In 1972, the NAC Orchestra had been performing together as a brand new ensemble for barely 3 years, but the buzz and excitement that surrounded the new orchestra and the glamorous new National Arts Centre attracted the world’s most exciting artists to Ottawa.
The great violinist Itzhak Perlman first performed with the NAC Orchestra when he was 26 years old, and we are delighted to share that concert recording, from February 2, 1972, with you today. He performs the touching, joyful Brahms Violin Concerto (1878) with then-Music Director Mario Bernardi.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the inspiration for Violet Archer’s Prelude-Incantation (1964), a commission by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. The performance here is by the NAC Orchestra in 1976, led by Pierre Hétu, who at the time was music director of the ESO.
Violet Archer (1913-2000) spent much of her long music career in Edmonton, teaching at the University of Alberta, and she had a wide reaching impact on many Canadian musicians, having taught composer Vivian Fung in her undergrad years, as well as knowing (and even composing for) a talented young violinist named Jessica Linnebach.