Six years ago Mr. Milo, the conductor was speaking with the doorman in the building where we reside. This gentleman said that he was the principal cellist in the Moscow Symphony. He explained that he was grateful for his new home, however very unhappy and disillusioned regarding his inability to find a way into what he described as a ‘çlosed’ musical scene in Montreal. He had no contacts and there was far too much competition. A few weeks later a similar situation happened when a pizza delivery man seeing Mr. Milo’s piano, mentioned that he was a violinist by profession who played in the Bucharest opera orchestra and was newly arrived in Montreal looking desperately for orchestral playing opportunities.
It was that day that Mr. Milo suggested we try and create a Symphony Orchestra; as he was in fact a conductor, and I had managed the McGill Chamber Orchestra in the past. This ensemble would be expressly for the benefit of the professional immigrant musicians in Montreal; as an illustration of our ’integration’ capabilities while returning to them, their professional dignity.