Boris Brott was anxious to talk about the 80th anniversary season of the Orchestre classique de Montréal.The what what de what?For decades the ensemble founded by Brott’s father, Alexander (1915-2005), and managed by his mother, Lotte (1922-98), has been known as the McGill Chamber Orchestra or, if you prefer, the Orchestre de chambre McGill.But as of this week the venerable “McGill” moniker is gone, as is the English-language option. “We want to have a name that reflects the professionalism of who we are,” Brott said over the phone.It is true that the “McGill” element of the name requires footnoting. The original members of the McGill String Quartet in 1939 — Alexander Brott, first violin; Edwin Sherrard, second violin; Stephen Kondacks, viola; Jean Belland, cello; according to Alexander’s memoirs — were indeed teachers at the McGill Conservatory and their concerts took place in Moyse Hall. (Belland was soon replaced by the student Lotte Goetzel, the future Lotte Brott.)When the ensemble gradually morphed into the McGill Chamber Orchestra in the late 1940s, it performed on campus. But the connection with the university became strictly nominal when the MCO moved to Place des Arts in the late 1960s and established itself as a purveyor of international soloists with a rank and file made largely of moonlighting players from the OSM.Boris Brott began sharing podium duties with his father around the turn of the century and moved the orchestra away from its star-studded artistic policy, which was hard to sustain in an era of escalating fees. There was even an all-Canadian season — an idea whose time had not yet come.In any case, regulars of the Montreal music scene understood that the McGill Chamber Orchestra was not a student group. Newcomers and tourists, however, had no reason not to be confused — especially when the MCO collaborated with Opera McGill or the McGill Percussion Ensemble.“We can never deny those roots,” Brott said of the old name. “But this is a more positive way of saying who we are.”Also gone is chamber, on the grounds that the Orchestre classique de Montréal will occasionally expand beyond its core membership of 15 or 16 players, but also because the modifier conveys elitist karma. “The word is reflective of small rooms, the nobility, the privileged versus the rest of us,” Brott reasons.Montréal is largely self-explanatory but even here there is a rationale, since the orchestra works with other groups in the city, such as the Montreal Bach Festival, the Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, Les Petits Chanteurs de Mont-Royal and the Canadian International Organ Competition.“I’m trying to break down silos,” Brott says. “I want the orchestra to collaborate with other organisms in the city as often as possible for mutual benefit.”Venues in 2019-20 are varied, in keeping with this philosophy. The opening concert of Sept. 15, titled Colours of the Diaspora, is at the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. Only one locale, the Maison symphonique, is used twice — first for an organ concert Oct. 6, then for a season-concluding performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony June 7, 2020.Salle Pierre Mercure is the site on Nov. 3 of a program combining Vivaldi’s Gloria (Les Petits Chanteurs) with Busoni’s take on the Bach Keyboard Concerto No. 1 (Anne-Marie Dubois, piano). Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 8 is heard in the Crypt of St. Joseph’s Oratory, a larger facility than Christ Church Cathedral, where the orchestra used to present this popular masterpiece. There is a Viennese concert in Victoria Hall on Feb. 16 with soprano Aline Kutan and a jazz/klezmer program in Oscar Peterson Hall on March 8 featuring pianist Matt Herskowitz and soprano Sharon Azrieli, as well as clarinetist André Moisan in a concerto by Airat Ichmouratov.Bourgie Hall is the setting May 24 for a concert featuring Giuseppe Guarrera, a prizewinner in the 2017 Concours musical international de Montréal. This Italian is soloist in a reduction of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”). Also on the program — intended, like the Ninth, as a celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth — is Paraphrase in Polyphony, a piece by Alexander Brott (who was no mean composer) based on the canon Beethoven wrote as a souvenir for Theodore Molt, the composer’s only known visitor from Quebec.Brott hopes to revive other works premiered by the orchestra in decades past. The final concert of the present season, on May 11, includes Cordes en mouvement by Jean Vallerand. This was commissioned in 1961 by the Samuel Lapitsky Foundation.There is a gala on Sept. 23 at the Sofitel Hotel in honour of Joseph Rouleau, the new chairman of the board, succeeding Azrieli, who becomes chairperson emeritus. Remarkably, there is no concert at Pollack Hall, where the orchestra has played often in recent seasons. The room is hard to book in advance, Brott says. Parking? Don’t ask.If the where is not predictable in 2019-20, the when is. All concerts start at 3 p.m. on Sunday except the first (which starts at 7:30) and the gala. “We have a number of subscribers who have been with us for many years and are not 20-year-olds or 30-year-olds,” the conductor explains.Now, what about that French-only name? The subscriber base has always included anglos.“I think this is in line with most cultural entities in Montreal,” Brott said. “It’s the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, not the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Opéra de Montréal — everybody is doing this. One reason is that it is more practical in terms of typeface.“We’ve chosen the name carefully. No anglophone can confuse the fact that if you have orchestre, there’s an orchestra. And the same goes with classique and Montréal.”Well, fine. But still — to lose the McGill Chamber Orchestra name after so many decades. What would his parents say?“I’m not going to pretend that they visit me in my dreams,” Brott said. “Although I do think of them a lot. Particularly Dad, who was a very special man. I got a real chance to know him after Mom died.“They were two sides to a coin, in the sense that Mother was the organizational side and the driving energy behind the orchestra. Dad was more the artistic side.“I thought a lot about this from their perspective before I could give it my consent. And I dragged my feet for quite a while. I had to satisfy myself that they would love the fact that this orchestra is continuing to grow and evolve.“I think they’d be thrilled to see that the organization to which they gave life continues to serve the greater good of music in Montreal. I think they would have been — I think they are — thrilled.”AT A GLANCEFor information on the Orchestre classique de Montréal, visit www.orchestre.ca.I Musici de Montréal are keeping their bilingual name (Italian and French) in 2019-20 and staying put in Bourgie Hall. The 10 programs (some repeated) range widely from a potpourri of French miniatures to open the season on Sept. 26 (with the young Canadian cellist Cameron Crozman) to a season-closing Haydn-Beethoven evening May 21, 2020, involving the noted Frenchman Jean-Efflam Bavouzet as soloist (on Bourgie Hall’s Érard piano) in the Keyboard Concerto in D Major of the former and the Piano Concerto No. 4 of the latter.Beethoven is recognized also on March 17 by the Violin Concerto with Vadim Gluzman as soloist and on March 5 in a program featuring the Sextet Op. 81b as well as the seldom-heard Concerto for Two Horns of Ferdinand Ries — a student and friend of the master. Louis-Philippe Marsolais and Louis-Pierre Bergeron do the honours. The program of April 9 combines Rossini’s Stabat Mater (Myriam Leblanc, soprano; and Maude Brunet, mezzo-soprano) with music by the contemporary composers Missy Mazzoli and Kelly-Marie Murphy. Artistic director Jean-Marie Zeitouni leads most of the concerts, which are classified — in Italian — as belonging to either I Grandi Concerti or I Concertini. Go to www.imusici.com.