News Release

National Arts Centre Orchestra to tour the United Kingdom in 2014 with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as Royal Patron

November 7, 2013

Ottawa (Canada)— Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, under the baton of its renowned Music Director Pinchas Zukerman, will undertake a performance and education tour of the United Kingdom in October  2014 to commemorate the First World War Centenary. The National Arts Centre (NAC) is honoured to announce His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as Royal Patron for the tour.

As part of this tour – and thanks to the support of lead donors the Honourable Hilary Weston and Mr. W. Galen Weston, Chairman of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation (Canada) and Presenting Partner RBC – the NAC Orchestra will perform five major concerts and participate in more than two dozen education and outreach activities to commemorate Canada's contributions to the First World War and also to celebrate the deep and longstanding ties between Canada and the U.K.

Legendary musician and teacher Pinchas Zukerman, Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, will lead the tour.  The Tour will feature a solid music education outreach program linking school-aged children in Canada and the U.K., and highlighting themes of remembrance and reconciliation. The repertoire will include a composition called “A Ballad of Canada” by Canadian composer Malcolm Forsyth, incorporating imagery from the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lt. Col. John McCrae.

“During their first-ever tour of China last month, the musicians of the National Arts Centre Orchestra demonstrated the important role they can play as cultural ambassadors for Canada, bringing sublime music to audiences and also touching the lives of thousands of young people through outreach activities,” said Peter A. Herrndorf, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre. “Through this next international tour, Maestro Pinchas Zukerman and the musicians of the NAC Orchestra will communicate the strong cultural ties between Canada and Great Britain, and a very important chapter in our history.”

 “We are honoured to celebrate Canadian achievements on the world stage, and support this magnificent orchestra in its tour to the U.K., where we have more than 100 years of history,” said Gord Nixon, president and CEO of RBC. “We are pleased to help commemorate Canada’s contributions to the First World War on behalf all of our employees whose family members served.”

The First World War is particularly significant to Canadians and is often portrayed as a pivotal moment in Canadian history when Canada came of age as a nation. The 2014 U.K. Tour will honour the legacy of the Great War through music by marking this important anniversary and engaging young people in Canada and the U.K. in their shared history.

In the coming months the National Arts Centre will provide more details about the tour’s schedule of performances and education activities, as well as details about His Royal Highness’ participation.

Touring is a natural extension of the NAC Orchestra’s role as a national, international and teaching ensemble. The NAC Orchestra has just returned from a historic 18-day performance and education tour to China, winning accolades for its artistry and education work. The tour reached millions of people through live performances, broadband activities, as well as traditional and social media.

An international tour of this calibre is only made possible through the generous support of individuals and corporations from across Canada and the United Kingdom. The National Arts Centre and National Arts Centre Foundation gratefully acknowledge the tremendous support of Lead Donors the Honourable Hilary and Mr. Galen Weston, Chairman of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation (Canada), Presenting Partner RBC and Supporting Partner Aimia. Thank-you also to members of the U.K. Tour’s International Advisory Council:  The Honourable Hilary Weston, W. Galen Weston (Co-Chairs), The Honourable Gordon Campbell, Canadian High Commissioner to the U.K., Diana Carney, Phillip Crawley, His Excellency Howard Drake, British High Commissioner to Canada, Rupert Duchesne, Margaret Fountain and Janice O’Born.

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.


Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. The company employs approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 44 other countries. RBC is a long-standing supporter of the arts in Canada and around the world, and is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders. RBC is listed on the 2013-2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada's Greenest Employers, one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations and among the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. Learn more at


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For more information please contact:


Rosemary Thompson

Director of Communications and Public Affairs

National Arts Centre

(613)947-7000, ext. 260

Cell : (613) 762-4118    

Andrea Hossack

Communications Officer

National Arts Centre

(613) 947-7000, ext. 335

Cell : (613) 220-5487