- In-person event
The National Arts Centre Orchestra joins forces with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec (OSQ), the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and sensational guest pianist Kevin Chen for the final stop on a multi-city tour.
Canadian composer Jacques Hétu’s Symphony No. 5 was his last work and “a hymn to liberty” (theglobeandmail.com). It portrays Nazi-occupied Paris and concludes with a choral setting (a musical piece based on a poem or story) of Paul Éluard’s poem Liberté, celebrating the end of the German occupation of the French capital. Hétu died just three weeks shy of the world premiere of this epic work by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2010.
French composer Camille Saint-Saëns was a true student of life: he wrote poetry and plays, was interested in astronomy, archaeology, philosophy, and literature, spoke many languages, and was a world traveller. He composed prolifically in virtually every genre of music, “as an apple tree bears apples.” Saint-Saëns wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2 in just 17 days and premiered the work himself, almost before the ink was dry on the page. Canadian pianist Kevin Chen found a place on CBC’s Top 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30 by the time he was eight, and, at 17, he added First Prize in the 2022 Concours de Genève International Music Competition to his long list of awards and prizes. In the realm of musical pairings, Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and pianist Kevin Chen are a match made in classical heaven.