*OTTAWA PREMIERE: NAC Orchestra commission of Philip Glass on the theme of Truth In Our Time in tribute to Canadian journalist Peter Jennings.
NACO is back on tour! Under the direction of Alexander Shelley, and featuring violin soloist James Ehnes (Gramophone Artist of the Year 2021), NACO presents the world premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 13, a work commissioned by the Orchestra on the theme of Truth in Our Time. Celebrate with us and be a part of this exhilarating orchestral experience with performances at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Carnegie Hall in New York, and finally, bringing it back home to Southam Hall at the National Arts Centre!
The premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 13 is a moving tribute to Canadian journalist Peter Jennings. Mr. Jennings was not only a highly respected news anchor for ABC News, he was also a trustee of Carnegie Hall during his years in New York City, the founding director of the American chapter of the Friends of the NAC Orchestra, and served as a lifelong champion of Canadian artists generally.
“We are delighted that our soloist will be Canadian violinist and Gramophone 2021 Artist of the Year James Ehnes, with whom the NAC Orchestra has enjoyed an immensely rewarding, even symbiotic relationship for many years, and who will be playing Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto on our program. We chose the Korngold concerto because it speaks to the theme Truth in Our Time, as do all the compositions we will be playing at Carnegie Hall. We will open with Canadian composer Nicole Lizée’s Zeiss After Dark, followed by Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, and of course the U.S. premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 13. We hope to share with our friends in New York City a compelling, engaging and memorable concert that reflects on global challenges such as truth and freedom of speech.”
- Alexander Shelley, Music Director of the NAC Orchestra
As noted by Maestro Shelley, the concert will open with Nicole Lizée’s beautifully profound Zeiss After Dark, which evokes the cinematographic effect of the Zeiss lens, used to film intimate scenes lit only by candles. The piece will lead the audience to the program’s theme through a contemplation of perspectives and filters.
Her piece will be followed by two works that speak to the idea of freedom of speech and the political implications of its disruption. Erich Korngold fled to the United States during World War II, where he stood staunchly against oppression and became an influential composer for Hollywood films. Korngold's Concerto in D Major, Opus 35 will be performed by powerhouse violinist James Ehnes.
Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 was expected by Stalin to be a grand work celebrating his regime, but instead the composer took a subversive, satirical approach, delivering a spirited work filled with humor rather than heroism, and this disruptive message commended the work to obscurity for the rest of Stalin’s life.
The final piece on the NAC Orchestra’s program was specifically composed by Philip Glass to speak to the notion of Truth in Our Time, and will serve as the culmination to a truly thought-provoking program for musicians and audience alike. Be among the first to witness the premiere of Philip Glass's latest composition!