The Premiere The premiere performance of The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du printemps) took place on Thursday, May 29, 1913 at Paris’s newly-opened Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. The program that night also included Les Sylphides, Le Spectre de la Rose and Polovtsian Dances.
A Modernist Affair Théâtre des Champs-Élysées was designed by architect Auguste… Continue Reading
The Igor Stravinsky Connection The virtually unknown Russian composer Igor Stravinsky was commissioned by Diaghilev to create the score for the full-length ballet The Firebird, choreographed by Fokine for the Ballets Russes’s 1910 Paris season. Stravinsky composed three further works for the company — Petrushka, a ballet in four scenes (1911) with choreography by Fokine; the two-part… Continue Reading
In preparation for SMI 2013, we’ve asked three faculty members – Patty Kopec (violin/viola), Grigory Kalinovsky (violin/viola), and Charles (Chip) Hamann (oboe) – to share some advice with students about preparing for the Young Artist Program (YAP), making the most of their time here, and what makes SMI unique. Here's part three of our Q&A:
There are many… Continue Reading
We’ve asked three SMI faculty members – Patty Kopec (violin/viola), Grigory Kalinovsky (violin/viola), and Charles (Chip) Hamann (oboe) – to share some advice with students about preparing for the Young Artist Program (YAP), making the most of their time here, and what makes SMI unique. Here's part two:
How can students make the most of their… Continue Reading
We’re only a few months away from the 15th annual Summer Music Institute (SMI) at the National Arts Centre! In preparation, we’ve asked three SMI faculty members -- Patty Kopec (violin/viola), Grigory Kalinovsky (violin/viola), and Charles (Chip) Hamann (oboe) -- to share some advice with students about preparing for the Young Artist Program (YAP), making the most of their… Continue Reading
On my walk through the building, down the twisting, turning, magical halls of the NAC this morning I took-in and overheard:
The National Arts Centre (NAC) mourns the passing of legendary singer-songwriter Stompin’ Tom Connors. Stompin’ Tom was honoured at the National Arts Centre on November 4, 2000 when he won the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime achievement, the highest honour bestowed on Canadian artists for their contribution to the life of the country.
“Stompin’ Tom wrote… Continue Reading
“Hi everyone! Thanks so much for coming to the concert. I want to tell you how happy I am to be playing Magnus’ piece tonight — it is, in my humble opinion, one of the most important recent violin concertos. And hey, who doesn’t love recent violin concertos?
Comparing this concerto with the one by Sibelius… Continue Reading
What better way to learn about horns than a discussion with musicians from the NAC Orchestra? In this episode of the NACOcast host Nick Atkinson interviews horn players Larry Vine, Julie Fauteux, Jill Kirwan, Liz Simpson and Nick Hartman
Topics discussed range from the evolution of horn design to famous horn compositions and influences. Musicians also discuss… Continue Reading
Music Night at the NAC/The Canadian Dream
The 3rd annual Music Night at the NAC brought together Canadians who adore music whether they work on Parliament Hill, in the business community or the arts. Heritage Minister James Moore hosted the evening sponsored by Quebecor Media and Music Canada to shine a light on two Canadian artists,… Continue Reading
Bronfman Plays Brahms
Yefim Bronfman, Pinchas Zukerman and the NAC Orchestra, February 6 & 7, 2013
Question and Answer with Pinchas Zukerman:
Q: Maestro Pinchas Zukerman, you are about to perform at the National Arts Centre with your longtime friend, pianist Yefim Bronfman. How did this friendship begin?
A: “Fima, I’ve known since he was… Continue Reading
Since my first orchestral experience – a young witness to the NAC Orchestra performing Handel’s Messiah twenty years ago – to my first internship in Marketing at the NAC, I have been rather smitten with this orchestra. As an Associate Marketing Officer, I used to sneak into the top balcony of Southam Hall to listen in on afternoon rehearsals. … Continue Reading
In this edition of the NACOcast Maclean's columnist Paul Wells speaks with composer Alexina Louie about her composition Take The Dog Sled which was performed by the NAC Orchestra as part of the 2012 Northern Canada tour.
Alexina talks about the daunting process of composing an orchestral work that integrates the oral tradition of throat singing.… Continue Reading
Leonard Bernstein was fascinated with the American cultural landscape and through his music he sought to bring about social change. His hope to connect all Americans is clearly illustrated in the love that blossoms amid the violent rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks of West Side Story.
Leonard Bernstein was greatly influenced by George Gershwin's ability to mix… Continue Reading
This month legendary Russian pianist and Van Cliburn Competition Winner Alexander Toradze returns to the NAC to perform Rachmaninoff’s beloved and technically demanding Piano Concerto No. 3.
Peter Duschenes is the Artistic Director of Platypus Theatre, who will join forces with the NAC Orchestra for Student Matinée performances of “Music Under a Midnight Moon” on January 14th, 2013. The show is an original NAC commission, includes pre-concert study guides for teachers and students, and demonstrates how beauty can be found in the most unlikely places!
