Air Canada Ovation Series

Alice Sarah Ott

Jonas Becker

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Beethoven’s iconic Ninth symphony – Rachminoff’s lush second symphony – Rimsky-Korsakov’s glittering Scheherazade… This five-concert series with the NAC Orchestra features some of the most popular and beautiful symphonic music ever written. In addition, Music director Alexander Shelley has invited some of today’s most exciting pianists to perform with the Orchestra, including Alain Léfevre, Alice Sara Ott, Beatrice Rana and Stephen Hough.

    • Copland Fanfare for the Common Man
    • Copland Appalachian Spring
    • Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, “Choral”

    A hymn to our common humanity in times of war and ethnic strife, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy remains as relevant today as the day it was first performed. After struggling for years to compose his masterpiece, Beethoven never heard it — he was completely deaf by the time it premiered in 1824.  Now, nearly two centuries later, the hope expressed in the chorus still resonates: that joy shall bind us together, though customs tear us apart. In an uncertain world, feel the uplifting power of Beethoven’s immortal Ninth Symphony.

    • Beethoven Egmont Overture
    • Grieg Piano Concerto
    • Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3, “Scottish”

    Dazzling pianist Alice Sara Ott, making her awaited NAC Orchestra debut, plays Grieg’s show-stopping piano concerto. With its vivid wild romanticism, Mendelssohn’s third symphony is a stunning vehicle for our virtuoso orchestra.

    • Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte
    • WALTER BOUDREAU Concerto de l’asile
    • RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade

    Soar away on a musical magic-carpet ride to the enchanted world of the Arabian Nights. Rimsky-Korsakov’s spellbinding orchestral suite weaves a dreamscape around a sweet, solo violin part that represents the voice of the storyteller Scheherazade, as she recounts ancient tales of love and adventure to her cruel, jealous husband. By turns thrilling, suspenseful, sinister and beautiful, the music of Scheherazade is sure to evoke, in the words of the composer, “an Oriental narrative of some numerous and varied fairy-tale wonders.”

    • Brahms, Johannes Piano Concerto No. 1
    • SCHUMANN (Orch. RAVEL) Selections from Carnaval
    • Schumann Symphony No. 2

    Succumb to the tempestuous emotion of Brahm’s most passionate piano concerto. Conceived after the suicide of Brahm’s friend and mentor Robert Schumann, this stormy piece finds fierce expression at the hands of 23-year-old Italian prodigy Beatrice Rana. The youngest winner ever of the Montreal International Piano Competition in 2011, Rana makes her NAC debut by special invitation of our music director Alexander Shelley. The evening culminates with Schumann’s own Second Symphony, written as the composer attempted to overcome his feelings of depression through music.

    Thursday Ovation series subscribers attend Friday performance.

    • Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1
    • Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
    • Mussorgsky Prelude to Khovanshchina

    Thrill to the music of the last great romantic composer, in this evening dedicated to the works of Sergei Rachmaninoff. A son of imperial Russia, Rachmaninoff sought to express his country’s innermost soul, “with its overtones of suffering and unrest, its pastoral but tragic beauty, its ancient and enduring glory.” No pianist captures the music’s essence better than Stephen Hough, named International Artist of the Year in 2016 by Limelight Magazine and one of the 25 “Best Piano Players of All Time” by Classic FM. Hear why Hough’s 2005 live recording of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos became the fastest selling album in the history of Hyperion Records.

    “Hough is simply one of the most interesting musicians around.” —Boston Globe​

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