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

UK Tour details confirmed, including rare concert in Salisbury Cathedral

Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) today announced that the NAC Orchestra, under the baton of its renowned Music Director Pinchas Zukerman, will perform a joint concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on October 27, 2014 in London as part of the NAC Orchestra’s performance and education tour of the United Kingdom from
October 22 to 30.

Presented by RBC and with major support from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, the tour will commemorate the First World War Centenary and celebrate the deep ties between Canada and the United Kingdom, including the Royal Family represented by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who will act as Royal Patron for the tour. Maestro Zukerman also confirmed for the first time that the NAC Orchestra will be performing inside the world-renowned Salisbury Cathedral.

“Through this tour, the NAC is delighted to be able to underscore the close ties between Canada and the UK, and to mark the 100th anniversary of Canadians arriving on British soil in preparation for the First World War. This tour will showcase not only the brilliant work of Canadian composers and the NAC Orchestra musicians, it will also allow school children on both sides of the Atlantic to explore the themes of remembrance and healing through music,” commented Christopher Deacon, Managing Director of the NAC Orchestra and Acting President and CEO of the National Arts Centre.

“Music is a wonderful medium for exploring different cultures and creating connections among them. Galen and I are proud to support this important tour which will showcase the National Arts Centre Orchestra in the UK and provide opportunities for school children in both countries to learn of our deep and rich shared history,” said the Hon. Hilary Weston, Director, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.”

The Tour will bring Canada to the world with the Orchestra performing beautiful works by Canadian composers John Estacio (Brio: Toccata and Fantasy for Orchestra) and the late Malcolm Forsyth (A Ballad of Canada).

"As part of RBC's ongoing commitment to the arts, we are proud to support the NAC Orchestra's tour of the United Kingdom," said Shari Austin, Vice-President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC and Executive Director, RBC Foundation. "This tour will offer a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of the best musical talent Canada has to offer on the world stage."

The Tour will introduce school-aged children in Canada to school-aged children in the U.K., actively reminding them of the historic and ongoing alliances between the two nations, building music into those stories. A Ballad of Canada was created by using imagery from the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lt. Col. John McCrae. Over the course of the 10-day tour, Pinchas Zukerman is visiting schools, leading workshops and teaching a masterclass at Royal College in London. The daytime teaching activities are followed in the evenings with public concerts, in Edinburgh, Scotland, and in Notthingham, London, Salisbury and Bristol. These educational programs are made possible thanks to the generous support of Education Partner Dasha Shenkman.

“The National Arts Centre’s Tour of the United Kingdom is one of many initiatives our Government is undertaking to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War,” said Rick Dykstra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. “As we approach the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, these commemorations will pay tribute to the sacrifices made by Canadians during these wars. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate the National Arts Centre on this venture and thank all the funding partners who have helped make it possible.”



The combined NAC and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras will thrill the audience at this one-night-only concert with a performance that includes Malcolm Forsyth’s A Ballad of Canada and culminates in a grand finale with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, featuring the inspiring Ode to Joy.

Pinchas Zukerman, equally acclaimed as violinist, violist and conductor, has served as the NAC Orchestra’s Music Director since 1999 and Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra since 2009.

Maestro Zukerman is eager to combine these exceptional orchestras. “A concert that combines the Royal Phil Orchestra and Canada’s NAC Orchestra will be special because of all the elements – the public audience, the players – all of us are united for a moment in time,” Zukerman said.



In October 1914, young Canadian soldiers packed up and stepped onto ocean liners to cross the Atlantic. There were 30,000 of these young Canadians on 33 ships (a total of 600,000 Canadians – or about 10 % of the country’s population at the time – would eventually enlist over the course of the First World War). They arrived in England and spent months on the Salisbury Plain, training for combat in France. The connections they made in Salisbury remain to this day.

The NAC Orchestra will honour their memory with a grand performance inside the magnificent 750 year-old Salisbury Cathedral, one of the finest examples of English Gothic architecture in Europe. It’s also one of two cathedrals author Ken Follett studied in crafting his now-famous novel The Pillars of the Earth. The construction of the Salisbury Cathedral began in 1220. Inside its Chapter House sits one of the four surviving original manuscripts of the 1215 Magna Carta.

The National Arts Centre is delighted to announce that Margaret MacMillan, one of Canada’s finest scholars and authors, will join the Tour. She will be speaking on the relationship between Britain and Canada in the years leading up to 1919 – the year many scholars regard as the moment Canada came of age as a nation – as well as Ms. MacMillan’s most recent bestseller The War that Ended Peace: The Road to 1914.



Thursday, October 23 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
Saturday, October 25 – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Monday, October 27– London Royal Festival Hall
Wednesday, October 29 – Salisbury Cathedral
Thursday, October 30 – Bristol Colston Hall

* All performances take place at 7:30 p.m. GMT.



The National Arts Centre is proud to host ConneXXions, a special performance using a state-of-the-art, high-definition broadband videolink between the NAC in Ottawa and the North London Youth Orchestra in a live, real-time musical exchange. Maestro Zukerman and the NAC are leaders in this type of long-distance learning events.



The NAC believes in strong new media outreach in the arts, and has created a website at where people from across Canada and around the world can follow this extraordinary tour. Daily reports will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter @CanadasNAC.



An international tour of this calibre is only made possible through the generous support of individuals 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, Education Partner Dasha Shenkman, and Supporting Partners David Aisenstat, Margaret and David Fountain, Aimia and W1 Developments. 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 W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a private Canadian family foundation, established in the 1950’s by Willard Garfield Weston and his wife Reta. In 1924 Garfield inherited his father’s company and during his life established bakeries and other successful enterprises throughout Canada and in many parts of the world. Today, these businesses include the George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited, companies in food retailing, processing and distribution.  The founders believed that as the funds are generated through the hard work and success of these Canadian companies, grants should be given in Canada for the benefit of Canadians. For three generations, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has maintained a family tradition of supporting charitable organizations across Canada. Today the Foundation directs the majority of its funds to projects in the fields of land conservation, education, and science in Canada’s North. In addition, it provides funds to further Canada’s research in neuroscience.



Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) is Canada's largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 42 other countries. For more information, please visit RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada's Greenest Employers, and one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at



Pinchas Zukerman has remained a phenomenon in the world of music for over four decades. His musicality, prodigious technique and unwavering artistic standards are a marvel to audiences and critics. Devoted to the next generation of musicians, he has inspired younger artists with his magnetism and passion.

Currently in his 15th season as Music Director of the NAC Orchestra, and his fourth as Principal Guest Conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, he has led many of the world’s top ensembles, including the NAC Orchestra.

Consistent praise has followed this vibrant orchestra throughout its history of touring both nationally and internationally, recording, and commissioning the creation of new Canadian works – over 100 pieces to date, including the Estacio and Forsyth pieces presented on this U.K. Tour. With a full schedule of subscribed performances each year at the National Arts Centre and special concerts in Toronto and Montreal, the NAC Orchestra is also strongly committed to teaching through the Summer Music Institute, which Pinchas Zukerman created, and the Institute for Orchestral Studies, which offers gifted music students the invaluable experience of playing in a professional orchestra. Musicians and staff of the NAC Orchestra regularly teach students all over the world through the state-of-the-art broadband videolink at the NAC’s Hexagon Studio.

The NAC Orchestra has over 40 recordings to its name, including six with Pinchas Zukerman: Haydn, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Schubert and two of Mozart, a CD of flute quartets, and a CD of orchestral music and string quintets. A new NAC Orchestra recording of Mozart performed at the NAC last summer with Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt will be released in June 2014 on Hyperion Records.