"John brings out a fire in the orchestra that is almost tangible." – Daphne Burt, Manager of Artistic Planning, NAC Orchestra

January 6, 2015 – OTTAWA (Canada) – Today, the National Arts Centre Orchestra strengthened its artistic leadership with the appointment of John Storgårds, Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, as its Principal Guest Conductor, effective September 1, 2015. It also announced contract renewals for Alain Trudel as Principal Youth and Family Conductor and Jack Everly as Principal Pops Conductor.

The Storgårds appointment is a three-year contract. The orchestra musicians and administration are all smiles.

Storgårds made his conducting debut with the NAC Orchestra in 2013 with an all-Finnish program to great acclaim, and last year shaped and conducted the orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No 8.

Commenting on the appointment, NAC Music Director Designate Alexander Shelley said, “I’m thrilled that distinguished Finnish conductor John Storgårds has accepted this post. I admire his work and look forward to his exciting artistic contribution.”

“I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to be working more with the NAC Orchestra in the coming seasons.  They are great musicians and we have already collaborated on two successful ‘test-drives.’  We have excellent rapport,” said Storgårds.

“With these conductor appointments the NAC further rounds out its artistic leadership bench strength. A team of this calibre would be the envy of the top international orchestras,” said Christopher Deacon, Managing Director of the NAC Orchestra.


Storgårds, a Finnish violinist and conductor and Chief Conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, was a founding member of the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. In 1996, Storgårds became Artistic Director of the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. With the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, he became Principal Guest Conductor in 2003 and Chief Conductor in 2008. From 2006 to 2009, Storgårds was Chief Conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also held the Artistic Directorships of many summer festivals. Outside of Finland, in 2011 Storgårds was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic. He has made a number of international recordings, winning the Cannes Classical Disc of the Year Award in 2004.

He is also making his mark this year with his box set of Sibelius symphonies, recorded with the BBC Philharmonic on the Chandos label.

Storgårds will be just the second Principal Guest Conductor in the NAC Orchestra's history; the other was the late Franz-Paul Decker, who held the position from 1991 to 1999.


Consistent praise has followed this vibrant orchestra throughout its history of touring both nationally and internationally, recording, and commissioning Canadian works. Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, under the direction of renowned conductor/violinist/violist Pinchas Zukerman, continues to draw accolades both abroad and at home in Ottawa where it gives over 100 performances a year.

In addition to a full series of subscription concerts at the National Arts Centre each season, tours are undertaken to regions throughout Canada and around the world. The NAC Orchestra completed a five-city tour of the United Kingdom just this October - a tour in remembrance of Canadian soldiers who served in the First World War, one hundred years ago. One of the concerts, in Salisbury Cathedral, was broadcast by CBC on Christmas Day following the Queen's Message. Her son Prince Charles was Honorary Patron of the NAC Orchestra's UK Tour.

With Music Director Pinchas Zukerman leading the orchestra's tours since his arrival as Music Director in 1999, education has been an extremely important component of these tours. He has led the Orchestra on tours within Canada in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008, to Europe and Israel in 2000, United States and Mexico in 2003, and China in 2013, with educational activities ranging from masterclasses and question-and-answer sessions to sectional rehearsals with youth and community orchestras and student matinées. In 1999 Pinchas Zukerman initiated the NAC Young Artists Program, which is now part of the NAC Summer Music Institute (SMI) including the Conductors Program founded in 2001, and the Composers Program founded in 2003. Over the past fifteen years the SMI has provided training with an international faculty headed by Maestro Zukerman to over 1,000 participants from 39 countries. In 2007, Pinchas Zukerman launched the Institute for Orchestral Studies (IOS), a season-long international program dedicated to developing highly talented musicians for orchestral careers. Other Orchestra education activities at home include Musicians in the Schools, student matinées, open rehearsals, and masterclasses. Since the arrival of Pinchas Zukerman, the Orchestra musicians and staff teach students all over the world from the NAC’s Hexagon Studio – connected by a state-of-the-art broadband videolink.

The NAC Orchestra has over 40 recordings to its name, six with Pinchas Zukerman: Haydn, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Schubert and two of Mozart, a CD of flute quartets, a CD of orchestral music and string quintets, and the orchestra’s CD with Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt on Hyperion Records. The commissioning of original Canadian works has always been an important part of the National Arts Centre’s mandate with over 100 works commissioned to date.




Andrea Hossack
NAC Orchestra
Cell: 613-220-5487

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