Satiate Your Appetite For Great Music With Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra

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This February the NAC Orchestra is set to captivate audiences of all ages with its thrilling concert lineup of critically acclaimed soloists and exceptional repertoire.

Among the Orchestra’s jam-packed schedule, here are some notable performance highlights: the return of audience favourite Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds in a program of the most dramatic and expressive music from Denmark, Russia and Finland (Feb 2-3), Casablanca Live on the big screen in Southam Hall (Feb 9-11), GRAMMY Award-nominated organist Cameron Carpenter performing in an Italian-themed program (Feb 15-16), Music Director Alexander Shelley leading the Canadian Brass Choir in “O Canada” at a Sens game at the Canadian Tire Centre (Feb 19), Casual Fridays with legendary guitar soloist Pepe Romero and hosted by Canadian Olympic hurdler, Sekou Kaba (Feb 23-24) and a performance in Toronto at Roy Thomson Hall, featuring Zeiss After Dark (Toronto Première) a new work by Montreal composer Nicole Lizée (Feb 25). These are only a few of the exciting performances the NACO has in store this month.

national arts centre nac orchestra logos

February highlights also include:

Rachmaninoff’s Third, February 2 – 3, 2017
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 has the reputation of being one of the most challenging piano concertos in classical repertoire. Under the baton NAC Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds, Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin tackles the piece with sharp intelligence, calm maturity and absolute wisdom. Paired with Nielsen’s An Imaginary Trip to the Faroe Islands and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 6, this Bravo Series evening highlights the most dramatic and expressive music from Denmark, Russia and Finland.

Music for a Sunday Afternoon

Sunday, February 5, 2017, 2:00 pm National Gallery of Canada

This performance is a intimate chamber music concert featuring acclaimed Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman, in her first appearance on this series, with members of the National Arts Centre Orchestra at the National Gallery of Canada. This program will include a chamber setting of Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs by John Greer – a showpiece for soprano, and is rounded out with Schoenberg’s arrangement of J. Strauss Jr.’s Roses from the South Waltz, and Schubert’s lieder, “Die Forelle”, Op. 32 and the popular “Trout” Piano Quintet.




Casablanca Live!

February 9 – 11, 2017 NAC Southam Hall

Witness the Oscar-winning Casablanca as it comes to life on the big screen in Southam Hall, with the NAC orchestra, led by Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly performing Max Steiner’s lush score live. This Pops Series performance is made possible in part through our partner the Ottawa Citizen.

Imagined Italy

February 15 – 16, 2017

Cameron Carpenter is a game-changer. His approach to the organ is to smash stereotypes while generating a level of acclaim, exposure and controversy that is unprecedented for an organist. Accompanied by his trusted International Touring Organ, and under the baton of Alexander Shelley, this Air Canada Ovation series concert will see Cameron perform Rachmaninoff’s melodic and widely popular Rhapsody on a Theme from Paganini. Adapted for the organ, it is truly spectacular!

Accompanied by works from Edward Elgar and Richard Strauss, this Bravo Series performance will explore remarkably different impressions from remarkably different composers, all of whom were inspired by Italy’s musical culture and natural beauty. Concert made possible in part through the Friends of NAC Orchestra Kilpatrick Fund. Proud Partner: Ottawa Citizen.

And join us pre-concert for a Pre-Concert Talk with Pauls Wells and the artists.

WolfGANG: Session 8

With members of the NAC Orchestra

Saturday, February 18, 2017, 9:00 pm Mercury Lounge

Mercury Lounge

Sink your teeth into some fierce music on Saturday February 18, when members of the NAC Orchestra perform chamber music with a wild side for an unforgettable night at Mercury Lounge in the Byward Market. The show includes an enticing array of works by British and American composers Helen Grime, George Benjamin, Sally Beamish and Vijay Iyer, and will feature live projections by Matt Cameron. Members of the NAC Orchestra performing at WolfGANG: Session 8 are Paul Casey viola, Michelle Gott harp, Marjolaine Lambert violin, Jethro Marks viola, David Marks viola and Thaddeus Morden cello. Don’t miss one of the hottest shows in town.

Tickets are available online, on the Mercury Lounge website, in advance for $15 dollars or at the door for $20.  Mercury Lounge is located at Located at 56 Byward Market.

We’ve got the Beat

Bangers & Smash percussion duo

February 19, 2017 dates & times NAC Main Lobby (Foyer)

dates & times dates & times

This KinderNACO Series performance will be fun for the whole family. Drums, cymbals, timpani, marimbas, xylophones and an inexhaustible supply of “toys”. Come explore the amazing percussion section of an orchestra!

Shelley and Pepe Romero

Thursday, February 23, 2017, 8:00pm

Casual Fridays with the NAC Orchestra

Friday, February 24, 2017, 7:00 pm

Legendary Spanish guitarist Pepe Romero performs the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo with Alexander Shelley and the NAC Orchestra. A special addition to this program is Zeiss After Dark (Toronto Première) a world premiere by Canadian composer Nicole Lizée, inspired by cinematography techniques. Unwind at the end of your week with our wildly popular Casual Fridays! Join us at 5 p.m. for our pre-concert reception in Southam Hall Lobby, where you can enjoy cocktails and tapas, and live jazz. The 90 minute concert begins at 7:00 p.m., and will be hosted by Guinean-Canadian Olympic hurdler, Sekou Kaba. Stay to mix and mingle with fellow music lovers and NAC Orchestra musicians in the lobby following the concert.

