- BARBARA ASSIGINAAK Concerto grosso
- JAKE HEGGIE, MARGARET ATWOOD Songs for Murdered Sisters
- Brahms, Johannes Symphony No. 4
- In-person event
- ≈ 2 hours · With intermission
This evening’s concert by the NAC Orchestra hosts an exhilarating meeting of artistic minds, each at the top of their game.
Canadian composer and NAC Orchestra creative partner Barbara Assiginaak weaves Anishinaabe oral/aural traditions with Western classical techniques, making her a superbly sensitive writer and knowledge-keeper. Assiginaak’s new work, Concerto grosso*, the first in a 3-part cycle featuring different combinations of instruments, celebrates NACO’s own brilliant ensemble playing.
Acclaimed Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins makes his Southam Hall solo debut to perform a powerful work written expressly for him that conveys the tragedy of lives needlessly lost. Songs for Murdered Sisters** is an NAC and Houston Grand Opera co-commissioned song cycle, conceived as both a fully orchestrated piece for voice and symphony orchestra, and as a chamber piece for voice and piano, based on original poetry by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. Music by Jake Heggie, best known for his operas Dead Man Walking and It’s a Wonderful Life, embraces and builds on the passion of Atwood’s powerful words.
Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 might well be the perfect expression of German Romanticism in a symphony—passionate, filled with fury, and aimed straight at the heart. The first people to hear any part of it expressed some surprising misgivings, leaving Brahms full of doubt about whether to give life to the work beyond its premiere. Fortunately for the world, he did give it life, because this symphony contains some of the deepest and most romantic music of the 19th century. Filled with an underlying sense of unrest and desire, Symphony No. 4 evokes the sounds of the entire universe from start to finish.
The Women’s Sexual Assault Centre of Renfrew County offers support to women who have experienced or are experiencing some form of sexual violence. They also offer support to family members, as they did for Joshua's family when his sister, Nathalie Warmerdam, and two other women were murdered in 2015. Please donate to the WSAC to help them support our community.
* NACO commission, world premiere
** A Work Jointly Commissioned by Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and Houston Grand Opera
Piano and Voice Premiere [March 8, 2022] at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas
Orchestra and Voice Premiere [February 9, 2023] in Southam Hall, at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada
Poems by Margaret Atwood © (Based on the original poems by Margaret Atwood © Margaret Atwood 2020)
Margaret Atwood's poem Songs for Murdered Sisters is from the collection Dearly, published by HarperCollins US, Penguin Random House UK and Penguin Random House Canada. Dearly is published in French by Editions Robert Laffont.
The score for Songs for Murdered Sisters is published by Bent Pen Music, Inc. (“Bent P Music” BMI) Represented by Bill Holab Music (www.billholabmusic.com) All rights reserved.