“Whether it’s Muhly’s exuberant minimalism, [Richard Reed ] Parry’s delicate textures or [Jonny] Greenwood’s dense thicket of sound, Outwater guides dexterous performances by musicians who play the music like they own it.” National Public Radio

MAY 4, 2015 – OTTAWA (Canada) – May 6 & 7 Edwin Outwater, will replace conductor Xian Zhang to conduct the National Arts Centre Orchestra and bring to life Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, which the composer described as “an echo of my most intimate spiritual life” in this fourth concert in the Air Canada Ovation Series.  Regrettably, Xian Zhang cancelled her Ottawa debut performances at the last minute due to exhaustion. Mr. Outwater was, as fortune would have it, at the National Arts Centre on Sunday May 3, leading his own Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) as part of Ontario Scene. This will be Edwin Outwater’s fourth collaboration with the NAC Orchestra, and his main series debut.

The performances also feature Canada’s Gryphon Trio performing Starling: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano, and Orchestra which Canadian composer Jordan Pal wrote for them. The evening's program begins with Mozart’s Overture to Le nozze di Figaro.

In addition to KWS, Edwin Outwater is Director of Summer Concerts at the San Francisco Symphony, and regularly guest conducts the Chicago and New World Symphony Orchestras. Equally at home interpreting canonical masterworks, premiering new commissions, and creating truly innovative, audience-building programming initiatives, the American conductor is “headed for a top-tier future”, according to the San Francisco Classical Voice.

The Gryphon Trio, made up of violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon, cellist Roman Borys and pianist James Parker, has impressed international audiences with highly refined performances of repertoire that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia. Committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century and pushing boundaries, the Gryphons have collaborated with the likes of clarinetist James Campbell, actor Colin Fox, choreographer David Earle and a host of jazz luminaries at Lula Lounge, one of Toronto’s leading venues for jazz and world music. The Presenting Partner of Ontario Scene is OLG.

The performances are part of Ontario Scene, a festival that brings together 600 Ontario artists – established and emerging, from all disciplines, to perform in the national spotlight on the stages of Ottawa/Gatineau, presented by Canada’s National Arts Centre from April 29 to May 10, 2015.



Currently in his eighth season as Music Director of Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS), Outwater known for his fresh take on repertory favorites. He has appeared with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Tokyo Symphony, the New York City Ballet, the Alabama Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the Phoenix Symphony. He has conducted the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Houston, Detroit, Seattle, and many others.

In Canada, he has conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra, as well as the symphonies of Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Victoria.

International appearances include the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony, the Adelaide Symphony, the Malmö Symphony, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Xalapa, and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

Outwater is known for his support of new music with performances like that of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s song cycle Penelope; “Bollywood and Beyond” with Indian virtuosos Trichy and Suba Sankaran; works by Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Son Lux, Stewart Goodyear, and Magnus Lindberg; and Cameron Carpenter’s The Scandal, with the composer himself on organ.

In 2011, Outwater directed the KWS on its first commercial CD release in over a decade, From Here On Out, which features the music of Nico Muhly, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry (a KWS commission) on the Analekta label. According to NPR, “Whether it’s Muhly’s exuberant minimalism, Parry’s delicate textures or Greenwood’s dense thicket of sound, Outwater guides dexterous performances by musicians who play the music like they own it.”

A native of Santa Monica, California, Edwin Outwater attended Harvard University, graduating cum laude in 1993 with a degree in English literature. While at Harvard, he was music director of the Bach Society Orchestra and the Harvard Din and Tonics (an acclaimed a cappella group), and wrote the music for the 145th annual production of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. He received his master’s degree in conducting from UC Santa Barbara, where he studied with Heiichiro Ohyama and Paul Polivinick. He also studied music theory and composition with John Stewart, Joel Feigin, and Leonard Stein.


Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, the ensemble-in-residence at Music Toronto for eight years, Gryphon Trio tours extensively throughout North America and Europe. The 2013-14 season has the Gryphons performing at major series in Boston, St. Paul, and Athens, GA. It also features collaborative performances with the sensational bass-baritone Robert Pomakov. During the 2012-13 season, the Trio performed on the influential chamber music series in Houston and Detroit, and at (le) Poisson Rouge in New York City.

Strongly dedicated to pushing the boundaries of chamber music, the Trio has commissioned and premiered over fifty new works from established and emerging composers around the world, and has collaborated on many special projects. Their most ambitious undertaking to date is a groundbreaking multimedia production of composer Christos Hatzis’s epic work Constantinople, scored for mezzo-soprano, Middle-Eastern singer, violin, cello, piano, and electronic audiovisual media, which they have brought to audiences across North America and at the Royal Opera House in London.

Deeply committed to the education of the next generations of audiences and performers alike, the Gryphons conduct master classes and workshops at universities and conservatories across North America, and are Artists-in-Residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. The Trio’s educational initiatives include a series of in-depth lecture performances with composer Gary Kulesha that examine the art of chamber music through the centuries, and the Young Composers Program at Toronto’s Claude Watson Arts High School.

The Trio’s celebrated recordings on the Analekta label are an encyclopedia of works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Dvořàk, Lalo, Shostakovich, and Piazzolla. Their groundbreaking 2004 release, Canadian Premieres, featured new works by leading Canadian composers and was acknowledged with a coveted Juno Award from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Their 2011 Beethoven recording also received a Juno Award, and was followed by the release of Broken Hearts and Madmen, a collaboration with soprano Patricia O’Callaghan featuring songs by Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, and Laurie Anderson, alongside traditional melodies from Mexico, Argentina, and Chile.

Gryphon cellist Roman Borys is entering his seventh year as Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (Chamberfest), where the Gryphons have been a mainstay since the Festival’s inception in 1994. Annalee Patipatanakoon and Jamie Parker serve as the festival’s Artistic Advisors.



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, including Angela Hewitt’s 2014 Juno Award-winning album of Mozart Piano Concertos conducted by Hannu Lintu. 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.




Lisa Robertson

(613) 739-7032