Canadian Soprano Measha Brueggergosman, the players of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the artists from the NAC’s English Theatre Company and Theatre Calgary, the NAC’s audience and countless staff members are giving their time, their talent and their spirit of compassion this holiday season.
Today, NAC English Theatre is staging a special benefit performance of Pride and Prejudice at… Continue Reading
Why does the particular combo of Havana jazz and classical precision come so naturally to Tiempo Libre?
This ensemble of accomplished musicians, led by founding pianist Jorge Gomez, are all Cuban-born and -raised. Now based in Miami, and American, these musicians credit their classical chops to the early formal music training under the Russian-directed communist government curriculum. By… Continue Reading
This episode of the NACOcast was recorded during the Beethoven Festival earlier in the season, this week's podcast features a pre-concert chat between veteran broadcaster Eric Friesen and the inimitable Pinchas Zukerman.
Together they discuss the colour, expression and cluster of themes within the Elgar Concerto. Throughout the podcast Pinchas illustrates his commentary by playing his beautiful… Continue Reading
The NAC Orchestra’s got rhythm in this toe-tapping Gershwin celebration and Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly is on the podium.
From 1924 until 1937, brothers George (music) and Ira (lyrics) Gershwin worked almost exclusively with each other, composing over two dozen scores for Broadway and Hollywood. Their style and sound defined the Jazz Age. The shows… Continue Reading
The NAC owns 13 pianos, including seven grand pianos of various sizes and six uprights. Visiting concert artists have the choice of using one of our three Steinway concert grands, two of which were built in Hamburg and one in New York. The Hamburg Steinway, purchased in 2008, is currently played the most. Each week Don Côté from Piano… Continue Reading
Yesterday morning, I was with the string trio at a school where a woman named Danielle Mallet-Hachey greeted us at the school. We learned that she was the music teacher and was on maternity leave. She was walking gingerly up the stairs and I asked her was she alright. She told me she had just given birth by cesarian… Continue Reading
Disponible en anglais seulement
In this edition of the NACOcast, founding host Chris Millard reprises his role with the NACOcast while on tour with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Cananda’s North. Chris is joined by Inuit throat singers Evie Mark and Akinisie Sivuarapik. They discuss throat singing history and technique ... and its intersection with Western classical music in Canadian composer Alexina’s… Continue Reading
Carmen Braden is a Yellowknife composer. She has been anticipating the NAC Orchestra's Northern Canada Tour for many reasons - to meet Norwegian guest conductor Arild Remmereit, to meet violin virtuoso James Ehnes, and... to have Canadian composer Alexina Louie (composer of Take the Dog Sled, which has won crowds over throughout the tour for its fun and its… Continue Reading
The Sunday night Community Feast – with "country food", which means food hunted from the land and sea: narwhal, raw caribou, stewed caribou, candied Arctic char, raw cubed Arctic char, vegetarian dishes like Ellen Hamilton's delicious cauliflower curry Musicians passed around Simeonie's button accordion, Chris' banjo and a mandolin that came out of nowhere. James Ehnes picked out a… Continue Reading
Vivaldi wrote what is today his most famous piece, The Four Seasons, some time between 1720 and 1725. It is a set of four violin concertos each of which describes a different season of the year. The music is programmatic (that is, descriptive) in a very life-like way; it abounds in vivid imitations of twittering birds, chattering teeth, barking… Continue Reading
The plane had barely touched ground in Iqaluit before NAC Orchestra musicians and staff darted off to their respective outreach activities. Among today's activities were a fiddle and choir workshop with James Ehnes and Arild Remmereit, a theatre workshop with John Doucet and a string performance at an elder centre.
If there was anyone in Iqaluit who didn't… Continue Reading
The NACO Brass Trio Tour to Pangnirtung and Rankin Inlet, an initiative of the NAC Music Alive Program (MAP) and the Northern Tour, has only just begun and I think it was already more eventful than we could have ever dreamed of. Our evening flight from Iqaluit to Pangnirtung was cancelled at the last minute due to strong winds,… Continue Reading
When Rochelle and David Greenberg went to see the National Arts Centre Orchestra that night they weren’t expecting anything out of the ordinary. Then suddenly a hush fell over the audience.
Canadian politician and patron of the arts, the Hon. Mitchell Sharp was walking across the stage with a baton in his hand. “His health was failing but… Continue Reading
When an orchestra goes on tour, the music is the first priority – selecting repertoire, shipping the instruments, tuning in a new space. But that music very quickly evolves into friendships, in an exchange of music.
Between October 26 and November 4, the National Arts Centre Orchestra will exchange musical ideas in Iqaluit, Pangnirtung, Yellowknife and Whitehorse, accompanied… Continue Reading
The first performance of the NAC Orchestra's Northern Tour will take place at at the Nakasuk Schook in Nunavut. However, this is not the first time the National Arts Centre has visited Nunavut. For the past three years through The Music Alive Program: Nunavut NAC teaching musicians have worked with local educators, musicians, elders and community leaders to support… Continue Reading
"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."
--Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
What is your favourite part of The Little Prince?
