Street closures around the NAC during Ottawa Race Weekend


FEBRUARY 11, 2015 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre Orchestra is taking a walk on the wild side. Stepping out of their standard performance attire and away from their regular venue, Southam Hall, members of the NAC Orchestra launch the WolfGANG Sessions at the Byward Market’s Mercury Lounge. Co-presented by the Mercury Lounge, in partnership with the Arboretum Festival, the three Sessions mix contemporary and indie classical with exciting collaborations between NAC Orchestra musicians, video projection artists and DJs.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the upcoming, first WolfGANG Sessions concert at the Mercury Lounge! This series will give us an opportunity to perform exciting chamber music by many of today’s most interesting and innovative composers.  The chance to perform at Mercury Lounge allows us to interact with our audiences in an intimate setting, at one of downtown Ottawa’s greatest establishments! Plus, we're thrilled to have the Arboretum Festival as a partner. I think audiences will be delighted with the latest addition to the late night music scene.” Sean Rice, 2nd Clarinet, NAC Orchestra

The season kicks off on Valentine’s Day (February 14) with Session 1. On a night devoted to romance, the musical menu will feature NAC Orchestra’s Associate Concertmaster Jessica Linnebach leading two works for string quartet including NAC Award Composer and frequent collaborator Ana Sokolović; as well as the soundscapes of composer/producer Ryan Lott, better known as Son Lux.

On May 9, as part of Ontario Scene, the NAC Orchestra’s Concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki headlines a program that gives Orchestra members and audiences a chance to sample music by an enticing array of Ontario composers, including Ottawa’s own Kelly-Marie Murphy, and R. Murray Schafer, the long-time maverick of Canadian composition. Watch out for flying bows!

Session 3 on July 11: The playbill sizzles with an entirely female roster of composers from Canada, the UK and New York’s indie classical scenes.

The WolfGANG Sessions take classical music outside the expected to deliver unique performances to new audiences that members of the NAC Orchestra are passionate about.

If you see someone with a viola case heading down to the Byward Market, it could be a member of the NAC Orchestra on the way to the Mercury Lounge. Feel free to follow.



Under the inspiring leadership of Pinchas Zukerman, Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra is noted for the passion and clarity of its performances and recordings, ground-breaking teaching and outreach programs, and nurturing of Canadian creativity. This vibrant orchestra draws accolades from home and abroad.

The NAC Orchestra was formed in 1969 at the opening of Canada's National Arts Centre, and gives over 100 performances a year with renowned artists including Itzhak Perlman, Renée Fleming, James Ehnes, Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma.

Previous Music Directors included Mario Bernardi and Trevor Pinnock. Alexander Shelley takes on this mantle from Pinchas Zukerman in 2015-16, and John Storgårds will be Principal Guest Conductor beginning the same season. Principal Youth and Family Conductor Alain Trudel, and Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly complete the strong artistic leadership team.

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, most recently to China (2013) and the UK (2014). The latter commemorated the start of the First World War and explored themes of remembrance and healing through music in over 50 education and performance events. Following the footsteps of Canadian troops 100 years ago, it showcased the brilliant work of Canadian composers and the NAC Orchestra's musicians, both as performers and as educators, and received standing ovations in packed halls throughout the UK.

In 1999, Pinchas Zukerman founded the NAC Young Artists Program, part of the wider NAC Summer Music Institute, which provides elite training to talented young musicians.  Students all over the world are also taught via videoconferencing in the NAC's cutting-edge Hexagon Studio. The Orchestra also created and continues to pioneer education work locally and in indigenous communities in northern Canada.

The NAC Orchestra has made over 40 commercial recordings, and many more concerts are freely available through MusicBox on the NAC's Arts Alive wide-reaching education website. These include many of the 100 new Canadian works commissioned by the NAC Orchestra in its 45 year history.

Located in the capital city of Ottawa, the National Arts Centre is the only bilingual, multidisciplinary performing arts centre in Canada. The National Arts Centre collaborates with artists and arts organizations across Canada to help create a national stage for the performing arts, and acts as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning across the country.






Susan Wright                                                    Lisa Robertson

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