National Arts Centre to take Toronto audiences by storm 
with outstanding performances in February

(Ottawa, Canada) Canada’s National Arts Centre kicks off a busy month in Toronto on February 5th with a Beethoven/Koprowski concert at Roy Thomson Hall with the NAC Orchestra under the direction of Pinchas Zukerman. Special guest artist – white-hot pianist Jonathan Biss – also performs a timeless work by Beethoven. That performance will be followed days later by the premiere of the NAC/Canadian Stage revival of Saint Carmen of The Main directed by NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Peter Hinton, and starring the NAC English Theatre Company. Playwright Michel Tremblay’s contemporary tragedy about politics, culture and revolution is at the Canadian Stage Bluma Appel Theatre February 10 to March 5 (previews February 7 to 9).

“The National Arts Centre is proud to work with artists and arts organizations from every region of the country to promote artistic excellence,” said Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO of the NAC. “We look forward to our annual exchange with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and are privileged to partner with Toronto theatre companies, like Canadian Stage, to co-produce quintessential Canadian works.”

National Arts Centre Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall


February 5, 2011, at 7:30 p.m.

The National Arts Centre Orchestra, under the direction of Pinchas Zukerman, will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No.2 in D Major, Op. 36. Acclaimed rising star pianist Jonathan Biss joins the Orchestra to perform Beethoven’s popular Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 – also known as the “Emperor Concerto”. Pinchas Zukerman has a strong family connection to Jonathan Biss, having performed extensively with his mother, Israeli-born violinist Miriam Fried, and his father and former roommate, violist Paul Biss. Also on the program is In Memoriam Karol Szymanowski, written more than 40 years ago by composer Peter Paul Koprowski, one of three composers who recently received the NAC Award for Canadian composers, which includes a commission for three new works.

Part of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Casual Concerts Series, the evening will be hosted by writer and broadcaster Eric Friesen. Patrons are also invited to join Rick Phillips for a relaxed and enlightening pre-concert chat in the lobby. This concert will be followed by a party for the whole audience in the lobby. Patrons are invited to mingle with musicians in a relaxed setting and enjoy live music by Paisley Jura.

Saint Carmen of The Main

By Michel Tremblay; translated by Linda Gaboriau; directed by Peter Hinton.

An NAC/Canadian Stage (Toronto) co-production starring the National Arts Centre English Theatre Company. February 7 to March 5, 2011, at the Canadian Stage, Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front Street East), and in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre from March 16 to April 2, 2011.

Carmen is a Country & Western singer who has returned to Montreal from Nashville and begins to write her own songs —about real people and real problems, all in a language they understand. Soon she becomes an inspiration for the oppressed, their sun, their idol, their voice. However, a question arises. While it may be good to "wake people up," what do you do with them once they are awake?

Created in 1976 on the eve of the referendum, Saint Carmen of The Main is one of Michel Tremblay’s most important plays. The NAC/Canadian Stage revival with a new translation by Linda Gaboriau, marks the first English language production of the play since 1978. Set in the nightclubs on Montreal’s infamous St. Laurent Boulevard, known locally as "The Main," the play unfolds as a twentieth century "Greek tragedy" with its underworld goddesses and heroes, monsters and myths, exploring the nature of revolt, rebellion and cultural identity.

For more information or to buy tickets to these two events, please visit, or and



For more information, please contact: 


Rosemary Thompson
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
National Arts Centre
(613) 947-7000, ext. 260
Cel : (613) 762-4118




Carl Martin
Communications Advisor
National Arts Centre
(613) 947-7000, ext. 560
Cell: (613) 291-8880


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