|Country Of origin:||Canada|
I Musici de Montréal is a chamber orchestra consisting of 15 players and features repertory that ranges from the Baroque to the modern. The group's founder and music director is Moscow-born cellist Yuli Turovsky. The ensemble gives more than 100 concerts a season and, until recently, has recorded exclusively for the British label Chandos.
Turovsky was a widely admired cellist in the Soviet Union, appearing regularly in major concerts and making recordings for the state-owned Melodiya label. He emigrated to Canada in 1976 with his wife Eleonora Turovsky, with whom he formed the Borodin Trio in 1977. In 1983, he founded I Musici de Montréal, his wife assuming duties as concertmaster and he as the conductor and occasional cello soloist. While I Musici lists its regular personnel as consisting of 15 musicians, on some occasions it augments this number, adding up to an additional 17 players for performances of certain works.
The ensemble did not give its inaugural concert until November 8, 1984, this at Montreal's McGill University. Its first recordings, however, date to the previous year. In 1987 I Musici was awarded the prize of Best Chamber Ensemble of the Year by the Canadian Council of Music. The following year the group received a Diapason d'Or for its recording of the Shostakovich Symphony No. 14. It has received numerous other awards and distinctions over the years, including a Felix and Juno for the 1996 Chandos disc containing works by Ginastera, Villa-Lobos, and Evangelista, and a CD of the year award in 2002 from the Quebec Music Council for the album The Modern Cello.
I Musici has branched out into areas beyond the concert stage and recording studio: in 1990 the ensemble embarked upon performance of music for live presentation of silent film classics, playing the score to Charlie Chaplin's City Lights (written by Chaplin himself) for an audience at the Grand Théâtre de Québec. I Musici also presents newly composed scores for silent film classics, as with the memorable October 24, 1998, performance of Gabriel Thibaudeau's score to The Phantom of the Opera, in Erie, PA.
While I Musici has recorded exclusively for Chandos, it recently broke that tradition: in September 2005, the Canadian label Analekta announced it would begin issuing recordings by the ensemble, the first in October 2005, with an album of Spanish music.~ Rovi