Is it that little flower whose constant demands confound the Little Prince and his love for her?
Is… Continue Reading
First Canadian tour of one of Hong Kong’s flagship professional orchestras
I first heard about the Hong Kong Sinfonietta from NAC Orchestra Music Director Pinchas Zukerman. He had high praise for their artistry and talked fondly about making music with them, so far away, in Hong Kong. Listening to him speak, I wanted to check them out for… Continue Reading
Maestro Zukerman will perform Elgar's Violin Concerto Tuesday night, as the NAC Orchestra’s Beethoven Festival continues. What a treat this performance will be for all in attendance; Pinchas is known for his interpretation of the Elgar concerto internationally. In music journalist Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer’s words, “it’s one of the works that is probably closest to his heart and… Continue Reading
"Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 was the first Beethoven concerto that I performed with an orchestra, and thus the work holds a very special place in my heart. From its perfectly constructed, succinct, Mozart K. 491-echoing opening theme — dare we call it a hook? — to its breathless and nearly farcical coda, this is trademark early… Continue Reading
Everyone knows that any good performance hall worth its salt is haunted by ghosts. The NAC is no different. If you roam backstage, (and you're really, really quiet) you might hear an otherwordly voice reciting a line from Shakespeare's King Lear, or Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-soeurs. Or you might glimpse a vision of an ethereal prima ballerina, desperately racing… Continue Reading
"The Emperor was written at the height of Beethoven’s middle period, and its innovations are groundbreaking and revolutionary. Instead of opening with an orchestral exposition, he begins with a cadenza where the piano immediately announces an equal partnership between soloist and orchestra. What I find most compelling is the slow movement. The simplicity and purity create a spellbinding quality,… Continue Reading
The National Arts Centre Gala held on Saturday September 22 was a great success both artistically and financially. Lang Lang, the man known for his flying fingers and dazzling style, brought Saturday night’s NAC Gala crowd to their feet with stunning performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1, and Chopin's Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise brillante. We are thrilled to announce that… Continue Reading
Disponible en anglais seulement
Lang Lang’s masterclass, made possible by Bombardier, was a stunning event – 3 student musicians took to the grand piano for a private lesson – in public!
The NAC’s Southam Hall was chocked with Lang Lang fans, all wanting a photo, all listening intently to his constructive teaching points. But he made them laugh, too. Next up: Lang… Continue Reading
You’re invited to attend the upcoming NAC masterclass with world-class pianist Lang Lang, taking place on Friday, September 21st in Southam Hall. Please note that the masterclass begins at 2:00pm.
Hailed by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Lang Lang’s performance at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing… Continue Reading
NACOcast with Nicholas Atkinson
In this week's episode of the NACOcast host Nicholas Atkinson discusses the extreme responses to opera. Some feel that it is an elitist art form attended by bejeweled woman and 'bejoweld' men. However, as Nicholas points out even the most stoic listener can be moved to tears.
Both Nicholas and Alexander Shelley… Continue Reading
It will be quite a moment when Lang Lang takes the stage Saturday. He has performed for over a billion people at a time, and has taken the planet by storm. Those who follow classical music may have had Chinese pianist Lang Lang on their radar for many years, but for most of us it was his sensational performance… Continue Reading
Classrooms of students from as far away as the United States and Mexico share their reactions to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with kids here in Canada...
...a talented young violinist living in a small community in Northern Canada receives one-on-one instruction from Pinchas Zukerman...
...a virtual big band gives kids from a local jazz band the chance… Continue Reading
For my brothers Carl and [Johann]* Beethoven
O you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me, you do not know the secret causes of my seeming so, from childhood my heart and mind were disposed to the gentle feelings of good will,… Continue Reading
It is with great pleasure I welcome you to our exceptional 2012-2013 season.
This season consists of great music performed by a great orchestra and wonderful soloists and guest artists. I’m sure it will engage you with deeply emotional experiences.
With this remarkable season, as we have in the past, we begin with… Continue Reading
Designing clothes that draw applause from the audience, even before a top-ranked musician plays a single note drives Rosemarie Umetsu. The Toronto fashion designer now ranks amongst the world’s “best-dresser” list with clients that include the NAC’s Pinchas Zukerman, pianist Lang Lang, Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Peter Oundjian and nearly every young Canadian diva from Isabel Bayrakdarian to Measha Brueggergosman.… Continue Reading
This week's podcasts include both music and dance. Marjolaine Fournier and Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer discuss the musical artistry of Elgar and uncover the passionate artist behind the imposing mustache. In dance, choreographer Mourad Merzouki, Artistic Director of Le Centre Chorégraphique National Créteil et Val-de-Marne speaks about his choreographic vocabulary - a unique style of movement that integrates the intense… Continue Reading
Dr. Albert Adey loved the performing arts. He was a fervent music lover and a devoted patron of the NAC. Albert’s passion is evident in his collection of classical music. When he passed away he left behind no fewer than 2,000 records that have since been donated to an Ottawa school.
It was Isobel’s loyalty and love for… Continue Reading