Shelley Conducts Zarathustra

with the NAC Orchestra

2025-06-25 20:00 2025-06-26 22:00 60 Canada/Eastern 🎟 NAC: Shelley Conducts Zarathustra

https://nac-cna.ca/en/event/36123

In-person event

You have heard the opening to Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra , but did you know it has nine spectacular parts? Experience them all. Composer Claude Debussy’s love for the ocean rises and falls in giant waves of sound in La mer.  Ian Cusson is a Canadian Indigenous composer whose music maps and explores the Canadian Indigenous experience.  Our concert opens with a new piece from New Zealand-born composer Gillian Whitehead, who weaves together classical...

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Southam Hall,1 Elgin Street,Ottawa,Canada
June 25 - 26, 2025
8:00 pm EDT

June 2025

  1. Jun 25 2025
    Wednesday

    8:00pm

  2. Jun 26 2025
    Thursday

    8:00pm

Close schedule
Music Classical music
  • GILLIAN WHITEHEAD (in creation)
  • IAN CUSSON 1Q84: Sinfonettia Metamoderna (world premiere)
  • CLAUDE DEBUSSY La Mer
  • RICHARD STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra
  • In-person event
  • Bilingual
  • ≈ 2 hours · With intermission
  • You have heard the opening to Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra , but did you know it has nine spectacular parts? Experience them all.
  • Composer Claude Debussy’s love for the ocean rises and falls in giant waves of sound in La mer
  • Ian Cusson is a Canadian Indigenous composer whose music maps and explores the Canadian Indigenous experience. 

Our concert opens with a new piece from New Zealand-born composer Gillian Whitehead, who weaves together classical and te o Māori music, placing her among Australasia’s most important composers. 

Thus Spake Zarathustra has been an inspiration to other great composers like Aaron Copland and superstar movie score composer John Williams. The first section of this opus was famously used in 2001: A Space Odyssey and most recently in the very first trailer for the blockbuster film Barbie. From the moment you hear its opening low hum and those three crystalline trumpet notes, you will get why Zarathustra is one for the ages. 

We then move onto La mer by the French composer Claude Debussy, who once thought he would become a sailor but thankfully changed course and turned to music. But he always loved “my old friend, the sea; it is always endless and beautiful. It really is the thing in nature that best puts you in your place.” 

The evening is capped off with music by composer Ian Cusson, who explores the Canadian Indigenous experience, including the history of the Métis people and the intersection of Western and Indigenous cultures. 

Alexander Shelley leads the NAC Orchestra and musicians of our Mentorship Program for the closing night of the season.

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Jun 23
Jun 24
Jun 25
  • 8:00 pm
Jun 26
  • 8:00 pm
Jun 27
Jun 28
Jun 29

Artists

  • Conductor Alexander Shelley
  • Featuring NAC Orchestra