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Conductor Bernard Labadie, Quebec City’s Les Violons du Roy, and internationally renowned flutist Emmanuel Pahud inaugurate the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s 2012-2013 Great Performers Series with a program of Baroque showpieces on October 21

The first Great Performers concert of the NAC Orchestra 2012-2013 season -- conducted by Bernard Labadie -- features internationally acclaimed Les Violons du Roy performing music by J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, Franz Benda, Johann Joachim Quantz, and the music-loving Frederick the Great, who was a King in Prussia (1740–1772) and a King of Prussia (1772–1786) from the Hohenzollern dynasty. Special guest artist is flutist Emmanuel Pahud, co-Principal Flute of the Berlin Philharmonic, one of the best flutists in the world. The concert is at 8 p.m. in the NAC’s Southam Hall on Sunday October 21, 2012.

BENDA                                   Sinfonia in F major
FREDERICK THE GREAT      Flute Concerto in C major
QUANTZ                                 Flute Concerto in G major
J.S. BACH                               Ricecar a 6 (from The Musical Offering)
C.P.E. BACH                           Symphony for Strings in B minor
C.P.E. BACH                           Flute Concerto in A major

  • Emmanuel Pahud (born 1970) is a Swiss flute player most known for his Baroque and classical flute repertoire. Classically trained at the Conservatoire de Paris, he leapt into the international music scene when he joined the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992 at age 22. His versatility in music styles over the years signalled the arrival of a new master flutist. He has appeared as soloist with numerous internationally renowned orchestras and currently shares the position of Principal Flautist with Andreas Blau, who has held the position since 1969. In 1996 he signed an exclusive contract with EMI Classics, the only flutist in the world to have a solo recording contract with a major record company; he has recorded and/or collaborated a total of 22 discs
  • The Quebec City-based Les Violons du Roy (a chamber orchestra of 15 players) is acclaimed for exceptional energy, brilliance, and vitality. The ensemble was founded in 1984 by Music Director Bernard Labadie. They play on modern instruments, but use copies of period bows and are heavily influenced by the performance practice of the 17th and 18 centuries. They have released 22 recordings
  • Franz Benda (1709-1786) was a Czech violinist and composer. In 1732, he entered the service of Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great), with whom he remained for the rest of his life. He was a member of the prince royal’s band, and later became concertmaster to the king. He played about 50,000 concertos over a period of forty years
  • Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) was a German flutist, flute maker and composer. Renowned as the finest flutist in Europe, he became a flute teacher, flute maker and composer to Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great) in 1740. He was an innovator in flute design, and wrote 500+ pieces of music, mainly for the flute
  • The Musical Offering is a collection of canons and fugues by Johann Sebastian Bach, all based on a single musical theme given to him by Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great). The Ricercar a 6, a six-voice fugue which is the high point of the work, has been called the most significant piano composition in history, partly because it is one of the first such pieces ever written
  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) met Frederick II at his palace in Potsdam (on May 7, 1747), where Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel was employed as court musician. Frederick wanted to show the elder Bach a novelty, the piano, which had been invented some years earlier. Bach, who was well known for his skill at improvising, received from Frederick II a long and complex musical theme on which to improvise a three-voice fugue. He did so, but Frederick then challenged him to improvise a six-voice fugue on the same theme. Two months later, Bach published a set of pieces based on this theme which we now know as The Musical Offering. Bach inscribed the piece "Regis Iussu Cantio Et Reliqua Canonica Arte Resoluta" (the theme given by the king, with additions, resolved in the canonic style), the first letters of which spell out the word “ricercar”, a well-known genre of the time

Les Violons du Roy will perform in Southam Hall of the National Arts Centre on Sunday October 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22, $32, $44, $50, $60, $70, and $80, for adults and $12.50, $17.50, $23.50, $26.50, $31.50, $36.50, and $41.50 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 1-888-991-2787 (ARTS); Ticketmaster may also be accessed through the NAC’s website

For additional information, visit the NAC website at



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Andrea Hossack
Communications Officer, NAC Music
613-947-7000, ext. 335