Matthias Pintscher Conducts the NAC Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Italian Ballet December 15 & 16

OTTAWA (Canada) – On December 15-16, acclaimed conductor Matthias Pintscher will lead the NAC Orchestra, in a delightful performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Italian-influenced music for the ballet Pulcinella, as well as Mozart’s overture to La clemenza di Tito and Sinfonia concertante which features two stellar musicians from the NAC Orchestra – Concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki and Principal Viola Jethro Marks as soloists.  

Considered Mozart’s most successful realization in the crossover genre between symphony and concerto, it is a work of unusual depth of expression and eloquence that is shared between both soloists.

Guest conductor Matthias Pintscher, who is the Music Director of the Ensemble InterContemporain in Paris, and Principal Conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy will lead the NAC orchestra. Pintscher is equally accomplished as a conductor and composer, and he created significant works for the world’s leading orchestras.

The evening will close with Russian composer Igor Stravinksy’s 1920 ballet Pulcinella, inspired by an 18th-century play. The character Pulcinella, first originated in the Italian Commedia dell’arte. The work was commissioned by Ballets Russes impresario Sergei Diaghilev, the renowned Léonide Massine created the libretto and choreography, and the original costumes and sets were designed by Cubist artist Pablo Picasso. In order to channel the original work, Stravinsky refashioned Baroque music in a modern way by borrowing specific themes and textures, but interjecting modern rhythms, cadences, and harmonies. He also wrote the score to include three singers and several operatic arias. The captivating vocalists who will perform in the finale are British soprano Emma Bell; American tenor Nicholas Phan; and American baritone Steven LaBrie, who replaces American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen.

The NAC Orchestra has performed Stravinsky’s complete Pulcinella twice before, first in 1979 under the direction of Charles Dutoit, and in 1982 with Eduardo Mata on the podium.  

Join us Thursday, 15, December at 8 p.m. for this Bravo series must see performance! The concert on Friday, 16 December is from our Casual Fridays series. This Casual Fridays experience will start at 5 p.m. with drinks, tapas and pre-concert music in the NAC Foyer with host, and Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Slean, followed by a 90-minute concert at 7:00 p.m. without intermission.

After the concert, stay for a free holiday-themed after-party where DJ Trevor Walker (Mercury Lounge) will spin a mix of r&b, deep house, and pop dance jams for your dancing pleasure. So grab your ugliest Christmas sweater, some mistletoe and join us for a festive party in the lobby, starting at 8:30 p.m.


The NAC Orchestra will dedicate Thursday’s concert to mark the late Hamilton Southam, the founding director general of the NAC, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this month. To mark the occasion, the NAC will announce one new commission of Music, Dance or Theatre each year for the next five years in Mr. Southam’s memory.



Andrea Ruttan

Communications Officer, NAC Orchestra
National Arts Centre
(613) 947-7000, ext. 335