NAC is extending performance and event cancellations and postponements until August 31

Canada’s NAC Orchestra, under the baton of the renowned Pinchas Zukerman, performs final concert of its landmark China Tour in Shanghai on October 19

Ottawa (Canada)—Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) Orchestra brings its extraordinary musicianship to the Shanghai Concert Hall on October 19, in a grand finish to eighteen wonderful days of teaching, performing, and cultural exchange with music students and audiences across China. A masterclass by Pinchas Zukerman is the highlight of this last educational destination for the Orchestra, part of the 80 educational outreach events offered to Chinese students during the tour.

Zukerman will play Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, a work for which he received a rave review from The New York Times this year. The Shanghai concert, which is part of the China Shanghai International Arts Festival, also features a bring-them-to-their-feet performance of Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, and Canadian composer John Estacio’s Brio: Toccata and Fantasy for Orchestra. 

These events are part of the NAC Orchestra’s first-ever tour of China in its 44-year history. From October 4 to 21, 70 musicians from the Orchestra will travel to schools and concert halls in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Tianjin, Fuling and Chongqing. With the support of Honorary Patron Richard Li and Presenting Partner Aimia, the NAC Orchestra will perform eight major concerts and participate in more than 80 education and outreach activities, including two international broadband videoconference events linking young musicians in Canada and China.

Shanghai Highlights
Saturday, October 19, 2013
7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
NAC Orchestra Concert at
Shanghai Concert Hall.

Sunday, October 20, 2013
9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
Maestro Pinchas Zukerman masterclass via Broadband internet connection between Shanghai Conservatory and Mount Royal Conservatory [Calgary].

While in Shanghai, NAC Orchestra musicians will offer more than a dozen masterclasses and instrument coaching sessions for students at the Shanghai Conservatory, one of the most prestigious conservatories in China.  Maestro Zukerman himself will offer a masterclass which will be linked through technology in real time with Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary, Alberta.  Master Arts Lectures will be offered by senior NAC administrators as part of a longer term partnership between Shanghai Conservatory and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

In partnership with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the NAC Orchestra’s China Tour will include a high-definition videoconference masterclass linking the Mont Royal Conservatory in Calgary and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. This event will feature the NAC’s Music Director, Pinchas Zukerman and top music students in Shanghai and Calgary for this exciting educational event.

Touring is a natural extension of the NAC Orchestra’s role as a national, international and teaching ensemble. In February 2012, during Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to China, Canada and China made a commitment to strengthen their relationship, including holding cultural events in both countries in 2013–2014. The tour coincides with the annual general meeting of the Canada China Business Council in Beijing with a major concert on October 17, 2013 at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.

“Congratulations to our talented Canadian composers and musicians, and to everyone involved with the tour,” said the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. “We applaud the cooperation between Canada’s National Arts Centre and China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. This tour is another powerful expression of the strong artistic ties between our two countries.”

“The most important thing we can do in any relationship with any country is bring them what we do best,” said Maestro Zukerman. “In my case I know how to play the fiddle and make music. So I bring that to (China) with an open heart and an abundance of feeling.”

“All Canadians should feel proud about this tour,” said Peter Herrndorf, CEO of the National Arts Centre. “The NAC Orchestra’s China Tour belongs to them. It showcases their musicians and their composers, reaching out and building long-term friendships with the people of China. It’s a musical ‘Team Canada’!”

“At Aimia, we take great pride in celebrating Canadian achievements on the world stage,” said Rupert Duchesne, CEO of the China Tour’s Presenting Partner Aimia. “As a global leader in loyalty, we understand the commitment, focus and determination that it takes to achieve excellence. That is why we are so proud to be partnering with the National Arts Centre Orchestra to share outstanding performances and musical education with the world. The National Arts Centre Orchestra tour of China is an exciting opportunity for our two countries to share and promote a passion for the arts. We believe in the power of the arts to open doors and inspire an exchange of culture and ideas that will strengthen the relationship between two great countries.”

This tour is the product of a long-term relationship between Canada’s NAC and China’s NCPA, with both national organizations committed to cultural exchange and collaboration; the NAC is delighted to host the NCPA Orchestra for a concert in the fall of 2014. Discussions are also underway for creative and educational collaborations in future years. “We see the arts and culture as another important way to express and represent our country on the world stage. Through this agreement, the NCPA and the NAC are strengthening relations between China and Canada,” said NCPA President Chen Ping.
Xiaoxue ‘Sunny’ She, a 28-year-old violinist from Shenyang, China, and Shuai Shi, a 24-year-old violinist from Shanghai will join the tour as a members of the NAC Orchestra. They are both apprentices in the NAC Orchestra’s 2013-2014 Institute for Orchestral Studies. They will perform in the Orchestra for concerts and for performances of chamber music during the tour. Ms. Shi, the featured young artist during the NAC’s annual Gala in 2012, will be assisting Maestro Zukerman for his masterclasses in Shanghai.

The NAC is a leader in new media outreach in the arts and has created a website at where people around the world can follow this extraordinary music tour. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Sina Weibo #nacochina. Daily reports will be posted throughout the tour at these sites.

An international tour of this magnitude would not be possible without the generous support of individuals and corporations from across Canada. The National Arts Centre and National Arts Centre Foundation gratefully acknowledge the tremendous support of Presenting Partner Aimia, Major Partners CN, Enbridge Inc., Plasco Energy Group, Power Corporation of Canada, James and Emily Ho, and Education Partner RBC Capital Markets. Thank you also to Supporting Partners Cameco, Export Development Canada, Husky Energy, Hotel Partner Shangri-la Hotels & Resorts, Travel Partner Air Canada and Friends Magna International Inc. The Media Partners are the Chinese Canadian Times and Chinese News Service. For his commitment to the performing arts in both Canada and China, the National Arts Centre extends a warm thank you to Richard Li, Honorary Patron of the China Tour. The National Arts Centre would like to thank the Government of Canada for its support of the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s Performance and Education Tour of China.

The National Arts Centre believes in nation building through the performing arts, by providing a home for Canada’s most creative artists, by being artistically adventurous, and by being a catalyst for performance, creation and learning in every part of the country and around the world. The NAC is Canada’s only bilingual multi-disciplinary performing arts centre and one of the largest in the world. Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra (founded 1969), under the direction of renowned conductor/violinist/violist Pinchas Zukerman, gives over 100 performances a year in Ottawa, tours both nationally and internationally, has recorded 40 CDs, and commissions Canadian works (over 90 to date). In 1999 Pinchas Zukerman initiated the NAC Young Artists Program, which is now part of the NAC Summer Music Institute (SMI). Pinchas Zukerman also teaches students all over the world via long-distance broadband videoconferencing.

Aimia is a global leader in loyalty management. Aimia’s unique capabilities include proven expertise in delivering proprietary loyalty services, launching and managing coalition loyalty programs, creating value through loyalty analytics, and driving innovation in the emerging digital and mobile spaces. Aimia owns and operates Aeroplan, Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program and Nectar, the United Kingdom’s largest coalition loyalty program. In addition, Aimia has majority equity positions in Air Miles Middle East and Nectar Italia as well as a minority position in Club Premier, Mexico’s leading coalition loyalty program and Cardlytics, a U.S.-based private company operating in transaction-driven marketing for electronic banking.