The National Arts Centre Orchestra kicks off the 2010-2011 season in style with a spectacular 7-concert Mozart-Haydn Festival – featuring Music Director Pinchas Zukerman and stellar guest artists

For the fourth year in a row, the National Arts Centre Orchestra inaugurates the season with a spectacular festival devoted to the music of particular composers. From September 22 to September 30, The Mozart-Haydn Festival features five evening and two lunchtime concerts celebrating musical friendships, then and now. As in the past, this Festival will really start the season with a bang! Proving to be tremendously popular with music lovers, tickets to The Mozart-Haydn Festival concerts are selling fast, and the exciting opening night concert – featuring Pinchas Zukerman and Emanuel Ax – is sure to be a SOLD OUT highlight of the entire season.

All evening concerts will be conducted by NAC Orchestra Music Director Pinchas Zukerman and performed by the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The theme of The Mozart-Haydn Festival is the celebration of musical friendships, and the unique friendship between Mozart and Haydn is echoed today in contemporary friendships such as those between Pinchas Zukerman and some of the Festival’s special guest artists, such as pianists Emanuel Ax, Juho Pohjonen (in his Canadian debut), Jeffrey Kahane, Shai Wosner, and Benjamin Hochman, and writer/broadcaster Eric Friesen.

The evening concerts take place at 8 p.m. in Southam Hall of the National Arts Centre, and most feature a pre-concert chat, a post-concert talkback, or pre-concert music. The lunchtime concerts feature the Escher Quartet performing music of Haydn and Mozart in the Rideau Chapel of the National Gallery of Canada on September 23 and 24 at noon.

CBC Radio 2 (103.3 FM) is the broadcast partner for The Mozart-Haydn Festival.

The concerts on September 22, 24, 29, and 30 will be recorded by CBC Radio 2 and broadcast in October on In Concert with host Bill Richardson and again on Tempo with host Julie Nesrallah. The concerts will also be available to stream online for one year at Concerts on Demand  (

The relationship of Haydn and Mozart has been the subject of much surprised comment over the years, as many Mozart lovers consider Haydn an inferior composer. But contemporary and near-contemporary documents and Mozart's own compositions make it clear that Mozart treated the elder composer and his music with respectful and loving attention. Although given their personal and musical closeness, the differences between the two composers were remarkably distinct. Haydn was reserved, organized, and rather old-fashioned in his manners. Mozart was mercurial, outgoing, and given to many false starts and stops. Haydn had an austere childhood and was unhappily married, while Mozart came from a close and loving family, and was happily wedded to Constanze.

Cautious as he was, Haydn watched the meteoric rise of Mozart's career -- but also its meteoric fall. Haydn had perfected a style popular all over Europe; he was wary about taking on new elements, even from Mozart. The younger master, born 24 years after Haydn, was music's greatest assimilator: within a year he had mastered all Haydn's tricks of the trade.

Part of Mozart's reaction to Haydn's music was simply the normal interaction of one great contemporary artist with another: to emulate, and if possible attempt to surpass, the model. In Mozart's case, some of the musical examples are spectacular and provide the most persuasive evidence of Haydn's impact on his younger friend.

HAYDN AND MOZART – A Musical Friendship
Adapted from notes by Robert Markow

Here we find one of the great friendships of music history. Haydn was old enough to be Mozart’s father, and his long life (1732-1809) completely embraced Mozart’s tragically short one (1756-1791). When they first met in Vienna, probably in late 1781, among the works the older composer showed Mozart were some of his quartets. “The effect,” wrote historian Alfred Einstein, was “one of the profoundest Mozart experienced in his artistic life.        “ Inspired by these models, Mozart subsequently wrote six quartets and had them published with an effusive dedication to Haydn. But Mozart did not merely imitate Haydn; he absorbed into his own musical personality what the older man had to offer, creating masterpieces entirely his own.

The admiration and respect were mutual. Upon hearing these quartets in performance, Haydn made the famous declaration to Mozart’s father Leopold that “before God and as an honest man, I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name.” Haydn and Mozart had much in common: they were both supreme masters of musical form, they both delighted in musical jokes, and both left the world great treasure troves of symphonies, string quartets, piano sonatas, sacred vocal music, and songs. The one genre that sets them apart is opera. While Haydn’s are good, Mozart’s are great; half a dozen of them form cornerstones of the repertoire of every opera company in the world.

When Haydn left Vienna in 1790 for the first of two London sojourns, he spent his last day there with his dear friend Mozart. Mozart was worried about the health of the older man, now nearing sixty, but it was Mozart who departed this world first, just a year later. When Haydn learned of Mozart’s untimely death, he was devastated. Many believe that the deeply-felt slow movement of Haydn’s Symphony No. 98 (on the NACO program of September 29) was the older composer’s personal memorial to his friend. We cannot be certain that Haydn intended this, but, as Haydn scholar H.C. Robbins Landon writes, ‘if he did, it is the greatest epitaph that Mozart … would ever receive.”

Here is a complete list of the concerts being performed as part of The Mozart-Haydn Festival:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
EMANUEL AX & MOZART (Bostonian Bravo Series)
Pinchas Zukerman, conductor/violin and Emanuel Ax, piano
MOZART   Sonata for Violin and Piano, K. 454
MOZART   Piano Concerto No. 22
HAYDN     Symphony No. 101, “The Clock”

“Ax’s technique was effortless – real pianissimos, perfectly poised trills, a completely idiomatic first-movement cadenza, and soft-as-silk legato,” enthused San Francisco Classical Voice about this master interpreter of Mozart. In this performance of the Piano Concerto No. 22 listen especially for the exquisite slow movement, which Mozart had to encore at the premiere.

