Dreaming of the Sea in Southam Hall

Internationally praised as one of the great all-time interpreters of Bach, Canadian virtuoso pianist Angela Hewitt strikes the final note in her concert with the NAC Orchestra. © Fred Cattroll
Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt bows to a sold-out audience for her CD recording concerts at the National Arts Centre. “It’s my home,” Ms. Hewitt remarked of the NAC. © Fred Cattroll

Attending intermission chats and open rehearsals are one of the many benefits donors receive when they support performance, creation and learning across Canada through the National Arts Centre Foundation.

On a beautiful October morning, NAC Foundation supporters were carried away during an open rehearsal featuring Canadian composer Matthew Whittall’s Nameless Seas, created for and performed by Angela Hewitt. The composition, conducted by Hannu Lintu is an NAC co-commission with Finland’s PianoEspoo Festival, and had its world premiere that evening as part of the Orchestra’s Ideas of the North Festival.

During a brief Q&A session with Matthew and Angela, Matthew confessed that Nameless Seas was the hardest piece he has ever written, and that it took him one year to compose. He admitted that it could be crippling at times to write for Angela Hewitt. And, speaking of crippling, Angela confessed that Nameless Seas is a physically demanding piece, and that she has been getting regular massages since she started learning the piece in early August.

The result of all of this mental and physical exertion is an extraordinarily beautiful work of art that left a number of audience members in awe. At one point during the Q&A, Angela stated “You can learn to play the notes, but need to turn them into music.” Hannu Lintu, Angela Hewitt and the NAC Orchestra have done just that…and they have given present and future audience members the gift of Matthew Whittall’s Nameless Seas.

A special thank you to our Open Rehearsal and Preview Sponsor, Rob Marland, Royal LePage Performance Realty who makes these sessions possible for NAC Foundation donors.

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.

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