Since its debut in 1969, the National Arts Centre (NAC) Orchestra has been praised for the passion and clarity of its performances, its visionary educational programs, and its prominent role in nurturing Canadian creativity. Under the leadership of Music Director Alexander Shelley, the NAC Orchestra reflects the fabric and values of Canada, reaching and representing the diverse communities we live in with daring programming, powerful storytelling, inspiring artistry, and innovative partnerships.
Alexander Shelley began his tenure as Music Director in 2015, following Pinchas Zukerman’s 16 seasons at the helm. Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and former Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra (2009 - 2017), he has been in demand around the world, conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and Stockholm Philharmonic, among others, and maintains a regular relationship with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and the German National Youth Orchestra.
Each season, the NAC Orchestra features world-class artists such as the newly appointed Artist-in-Residence James Ehnes, Angela Hewitt, Joshua Bell, Xian Zhang, Gabriela Montero, Stewart Goodyear, Jan Lisiecki, and Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds. As one of the most accessible, inclusive and collaborative orchestras in the world, the NAC Orchestra uses music as a universal language to communicate the deepest of human emotions and connect people through shared experiences.
Nicolas Ellis is the Artistic Director and Founder of the Orchestre symphonique de l’Agora in Montreal, an orchestra who’s mission is to organize benefit concerts for humanitarian organizations. He is currently the Resident conductor at the Orchestre symphonique de Québec and as of the 2018–2019 season, he is the Artistic Partner of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal.
His recent engagements have brought him to work with the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini in Parma, the Camerata Salzburg, the North Czech Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia and the Orchestre de la Francophonie. At the invitation of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Mr. Ellis conducted a five-concert tour with the Orchestre Métropolitain in Québec during the summer of 2017, which earned him praises from the critics describing him as “a born conductor, a conductor of instinct” (Le Devoir). In addition, Mr. Ellis’s concerts with the Orchestre symphonique de l’Agora were nationally broadcasted on Radio-Canada.
Mr. Ellis has had the opportunity to work with great conductors such as Robert Spano, Leonard Slatkin, Hugh Wolff, Johannes Debus and Gianluigi Gelmetti. He completed his Master’s degree in conducting at the McGill Schulich School of Music in Montreal, where he studied with Alexis Hauser and was a recipient of a Prestigious Schulich Scholarship.Read full NAC bio ›
Magic Circle Mime Company is regarded as one of today’s premier family attractions. Their highly acclaimed performances, which unite the concert orchestra with visual theater, are consistently praised for imaginative and innovative content. Magic Circle Mime Company performs with virtually every major orchestra in North America. The 2018–2019 season marks their sixth appearance at the National Arts Centre.
Magic Circle Mime Company also has a growing reputation outside North America. They have performed at festivals and with major orchestras in Australia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan. Appearances include the Beijing Music Festival, Shanghai International Children’s Festival, Taiwan International Children’s Festival, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, West Australia Symphony Orchestra and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. They made their European debut with the Palau de la Música de Valencia in April of 2007 leading to return engagements in Spain in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013. In 2012 they performed in South America for the first time with Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogota.
Magic Circle Mime Company is the creative partnership of Maggie Petersen and Douglas MacIntyre. Both artists have backgrounds in theatre and instrumental music, and have utilized that training to create their highly regarded programs. Their newest production, Orchestra from Planet X, explores the many influences that helped create the music of the New World.Read full NAC bio ›
After completing his university studies in Theatre Arts, Marc Douglas MacIntyre began his professional acting career in 1974 working variously as an actor, playwright and director in a number of regional theatres in the West and Midwest. In 1977, following an opera production in which he served as an assistant stage director, MacIntyre was approached by the Music Director of the Spokane Symphony and offered the opportunity to create and perform a touring educational concert for symphony orchestra. This program proved so singularly successful that it soon led to invitations from other orchestras.
With his creative partner, Maggie Petersen, he formed the Magic Circle Mime Company in 1978 and since that time they have created and performed concert programs with orchestras throughout the U.S., Canada, Asia and in Europe. MacIntyre’s North American appearances include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Canada’s National Arts Centre and numerous appearances at The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. International appearances include the Beijing Music Festival, Shanghai International Children’s Festival, Taiwan International Children’s Festival, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, West Australia Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Palau de la Música de Valencia.
In addition to performing MacIntyre has created and led workshops in theatre and music for numerous public and private schools, youth orchestras, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and in 2010 for the U.S. Army School of Music.Read full NAC bio ›
Maggie Petersen began playing the piano at quite a young age, mostly because her mother was a piano teacher. At Montana State University she continued to study piano but also began to pursue her interest in mime and movement theatre. After graduating from MSU in 1977, she began her acting career and, with her partner Mark Douglas MacIntyre, started the Magic Circle Mime Company in 1978.
With Magic Circle Mime Company, Petersen has created and performed concert programs with orchestras throughout the U.S., Canada, Asia and Europe. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Internationally, she has appeared at the Beijing Music Festival, Shanghai International Children’s Festival, Taiwan International Children’s Festival, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony, West Australia Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Canada’s National Arts Centre, and the Palau de la Musica de Valencia.
Maggie lives with her family in Walnut Creek, California. In addition to piano she now also plays the accordion and the harp, and teaches music and movement in workshops throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.Read full NAC bio ›
Tobi Hunt McCoy is enjoying another year as Season Stage Manager with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In past seasons, Ms. McCoy stage managed the Lord of the Rings Symphony, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Christopher Plummer in 2001 and Colm Feore in 2014, and much of the Orchestra’s educational and Pops programming. Also in 2014, she co-produced the Pops show On the Air with Jack Everly for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, a show they also produced in 2007 for the NAC Orchestra.Read full NAC bio ›