Pre-Concert Chat (in English): “Haydn and Mozart: The Gentleman and the Prodigy” with Paul Wells, author and Maclean’s columnist

Post-Concert Talkback: CBC’s Bill Richardson hosts Pinchas Zukerman and Emanuel Ax

The Friends of the National Arts Centre Orchestra will be hosting a silent auction in the main foyer of the NAC on September 22. Bid on outstanding items from across Canada and around the world before the concert, during intermission, and for 20 minutes following the performance. Proceeds from the auctions will benefit music education programs for young people.

The Escher Quartet performs music of Haydn and Mozart during two lunchtime chamber music concerts in the Rideau Chapel of the National Gallery of Canada:

Thursday, September 23, noon
MOZART   String Quartet No. 20, K. 499, “Hoffmeister”
HAYDN     String Quartet No. 35, Op. 42

Friday, September 24, noon
HAYDN     String Quartet No. 30, Op. 33, No. 2, “Joke”
MOZART   String Quartet No. 19, K. 465, “Dissonance”

Friday, September 24, 2010
MOZART’S SERENADE (Bostonian Bravo Series)
Pinchas Zukerman, conductor and Juho Pohjonen, piano
MOZART   Piano and Wind Quintet
MOZART   Piano Concerto No.12
MOZART   Serenade No.10, “Gran Partita”

It is the transcendent Adagio of Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 for thirteen instruments that unnerves Salieri in Peter Schaffer’s film Amadeus – filling him “with such unfulfillable longing. It seemed to me I was hearing the voice of God.” The composer took a genre normally relegated to background status in aristocratic households and wrought musical gold from it.

Pre-Concert Chat (in English): “Amadeus: Fiction, Art and Truth” with Paul Kennedy, writer and host of CBC’s Ideas

Saturday, September 25, 2010
Pinchas Zukerman, conductor/violin and Eric Friesen, host
MOZART   Violin Concerto No. 3
MOZART   Serenade No. 7, “Haffner”
The third of five violin concertos Mozart composed when he was just a teen is the fascinating subject of this special Festival event, a behind- the-score look at an elegant work. After he chats about the music with writer/broadcaster Eric Friesen, Maestro Zukerman conducts the NAC Orchestra and solos from the podium.

Pre-Concert Chat (in French): « Haydn et Mozart, musiciens des Lumières » with Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
A PIANO CELEBRATION (Mark Motors Audi Signature Series)
Pinchas Zukerman, conductor, Jeffrey Kahane, piano/conductor, and Shai Wosner, Benjamin Hochman, piano
MOZART   Piano Concerto No. 24
MOZART   Concerto for Two Pianos
HAYDN     Symphony No. 98
Wolfgang wasn’t the only fortepiano prodigy in the Mozart family; there was also his sister Nannerl. Together they performed his brilliant “double” concerto (the first of this genre) in Salzburg in late 1780. After moving to Vienna a year later – with his creative juices flowing freely – Mozart wrote 12 piano concertos in three years, including No. 24, “an explosion of the dark, tragic, passionate emotions,” according to musicologist Alfred Einstein. As with other works composed upon Mozart’s death, Haydn’s Symphony No. 98 is like “a private Requiem for his friend,” according to the late music critic Michael Steinberg.

Pre-Concert Chat (in English): “How to Listen to Mozart” with Robert Harris, writer and host of CBC’s I Hear Music

Thursday, September 30, 2010
MOZART’S TRIPLE CROWN (Mark Motors Audi Signature Series)
Pinchas Zukerman, conductor
MOZART   Symphony No. 39
MOZART   Symphony No. 40
MOZART   Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”
Mozart’s awe- inspiring final trilogy of symphonies is his crowning achievement in that form. Though it was composed when Mozart’s fortunes had crumbled, Symphony No. 39 betrays none of his woes. Just one month later, he completed Symphony No. 40 – a haunting masterpiece that continues to move listeners today. And a mere 16 days later, he gave the world his noble Symphony No. 41, “Jupiter”, aptly named for the king of the gods. “Experiencing all three symphonies together,” says Maestro Zukerman, “creates one powerful, emotional arc, as if they were all one glorious work.”

Pre-Concert Music: Mozart’s Piano Quartet in E-flat major performed by pianist Jeffrey Kahane and members of the NAC Orchestra 

Mozart-Haydn Festival passes for the 5-concert series are $85.75, $131.50, $178.05, $224.85, $270.60, $316.35, and $395.45 for adults; $75.55, $115.90, $156.80, $197.95, $238.30, $278.65, and $348.35 for seniors; and $56.90, $83.80, $112.05, $140.30, $167.20, $194.10, and $241.20 for students

Mozart-Haydn Festival passes for the 7-concert series are $138.95, $184.70, $231.75, $278.05, $323.80, $369.55, and $448.65 for adults; $128.75, $169.10, $210, $251.15, $291.50, $331.85, and $401.55 for seniors; and $88.10, $115, $143.25, $171.50, $198.40, $225.30, and $272.40 for students

Single tickets for all evening concerts 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 for the lunchtime concerts are $31.21 for adults and $15.60 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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Gerald Morris
Communications Officer, NAC Music
613-947-7000, ext. 335

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