NAC Orchestra 50th Anniversary European Tour

Learning & Engagement

Crossing distances, generations and expectations through music, mentorship and collaboration

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, we are pleased to partner with many organizations in Saffron Walden, London, Paris, Utrecht, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg and connect with music fans of all ages through 60 interactive distance learning events, collaborative performances, meaningful discussions, chamber and choir performances, workshops and masterclasses. 

  • Crossing distances, generations and expectations through music, mentorship and collaboration

    As we celebrate the 50thanniversary of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, we are pleased to partner with many organizations throughout Europe and connect with music fans of all ages through interactive distance learning events, collaborative performances, meaningful discussions, chamber and choir performances, workshops and masterclasses.  

  • Inspiring collaborations

    A hallmark of all NAC Orchestra tours, we will collaborate with our partners to create unique events that inspire cross-cultural understanding and creative expression with youth bands and orchestras, choirs, and community ensembles.  

  • Mentoring the artists who will shape our future

    Whether at home or abroad, we are committed to mentoring the next generation of young artists.  Alexander Shelley, Music Director of the NAC Orchestra, will lead conducting workshops as well as discussions on music entrepreneurship while NAC Orchestra musicians offer masterclasses and coaching sessions.  

  • Royal College of Music Residency

    Alexander Shelley and NAC Orchestra musicians will be in residence at the Royal College of Music London from May 13 to May 14.  The residency will include a chamber music coaching session, a conducting workshop, mock-audition session, and a cross-Atlantic connected event linking young musicians in the UK and Canada together.

  • The Ambassador Trio and Bangers and Smash perform at Alperton School

    In partnership with the High Commission for Canada, the Ambassador Brass Trio and Bangers and Smash (percussion duo), will perform at Alperton Community School for hundreds of elementary students where Andria Zafirakou is the 2018 Global Teacher Prize winner for promoting creativity in the ethnically diverse community of Brent.  The students will share their artistic response to the theme of “Crossings” during our visit.

  • Guildhall School of Music Masterclasses with Yosuke Kawasaki and Joel Quarrington

    NAC Orchestra Concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki and Principal Bass Joel Quarrington offer masterclasses to students at the Guildhall School of Music.

  • L’Élan musical (French only)

    L’Orchestre du CNA et Insula orchestra, en résidence à La Seine Musicale, vont rapprocher les continents et les générations en collaborant avec six étudiants en médiation de l’Université Paris 3- Sorbonne Nouvelle.

    Au cours des mois précédant la tournée européenne, chacun des trois ensembles de musique de chambre de l’Orchestre du CNA sera jumelé à un binôme d’étudiants. Ils imagineront des interventions ludiques et musicales de 30 minutes à destination des écoliers du département des Hauts-de-Seine qui seront présentées les 16 et 17 mai 2019 à La Seine Musicale.

  • Discovery Concert : String Duos by Bach, Mozart and Handel

    Two distinguished members of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, violinist Edvard Skerjanc and Principal violist Jethro Marks, and Pierre Jeannot, Lecturer in Arts and Media department at the Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle university, will explore playfully well-known composers' chamber music works by as Bach, Mozart, and Handel. This event/show is aimed at children from French primary schools.

    PRIVATE EVENT, by invitation only

  • Brass band celebration!

    The line between professional and amateur dissolves when musicians come together to play for the joy of creating music together. Members of the NACO brass section will join members of the Tegenwind Concert Band, a highly entertaining and energetic amateur ensemble, for an afternoon of musical exchanges.

  • Music entrepreneurship – a conversation with Alexander Shelley

    Students of the Utrecht Conservatory will have the unique opportunity to discuss artistry, orchestral music and entrepreneurship with the NAC Orchestra’s dynamic music director Alexander Shelley.  Topics will cover the future of orchestras and concert music, creation of new works, the role of new music for the NAC Orchestra, the future of concert venues, tradition vs. innovation, orchestral differences between North America, Europe and Asia, and much more!

  • Mentoring the next generation of artists- Libero String Orchestra

    As part of the NAC Orchestra’s residency at the TivoliVredenburg, the Libero String Orchestra will work with Associate Principal Violist David Marks in a public masterclass.  Outstanding violin soloists from Rotterdam will work with Concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki.

  • MuziekRoute

    Children in the Utrecht Overvecht district and members of the NACO brass and percussion sections will work with MuziekRoute ensembles on a work written by the students and together they will perform the piece as part of a community concert.

  • Mentoring the Next Generation of Artists

    The NAC Orchestra is proud to be in residence at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen. Nine instrumental masterclasses with NAC Orchestra musicians featuring RDAM students will take place on May 22nd. This residency is part of an on-going partnership between Canada’s National Arts Centre and the International Office of the RDAM who, like the NAC, specialize in next-generation distance learning and telematic performance.

  • Masterclass with James Ehnes

    Grammy award-winning violinist James Ehnes will give a masterclass with some of Sweden’s top violin students at Stockholm’s Konserthuset.  James will also meet and play some music for the senior string ensemble from El Sistema Södertälje. 

  • El Sistema Södertälje Workshop and Performance: Crossing Distances

    El Sistema Södertälje has been collaborating with Ottawa’s OrKidstra to re-write a Swedish folk song, “Dejlig Rosa,” to become Garden of Maple Rose.  This new commission prepared by Margaret Munro Tobolowska and members of OrKidstra will be rehearsed by El Sistema Södertälje with members of the NAC Orchestra and performed together at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.


“I am thrilled to be supporting the education and outreach work of Canada's NAC Orchestra as it embarks on its 50th Anniversary European Tour. Music and the arts have the ability to cross oceans and build bridges between different generations, cultures, and backgrounds. It's vital that today’s youth be inspired to learn, to dream, to be part of a team and to have grand adventures. What better way than through encouraging the love of music and music making?” Dasha Shenkman OBE, Education Partner
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