CANADA’S NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM US PREMIERE OF PHILIP GLASS COMMISSION AT CARNEGIE HALL IN APRIL 2021
The concert program will offer a musical exploration on the theme of Truth in Our Times and includes Shostakovich’s Symphony No 9 and Korngold’s Violin Concerto performed by internationally acclaimed Canadian violin soloist James Ehnes.
March 12, 2020 – OTTAWA (Canada) – Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) is proud to announce its NAC Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Alexander Shelley, will perform at New York City’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall on April 28, 2021. The concert will feature the U.S. premiere of a new work composed by Philip Glass on the theme of Truth in Our Times, an ode to freedom of the press dedicated to the memory of Canadian-born journalist and ABC News anchor Peter Jennings.
“It is very special to bring Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra to Carnegie Hall with a program that revolves around the theme of Truth in Our Times said Alexander Shelley. “Through the universal language of music, including the exciting U.S. premiere of Philip Glass’ newest orchestral work, we hope to share with our friends in New York City a compelling, engaging and memorable concert that sparks dialogue and reflects on global challenges such as truth and freedom of speech.”
Canadian artists will be featured in the concert program with a performance by violin soloist James Ehnes, and a work by composer Nicole Liz֖ée.
THE NAC ORCHESTRA IN NEW YORK CITY
Returning to Carnegie Hall after two decades, the April 2021 NAC Orchestra concert will mark its fourteenth appearance on the world renowned stage since 1969, when the Orchestra was formed. The NAC Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage will offer a unique and engaging program that will showcase the exceptional musicians of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The presence of the NAC Orchestra in New York City will be complemented by outreach, education and community engagement events to be shared closer to the date.
“We are delighted to come to New York City and offer a concert at one of the world’s most prestigious halls with repertoire that has such a strong and poignant message. This orchestra takes pride in bringing important topics that spark dialogue wherever it tours. It will be very exciting to experience the response from the New York City audience,” says Arna Einarsdottir, Managing Director of the NAC Orchestra.
TRUTH IN OUR TIMES: A MUSICAL EXPLORATION TO SPARK DIALOGUE
Concert Program at Carnegie Hall
The April 28, 2021 concert program at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage will open with Canadian composer Nicole Lizée’s Zeiss after Dark which evokes the cinematographic effect of the Zeiss lens used to film intimate scenes lit only by candles. The piece will initiate the audience to the program’s theme through a contemplation of perspectives and filters.
It will be followed by two works that speak to the idea of freedom of speech, disruption and politics: Korngold’s Violin Concerto and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9. Austrian-Jewish composer Erich Korngold fled to the United States during World War II where he stood staunchly against oppression and became an influential composer for Hollywood films. James Ehnes will perform his Violin Concerto, a victorious response to the fall of the Nazi regime that also marked the return of Korngold’s music to the concert hall.
In another act of defiance, Shostakovich’s Symphony No 9. was not the grand work celebrating Stalin’s regime that the dictatorship had expected. Instead, Shostakovich took a subversive, satirical approach, delivering a spirited work filled with humour rather than heroism. The undercurrent of disruption was noted and the work was banned for the rest of Stalin’s life.
The program will conclude with the U.S. premiere performance of a new orchestral work by internationally renowned composer Philip Glass. Commissioned by the NAC Orchestra on the theme of Truth in our Times, this work will be a tribute to renowned Canadian-born journalist and ABC news anchor Peter Jennings who was a trustee of Carnegie Hall during his years in NYC. Peter Jennings also championed Canadian artists and became the founding director of the American chapter of the Friends of the NAC Orchestra.
NAC ORCHESTRA TO PREMIERE PHILIP GLASS’S NEW WORK IN OTTAWA AND TORONTO
Glass’s work will receive its world premiere in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre on April 1, 2021. There will be repeat performances on April 21 and 22, 2021 before the NAC Orchestra heads to New York City for its Carnegie Hall concert on April 28, 2021. Details of this new work were announced on December 12, 2019.
The NAC Orchestra will also perform the new Philip Glass orchestral work at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall on April 30, 2021. The Toronto concert will mark the Orchestra’s 20th appearance at Roy Thomson Hall, where the Orchestra last performed in February 2020.
TICKET PURCHASE DATES FOR APRIL 2021 OTTAWA, NYC AND TORONTO CONCERTS
Tickets for the National Arts Centre world premiere performance will be available to season subscribers on March 21, 2020 when the Orchestra’s upcoming 2020–2021 season is unveiled. In June 2020, concert single tickets will go on sale.
Tickets to the April 28, 2021 NYC Carnegie Hall concert are on sale now.
The April 30, 2021 Toronto Roy Thomson Hall performances will be on sale to the public at a later date.
THANK YOU TO OUR DONORS
The Philip Glass commission is made possible thanks to The Jennings Family. The NAC Orchestra’s April 2021 concerts at Carnegie Hall and Roy Thomson Hall are made possible with leadership support from The Janice & Earle O'Born Fund for Artistic Excellence, Robert Tennant, Elinor Gill Ratcliffe, C.M., O.N.L., LLD (hc), Susan Glass and Arni Thorsteinson, and Ambassador Bruce Heyman and Vicki Heyman.
Since its debut in 1969, the National Arts Centre Orchestra has been praised for the passion and clarity of its performances, its visionary educational programs, and its prominent role in nurturing Canadian creativity. The Orchestra performs a full series of subscription concerts at the National Arts Centre each season, featuring world-class artists such as James Ehnes, Angela Hewitt, Joshua Bell, Xian Zhang, Gabriela Montero, Stewart Goodyear, Jan Lisiecki, and Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds.
National and international tours have been a hallmark of the National Arts Centre Orchestra from the very beginning. The Orchestra has toured 95 times since its inauguration in 1969, visiting 120 cities in Canada, as well as 20 countries and 138 cities internationally. In recent years, the orchestra has undertaken performance and education tours across Canada, as well as the U.K. and China. In 2019, the Orchestra marked its 50th anniversary with a seven-city European tour that included performances and education events in England, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, and that showcased the work of six Canadian composers.
Since its inception, the Orchestra has commissioned more than 80 works, mostly from Canadian composers, and its commissions and recordings won JUNO awards for Best New Composition in 2018 and 2019. The NAC Orchestra reaches a national and international audience through touring, recordings, and extensive educational outreach. The Orchestra performed on Parliament Hill for the 2019 Canada Day noon concert in a live broadcast for CBC Television.
ABOUT MUSIC DIRECTOR ALEXANDER SHELLEY
Alexander Shelley began his tenure as Music Director in 2015, following Pinchas Zukerman’s 16 seasons at the helm. Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and former Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra (2009 - 2017), 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.
ABOUT CANADA’S NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE
The National Arts Centre raised its curtains for the first time in 1969. A bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for Canada’s most creative artists, the NAC strives to be artistically adventurous in each of its programming streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre and NAC Presents. The Centre’s national role is reflected in its motto: “Canada is our Stage.” The NAC collaborates with artists and arts organizations across the country, acts as a catalyst for performance; invests in ambitious new works by artists and arts organizations nation-wide; and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. Situated on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe nation, the NAC is accessible and welcoming to all, and offers a variety of free programming and events.
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