Montreal composer Ana Sokolović won the JUNO award for Classical Composition of the Year for her work “Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes…” commissioned and recorded by the NAC Orchestra, with Music Director Alexander Shelley and featured on its album New Worlds.


March 17, 2019 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre congratulates Montreal composer Ana Sokolović for her JUNO Award win, announced yesterday by The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) at the JUNO awards ceremony in London, Ontario.

Ana Sokolović won the JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year for her work “Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes”, commissioned and recorded by the NAC, and featured on its album New Worlds. New Worlds was released on Montreal-based label Analekta in March 2018.

The NAC Orchestra’s Album New Worlds, with Music Director Alexander Shelley was also nominated this year for Classical Album of the Year, Large Ensemble.


Hope and dreams drive the human experience and sometimes bring us to leave our home in a quest to find a better place. In describing New Worlds, the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s fifth album on the Analekta label, artistic director Alexander Shelley wrote “Themes of migration and crossing borders are as hot topics today as they ever were. This recording explores two works written in the so-called “New World” by composers from the “Old World”.

One of these works, “Golden slumbers kiss your eyes…” was composed by Serbian-born Ana Sokolović who left a war-torn Yugoslavia for a new home in Montreal. The NAC commissioned Ana to write this piece to honour its founding conductor, Mario Bernardi. It’s based on multi-lingual European lullabies and stars the cream of Ottawa’s choirs and Canadian-Korean counter-tenor David DQ Lee About the work, she says “This piece is structured like a travel diary describing different countries and different times… imaginary countries we visit most often in our dreams and strongly influenced by the theme of childhood.” She used texts drawn from folk poetry, in six languages, taken from lullabies, a counting rhyme, a love song, and pagan songs about nature.

Symphony No. 9, Op. 95, “From the New World” by Antonín Dvořák completes this new recording by the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In discussing this work in the notes of the album, Shelley said “Dvořák wrote his famous symphony when he lived in North America, and there is still discussion about how much of the ‘New’ and ‘Old’ Worlds are to be found in it.” American astronaut Neil Armstrong brought this piece of music when he traveled to the moon, presumably because it contains some of the most recognizable and moving music ever written, and that he considered the moon to be the next “New World”.”

The album is available for purchase at and for listening through music streaming and download services.



Founded in 1987 by François Mario Labbé, Analekta is the largest independent classical music record company in Canada. It has produced more than 500 albums and recorded more than 200 of the country’s most prominent musicians, winning multiple awards in the process. In early 2017, Analekta achieved the impressive feat of having the works in its catalogue streamed 100 million times on international streaming platforms.


British conductor Alexander Shelley is Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and he was Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra (2009 - 2017). Unanimous winner of the 2005 Leeds Conductor’s Competition, he has been in demand around the world, conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and  Stockholm Philharmonic, among others, and maintains a regular relationship with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and the German National Youth Orchestra. Mr. Shelley’s operatic engagements have included The Merry Widow (Royal Danish Opera); Le nozze di Figaro (Opera North), Così fan tutte (Montpellier), and Somers’ Louis Riel (National Arts Centre). Alexander Shelley recorded for Deutsche Grammophon as well as for Montreal’s Analekta label on which he and the NAC Orchestra released Life Reflected and Encount3rs, New Worlds and Bounds of our Dreams, each championing landmark creations by Canadian artists.


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.

The 2018/19 season features Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds, former Music Directors Pinchas Zukerman and Trevor Pinnock, Elim Chan and Bramwell Tovey, and includes a major tour featuring performances of these JUNO nominated works and additional Canadian creations in London, Paris and other European cities.

Join our email list for the latest updates!