*The Bravo Series version of this performance will take place on February 23, 2017 and will begin at 8 p.m.

The NAC orchestra will make a welcome return visit to Toronto to perform at Roy Thomson Hall. The program offers two works by Sir William Walton: the dynamic Symphony No. 1 and the picturesque score for Sir Laurence Olivier’s film version of Shakespeare’s Henry V. Plus, legendary Spanish guitarist Pepe Romero joins the Orchestra in a performance of Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo. A special addition to this program is Zeiss After Dark, a Toronto premiere by Canadian composer Nicole Lizée, inspired by cinematography techniques. Concert running time is approximately two hours. Tickets from $39.75.

PearTree Financial is the proud founding Presenting Partner of the NAC Orchestra’s Annual Toronto concert. VIA Rail is the Official Rail Partner and The Globe & Mail is the Major Media Partner. For the Silo, Andrea Ruttan.


1 Comment to Satiate Your Appetite For Great Music With Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra


    Multimedia work based on Kathy Stinson’s award-winning book about Grammy Award winner Joshua Bell performing as a busker in Washington, D.C.

    February 8, 2017 – OTTAWA (Canada) — The Man with the Violin: Suite for Violin and Orchestra, a new work based on the story of superstar violinist Joshua Bell performing outside a Metro stop, will receive its world premiere on Sunday February 12 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

    Co-commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), The Man with the Violin is based on the award-winning children’s book by Canadian author Kathy Stinson. The orchestral work, composed by the Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer Anne Dudley, will be performed by the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Stern, the renowned American journalist Michele Norris (former host of All Things Considered) as the narrator, and soloist Joshua Bell as himself. The performance is sold-out.

    In 2007, the internationally acclaimed violinist famously performed outside a Washington Metro stop as an anonymous busker as part of an experiment by the Washington Post. The idea was to see if anyone would stop and listen to a world-famous violinist if he performed in that setting, dressed as a street musician. More than 1,000 people rushed by and barely any turned to look. The article describing the experiment, called “Pearls Before Breakfast,” won journalist Gene Weingarten the Pulitzer Prize, and produced an unexpected firestorm of discussion around the world which continues to this day.

    The story also inspired the award-winning Canadian children’s author Kathy Stinson to write The Man with the Violin (©2013, published by Annick Press Ltd.), with artwork by the acclaimed illustrator Dušan Petričić. It tells the story of a fictional boy named Dylan, who wants to stop and listen to the violinist, but is rushed along by his mother. The book won many awards and honours, including the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the richest prize in children’s literature in Canada.

    For the orchestral version, Petričić’s illustrations, which beautifully show Dylan enraptured by the music as he goes throughout his day, will be brought to life with animation by Montreal production studio NORMAL.

    Composer Anne Dudley remarks, “Kathy Stinson’s wonderful book reminds us all to notice things; to listen and to be responsive to our world rather than going about in our own little bubble. It has been very exciting to work on this project as it brings together live performance and ‘live’ animation to children who may be hearing this music for the first time.”

    “Such a natural – to bring music to the story of The Man with the Violin,” Kathy Stinson said. “I’m delighted with the wonderful talent that has been brought to bear in bringing it to a wider audience in this way.”

    This is the first collaboration between Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra (Kennedy Center). The Man with the Violin: Suite for Violin and Orchestra will receive its Canadian premiere on December 20, 2017 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada, performed by Joshua Bell and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and conducted by Music Director Alexander Shelley.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT me, Mary Gordon at 613-947-7000,ext. 849
    Please mention the Silo when contacting.


    With a career spanning more than 30 years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and conductor, Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of his era.

    Composer, arranger, producer and performer, Anne Dudley is a multi-talented and critically acclaimed musician. She has composed and produced soundtracks for dozens of award-winning films and television shows, and was a founding member of the Art Of Noise.

    Conductor Michael Stern is embarking on his 12th season as Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony and 17th season as Founding Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the IRIS Orchestra.

    Michele Norris is one of the most trusted voices in American journalism. Her voice informs, engages and enlightens listeners with thoughtful interviews and in-depth reporting as one of the hosts of NPR’s flagship afternoon broadcast, All Things Considered.

    Kathy Stinson has published more than 30 titles – picture books, young adult novels, historical fiction, short stories, biography, and other non-fiction. Many of her books have attracted awards and nominations.

    Dušan Petričić is the award-winning illustrator of more than 20 books for children, including Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes by Margaret Atwood, published by Bloomsbury in September 2004. A former professor of illustration and book design, Petričić’s work appears in The New York Times, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, and The Toronto Star.

    NORMAL is a visual design studio founded in Montreal in 2009 by Mathieu St-Arnaud (Creative Director) and Philippe Belhumeur (Producer). NORMAL’s goal is to transform spaces, create enticing landscapes, give audiences a unique and unexpected experience, and have fun while doing it.

    The 2016-2017 season marks the NSO’s 86th, and its seventh and final led by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, also the Music Director of the Kennedy Center. Founded in 1931, the Orchestra has, throughout its history, been committed to artistic excellence and music education.

    In September 2015 Alexander Shelley took up the mantle as Music Director, leading a new era for the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Shelley has an unwavering reputation as one of Europe’s leading young conductors, notably as Chief conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and most recently as the Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Since its inception the Orchestra has commissioned 80 works, mostly from Canadian composers.

    Mary Gordon
    National Editor, Communications
    Rédactrice, Volet national, Communications

    National Arts Centre | Centre national des Arts

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