Canadian Opera Legend Russell Braun joins faculty of NAC’s Young Artist Program June 5-24

Aspiring young artists to receive month-long training from all-star faculty

(OTTAWA) – From June 5-24, 2017, 64 talented young musicians from all around the world will embark on a three-week coaching and mentorship program during the 19th edition of the National Arts Centre’s Young Artists Program (YAP). This year, renowned Canadian baritone Russell Braun, joins the all-star faculty, at the helm of its rigorous vocal program.

Founded in 1999, by NAC Conductor Emeritus Pinchas Zukerman, the YAP features outstanding private instruction, chamber music coaching with additional career-related sessions and mentoring. This instruction includes performance opportunities such as public chamber music concerts, public master classes, closed works-in-progress sessions and recitals.

“I am happy and grateful to Russell for coming on board,” says Zukerman. “The Young Artists Program gives students the opportunity to sharpen their skills and with him as part of the faculty, the kids are in wonderful hands,” he added.

Renowned for his luminous voice “capable of the most powerful explosions as well as the gentlest covered notes” (Toronto Star) baritone Russell Braun rightfully claims his place on the concert, opera and recital stages of the world. Four vocal students will receive private lessons with Braun and have the enviable opportunity to observe him in action June 15 & 17 when he performs the lead role of Louis Riel Opera in Southam Hall at the NAC. 

“His teaching will take place around and in between his own performance schedule. This will be an amazing opportunity for our young classically-trained singers to see their mentor in action,” says Christy Harris, Manager, Artist Training. Russell will also perform a concert that is open to the public, where he will sing duets with each of the four students on June 21, 2017.  Freiman Hall, 7:00 pm, $10.

To date, the Young Artists Program (YAP) has trained over 1200 participants from across Canada and 40 other countries. This year students hail from the US, Canada, Korea, Germany, Australia, Japan, China, Israel, France, Taiwan, Argentina, Peru, Latvia. This years’ cohort includes 44 seniors 20 precollege students.

The Senior level will give two final chamber music concerts open to the public in Freiman Hall June 22 and 23.   The Precollege matinee will be on June 24 at 3 pm in Tabaret Hall at the University of Ottawa. $10 for each of these public concerts and masterclasses.

For information on all the public events see this page:

For more information on the faculty Faculty – see this page:

and this page:

During the YAP two of the faculty will also be featured in a special CD launch and concert: Thursday, June 8, 2017 5:30 – 7:30 pm YAP Faculty Charles (Chip) Hamann, Principal Oboe and Frederick LaCroix, Piano, and also on faculty at UOttawa, launch their CD followed by a performance in Freiman Hall, Perez Building.

Young Artists Program is made possible through the wonderful generosity of individual donors and corporations, the NAC’s National Youth and Education Trust and its Lead Partner CIBC. We would also like to thank Honorary Patron Sara Vered and the Young Artist Program International Advisory Committee, Sharon Azrieli and Renette Berman.



In September 2015 Alexander Shelley took up the mantle as Music Director, leading a new era for the National Arts Centre’s Orchestra. Shelley has an unwavering reputation as one of Europe’s leading young conductors, notably as Chief conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and most recently as the Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Formed in 1969 at the opening of Canada's National Arts Centre, the NAC Orchestra gives over 100 performances a year with renowned artists including Itzhak Perlman, Renée Fleming, James Ehnes, Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. It is noted for the passion and clarity of its performances and recordings, its ground-breaking teaching and outreach programs, and nurturing of Canadian creativity. Since its inception the Orchestra has commissioned 80 works, mostly from Canadian composers. In 2001 it inaugurated the National Arts Centre Awards for Canadian Composers and the recipients thus far have been Denys Bouliane, John Estacio, Peter Paul Koprowski, Gary Kulesha, Alexina Louie and Ana Sokolović.

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Andrea Ruttan
Communications Officer

National Arts Centre Orchestra

613 947-7000 x335

Cell: 613-220-5487

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