NAC Orchestra New Music Program

The National Arts Centre grants the NAC Award to three prominent Canadian contemporary composers

Recipients John Estacio, Peter Paul Koprowski, and Ana Sokolovic receive music commissions and an award of $75,000 each

OTTAWA, November 30, 2009 — Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO of the National Arts Centre, and Pinchas Zukerman, Music Director of the NAC Orchestra, are delighted to announce the recipients of the prestigious NAC Award. They are John Estacio, Peter Paul Koprowski, and Ana Sokolovic, three talented Canadian contemporary composers with enviably successful careers. Each NAC Award includes a series of commissions and residencies valued at $75,000.

The National Arts Centre is ensuring that Canadian repertoire takes centre stage. Each composer will be commissioned to create three new music works for the NAC Orchestra over the next 5 years, and each will teach students during the NAC’s annual Summer Music Institute. The announcement of these awards underscores the National Arts Centre’s commitment to new music, to Canadian contemporary composers, and to artistic innovation. The NAC is proud to support and promote Canadian music and, over the years, the NAC Orchestra has commissioned 82 Canadian works, all of which have been performed in hundreds of concerts at the NAC and on tour across Canada and around the world.

“Throughout its 40 year history, the National Arts Centre has been fully committed to developing and showcasing Canada’s composers,” said Peter Herrndorf. “Through their imaginative works, our talented music creators give voice to this country’s epic story while celebrating the spirit of its peoples. The NAC is proud to contribute to the great Canadian repertoire through these special awards and our numerous new music initiatives.”

Pinchas Zukerman said: “The second phase of our New Music Program will build on the excellent groundwork we’ve laid over the past 8 years, especially through the development and support of emerging composers in the Summer Music Institute. In addition to creating new work for the Orchestra and its ensembles, our NAC Award composers will add their voices to the excellent faculty we’ve built for training young artists.  This Program continues to reinforce the Orchestra’s commitment to creation, performance and learning.”

Christopher Deacon, Managing Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, said, “The NAC Award gives each of these composers the opportunity to think big and create works of lasting importance that can have an impact nationally and internationally.  In our view, these three composers are brilliant and we’re delighted to be able to support their work.”

The National Arts Centre also bestowed NAC Awards on Canadian composers Gary Kulesha, Denys Bouliane, and Alexina Louie in 2002, and the relationship included commissions, education activities, and touring with the NAC Orchestra. Their works were often performed at the NAC and on tour across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The National Arts Centre must train and inspire this country’s next wave of creators. In March 2008, the NAC acted as a direct conduit between a Canadian creative icon and the next generation of artists with a four-day tribute to R. Murray Schafer on his 75th birthday. As part of the NAC’s eXpressions new music festival, the event showcased ten of Schafer’s works, which were broadcast nationally by CBC Radio. Murray also led a choral music workshop and a two-day symposium for students, educators, and young composers. An archive of these activities is available in the Music section of the NAC’s performing arts educational website,


Listen to music by the NAC Award Composers on