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May 11, 2023 - 8 PM EDT
Tonight’s guest artist, Japanese pianist Nobu (Nobuyuki Tsuji), first found himself at a keyboard at the age of 2 picking out a tune he heard his mother hum. Nobu has gone on to become a composer and much sought-after guest pianist, with a legion of fellow concert pianists as admirers. Blind from birth, Nobu learns each piece strictly by ear, and of his performances, iconic pianist Van Cliburn once said “…he was absolutely miraculous. His performance had the power of a healing service. It was truly divine.” Tonight, Nobu performs Rachmaninoff’s glorious and immensely moving Piano Concerto No. 2.
Montreal-based composer Keiko Devaux is an NAC Orchestra Carrefour composer resident whose approach to composition embraces a love of electroacoustic sounds and “genre-blurring.” The NAC Orchestra is proud to perform the world premiere of her new work.
Our concert closes with Richard Strauss’s tone poem An Alpine Symphony, the great composer’s orchestral rendering of the alpine landscape—rousingly rugged in one passage and delicate as snowfall in the next. An Alpine Symphony paints with music the majesty of icy mountains and silent winter nights and perfectly demonstrates how artists have always listened to the Earth and endeavored to capture the exquisite beauty of our planet.
The NAC Orchestra is proud to present this concert as part of NACO’s Mentorship Program. Now in its second year, this program provides aspiring young orchestral musicians three immersive and inspiring weeks working side by side with NACO musicians in a professional orchestra setting. The evening’s performance also serves as a fitting bookend to NACO’s year-long exploration of the Orchestra as an ecosystem and the ways in which music and art can serve as inspiration for a way forward in the climate crisis.