OTTAWA  —From October 17 to November 4, Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) Orchestra, led by Music Director Alexander Shelley, will visit the western provinces and northern territories to continue the Canada 150 Tour, and it arrives in Saskatoon on October 22. This is the first tour led by Music Director Alexander Shelley, and it will feature Calgary-based pianist, Jan Lisiecki.

The Orchestra Tour began in Atlantic Canada in April 2017, and will continue its journey, with visits to Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria and Vancouver, performing evening concerts and 150 education and community events. An NAC Orchestra chamber ensemble will continue on to the North, in Whitehorse on November 5 and later in Iqaluit on December 5 and December 9 in Yellowknife.

The ambitious line-up in Saskatoon includes education and community events that celebrate collaboration and reconciliation uniting the musicians of the Orchestra with students, educators, community leaders and local artists. Some highlights include: a master class on Sunday October 22 at 15:00 pm with Jan Lisiecki at the University of Saskatchewan Department of Music, Convocation Hall, a free Celebration of Music and Community with the Silflay String Quartet at the Congregation Agudas Israel Synagogue, a  Saskatoon Youth Orchestra coaching session with NAC Music Director Alexander Shelley and a concert presented by The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra on October 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the TCU Place,

“2017 is an incredible year for Canada and for all Canadians,” said Music Director Alexander Shelley. “What better way to set the stage for Canada’s next 150 years than by putting together a line-up of concerts and education events featuring some of the best artists and musicians Canada has to offer, and bringing it right to the doorsteps of Canadians all across the country.”

The NAC Orchestra Tour is one of three performance and education tours offered by the National Arts Centre this Fall. The NAC English Theatre will also present Molière’s play Tartuffe – as re-imagined by East-coast comedy genius Andy Jones under the direction of Artistic Director Jillian Keiley – to audiences in Newfoundland. Also touring in Montreal, Winnipeg and Saskatoon will be Gabriel Dumont’s Wild West Show, an ambitious new play created at the NAC by some of Canada’s finest French, English, First Nations and Métis theatre artists.



A special performance Presented by The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra on Monday October 23, at 7:30 p.m. at TCU place will feature Calgary-based pianist, Jan Lisiecki, who will dazzle audiences with the Schumann piano concerto following the “New World Symphony” - a classic favourite. The young Calgarian was just awarded the prestigious ECHO KLASSIK Award for his recent recording of Chopin: Works for Piano and Orchestra with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Krzysztof Urbański. Just 22, Jan Lisiecki has won acclaim for his extraordinary interpretive maturity, distinctive sound and poetic sensibility. He is “a pianist who makes every note count.” (The New York Times) The evening culminates with John Estacio’s new work I Lost My Talk, inspired by Mi'kmaw Elder and poet Rita Joe, C.M. I Lost My Talk was commissioned for the National Arts Centre Orchestra to commemorate the 75th birthday of The Right Honourable Joe Clark, P.C., C.C., A.O.E. by his family. This lush musical score is performed with film and live narration, a truly “powerful, overwhelming creation” (Christophe Husse, Le Devoir). 



“Bringing exciting and original programming to Canadians across the country is part of our mandate as Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra,” said Managing Director Christopher Deacon. “We are delighted to be partnering with outstanding performing arts, education and community organizations across Canada on what is sure to be an exhilarating tour.”

“Our education activities are tailored to the specific needs of the communities we visit based on extensive consultations with community leaders, educators and artists,” said Geneviève Cimon, Director of Music Education and Community Engagement. “We want to give students the opportunity to celebrate their unique cultures and perspectives through the transformative power of music.”



Sunday, October 22, 2017, 2:00 pm A Celebration of Music and Community with the Silflay String Quartet, at the Congregation Agudas Israel Synagogue 715 McKinnon Avenue, Saskatoon . Presented in partnership with Congregation Agudas Israel & The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. An afternoon of music and community featuring the Silflay String Quartet performing musical gems by Jewish composers Achron and Korngold. The show will run for 45 minutes followed by a half hour meet the musicians with coffee and snacks. The Silflay String Quartet include National Arts Centre Orchestra musicians Leah Roseman, Mark Friedman, Sonya Probst, and Thaddeus Morden. 

Sunday, October 22, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Underground Café, Saskatoon. Performance, talk and Q&A: Creativity in Life and Career with Zoey Roy. Explore your own creative potential from an Indigenous perspective with two up-and-coming Saskatoon performers.  Zoey Roy is an acclaimed writer, speaker, educator, activist, and musician. She aims to inspire youth to recognize and harness their creative gifts as part of a fully-realized life. Forrest Eaglespeaker is an emerging singer-songwriter and a member of the alt-folk-rock group The North Sound. Zoey and Forrest will be performing their own work as well as engaging with the audience about their experiences and philosophies as creative people. Bring your thoughts and questions for discussion!

Sunday, October 22, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Saskatoon Youth Orchestra coaching session with Alexander Shelley, University of Saskatchewan Department of Music. Witness NAC Music Director Alexander Shelley as he coaches the musicians of the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, and encourages them to nurture and refine their playing skills. 

Monday, October 23, 10:30-11:30 p.m. Masterclass with Jan Lisiecki, University of Saskatchewan Department of Music, Convocation Hall, In partnership with the University of Saskatchewan Music Department. Witness the mastery of Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, as he teaches students how to refine their technique and navigate today’s highly competitive music world. Lisiecki has won acclaim for his extraordinary interpretive maturity, distinctive sound, and poetic sensibility. Called “a pianist who makes every note count” by the New York Times, Lisiecki’s insightful interpretations, refined technique, and natural affinity for art give him a musical voice that belies his age.

Monday, October 23, 12:30-1:15 p.m. Flute Trio Performance . University of Saskatchewan Department of Music, Quance Theatre with NAC Principal Flute Joanna G'froerer, Kaili Memets (Flute), and NAC Assistant Principal cello Julia MacLaine.

Monday, October 23, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. In-school chamber performance by Marjolaine Fournier, Vincent Massey Community School in partnership with Sistema Saskatoon.



People from across Canada and around the world can follow this extraordinary tour by visiting  Daily reports will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter @NACOrchestra.



Thursday, Oct. 19 – Centennial Concert Hall (Winnipeg)

Monday, Oct. 23 – TCU Place (Saskatoon)

Thursday, Oct. 26 – Jack Singer Concert Hall – Arts Common (Calgary)
Saturday, Oct. 28 – Francis Winspear Centre (Edmonton)

Monday, Oct. 30 – Royal Theatre (Victoria)

Thursday, Nov. 2 –Centre in Vancouver for the Performing Arts (Vancouver)

Saturday, Nov. 4 – Yukon Arts Centre (Whitehorse)

Tuesday, Dec. 5 – St. James Anglican Church (Iqualuit)

Saturday, Dec. 9 – Northern Arts & Culture Centre (Yellowknife)




The Canada 150 Tour is made possible with leadership support from Tour Patrons Gail and David O’Brien, Presenting Supporters Alice and Grant Burton, Supporting Partners Peng Lin & Yu Gu, Education Partner Dasha Shenkman, and Digital Partner Facebook.



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
NAC Orchestra Tour


Carl Martin

Communications, NAC Orchestra
(613) 947-7000, ext. 560

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