Ever since its inauguration in 1940, the OSM Competition has remained the most prestigious classical music competition for Canadian musicians. Each year, candidates benefit from first-rate artistic mentorships under the wing of our music director, Rafael Payare, as well as OSM musicians and international artists. 

Thanks to the generosity of donors and partners, close to $100,000 is awarded in prizes, scholarships, training programs and performance opportunities. This considerable support enables competition winners to launch their careers all while establishing a close relationship with the orchestra. 

The Competition is a springboard for young Canadian artists aspiring to international careers. It allows finalists to perform alongside the OSM and provides winners with recital or other performance opportunities as part of the orchestra’s regular programming, while showcasing them to national and international audiences. We are very proud to introduce winners to our network of artistic partners, patrons and sponsors in order to support them at the outset of their careers. 

Over the course of its 85 editions, the renowned OSM Competition has undeniably left a permanent imprint on the Canadian music scene with a combination of highly skilled candidates, reputable and dedicated artists and music industry professionals, as well as prestigious international judges. 


Founded in 1934 by Antonia Nantel, Wilfrid Pelletier and Athanase David, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) is a distinguished leader of musical life in Quebec and Canada. Recognized as one of the finest orchestras in the world, whose core activity is to perform the vast orchestral repertoire with conductors and soloists of the highest calibre, the OSM is an essential cultural ambassador. Under the direction of Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare, the OSM perpetuates several rich traditions rooted in its long history of social involvement and embodied in far-reaching projects, world class tours, and a superb discography. Firmly anchored in today’s world, the OSM’s innovative artistic programming in both concerts and recordings brings modern-day relevance to the symphonic repertoire while strengthening the Orchestra’s place at the heart of its home base in Quebec’s metropolis. Over the years, the OSM has crisscrossed Canada and toured abroad, travelling to Quebec’s Far North as well as to the United States, Latin America, and several countries in Europe and Asia. The OSM’s discography totals more than a hundred recordings, earning more than 110 national and international awards.


  • To disseminate symphonic music in all its forms 
  • To play an important role among youth 
  • To be involved in the community 
  • To excel on the international scene and on various distribution platforms.