National Arts Centre Concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki makes his concerto debut with Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra in Bruch and Beethoven, the fourth Ovation Series concerts of the season at the National Arts Centre on January 11-12

In the fourth Ovation Series concerts of the NAC’s 2011-2012 season, brilliant NACO concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki makes his concerto debut with Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra. The program, conducted by Alexander Shelley, also includes Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral”. Captivated by nature, Beethoven’s imaginative Sixth Symphony evokes the beauty of birdcalls, the power of thunderstorms, and the many joys of our human connection to the earth. Bruch and Beethoven is at 8 p.m. in the NAC’s Southam Hall on Wednesday January 11 and Thursday January 12, 2012.

The program for the evening includes:
SCHUBERT  Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759, “Unfinished”
BRUCH  Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 46
BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 6 in F major, Opus 68, “Pastoral”

PRE-CONCERT MUSIC with Robin Best, harp
January 11-12, 7 p.m., location TBA
Astral Radio is committed to the future of Canadian music and is helping to nurture, support, and showcase the next generation of great Canadian artists. Astral Radio is proud to support the young artist performing in this concert.

NACO Concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki says, “I will be revisiting Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy for the first time in nearly 20 years. It has a beautiful orchestration and I am really looking forward to performing it with all of my friends in the orchestra. Jascha Heifetz was my inspiration for learning this piece and I’m curious to hear for myself how much my interpretation has changed since those impressionable years where I tried desperately to emulate the great master’s recordings.”

Yosuke Kawasaki currently serves as Concertmaster of the National Arts Centre Orchestra as well as Concertmaster of the Mito Chamber Orchestra and Saito Kinen Orchestra in Japan. Mr. Kawasaki began his orchestral career as Concertmaster of the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra from 1999 to 2001. He has been guest soloist with Aspen Chamber Symphony, Kyushu Philharmonic, Orquesta Filarmonica de Lima, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and Singapore National Youth Symphony, as well as with the three orchestras of which he is Concertmaster. Mr. Kawasaki has toured extensively as a chamber musician in North and South America, Europe, and Japan. He is a founding member of the D’Amici String Quartet as well as founding member of Trio+, a piano trio with Canadian pianist Vadim Serebryany and German cellist Wolfram Koessel. His most recent recordings include chamber works by Beethoven, Mozart and Schumann on the TDK Core Label. He has also recorded Bach’s Double Concerto and the complete Brandenburg Concertos on the King Label. Mr. Kawasaki began his violin studies at the age of six with his father Masao Kawasaki and continued with Setsu Goto. At the age of ten he was accepted into The Juilliard School Pre-College Division and further continued his education and graduated from The Juilliard School in 1998 under the tutorship of Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, Felix Galimir and Joel Smirnoff.
The Scottish Fantasy in E-flat major, Op. 46, is a composition for violin and orchestra by Max Bruch (1838-1920). Completed in 1880, it is a four movement fantasy on Scottish folk melodies. In paying homage to Scottish tradition (although the composer never visited Scotland), Bruch's composition gives a prominent place to the harp in the instrumental accompaniment to the violin. Bruch composed the work in Berlin during the winter of 1879-1880. The premiere was in Liverpool on February 22, 1881 with Bruch, who was the director of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society, conducting and Joseph Joachim as the soloist.

Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B minor (commonly known as the “Unfinished Symphony”), D.759, was started in 1822 but was left with only two movements known to be complete, even though Schubert would live for another six years. A scherzo, nearly completed in piano score but with only two pages orchestrated, also survives. It has long been theorized that Schubert may have sketched a finale which instead became the big B minor entr'acte from his incidental music to Rosamunde, but all the evidence for this is circumstantial. One possible reason for Schubert's leaving the symphony incomplete is the predominance of the same meter (three-in-a-bar). The first movement is in 3/4, the second in 3/8 and the third (an incomplete scherzo) also in 3/4. Three consecutive movements in exactly the same meter rarely occur in the symphonies, sonatas or chamber works of the great Viennese composers.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, also known as the Pastoral Symphony, was begun in 1802 and completed in 1808; the Pastoral Symphony was composed simultaneously with the composer’s more famous Fifth Symphony. One of Beethoven's few works containing explicitly programmatic content (which musically renders an extra-musical narrative), the symphony was first performed in December 1808. Beethoven was a lover of nature who spent a great deal of his time on walks in the country and he frequently left Vienna to work in rural locales. As the composer said, the Sixth Symphony is “more the expression of feeling than painting.”

Bruch and Beethoven will be performed in Southam Hall of the National Arts Centre on Wednesday January 11 and Thursday January 12, 2012 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.45, $31.21, $42.51, $53.81, $64.57, $75.33, and $94.17, for adults and $11.38, $16.76, $22.41, $28.06, $33.44, $38.82, and $48.24 for students (upon presentation of a valid student ID card). Tickets are available at the NAC Box Office (in person) and through Ticketmaster (with surcharges) at 613-755-1111; Ticketmaster may also be accessed through the NAC’s website

Subject to availability, full-time students (aged 13-29) with valid Live Rush™ membership (free registration at may buy up to 2 tickets per performance at the discount price of $12 per ticket. Tickets are available online ( or at the NAC box office from 10 a.m. on the day before the performance until 6 p.m. on the day of the show or 2 hours before a matinee. Groups of 10 or more save 15% to 20% off regular ticket prices to all NAC Music, Theatre and Dance performances; to reserve your seats, call 613-947-7000, ext. 634 or e-mail

Discover the new NACmusicbox TIMELINE: 200 orchestral works, 80 Canadian compositions,
1 interactive TIMELINE that provides a visual representation of our rare online archival collection and encourages the exploration of music connections. The NACmusicbox TIMELINE has been specifically designed to showcase the works of Canadian composers within the history of orchestral music and offers cross-curricular content with classroom-ready activities and lesson plans developed by teachers for teachers. Visit today.
The National Arts Centre gratefully acknowledges the financial investment by the Department of Canadian Heritage in the creation of this online presentation for the Virtual Museum of Canada.
We also thank our partner CBC Radio 2 for generously providing broadcast-quality recordings of the NAC Orchestra’s archival performances.

For additional information, visit the NAC website at
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Information:  Gerald Morris
Communications Officer, NAC Music
613-947-7000, ext. 335


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