 13 - no 1 (FALL 2010)
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