The Hexagon Project: Building bridges between technology and the performing arts

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Pinchas Zukerman in the Hexagon studio teaching to a violin student (bottom TV screen) at the Sibelius Academy in Finland © Kevin Bhookun

Classrooms of students from as far away as the United States and Mexico share their reactions to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with kids here in Canada...

...a talented young violinist living in a small community in Northern Canada receives one-on-one instruction from Pinchas Zukerman...

...a virtual big band gives kids from a local jazz band the chance to experience how it feels to play with a top tier ensemble...

At one time, we could only imagine opportunities like these, but now, thanks to the NAC’s Hexagon project, these scenarios and many others are actually happening on a weekly basis. “Hexagon is a research and development project we began 11 years ago. It uses next generation interactive videoconferencing to promote artist training and education and makes connections that wouldn’t otherwise be possible,” explains Maurizio Ortolani, Producer, NAC New Media.

With technology, there is no end to the bridges we can build, the connections we can make between the NAC and young artists, classrooms full of eager students, and every Canadian with an interest in the performing arts. Last year alone, NAC New Media produced 50 events, including more than 30 broadband videoconference masterclasses.

“Pinchas teaches at least two or three times a month from the Hexagon Studio,” says Maurizio. “He connects with talented students all over the world.”

Donor generosity goes a long way toward supporting the Hexagon project and the connections it makes possible, and we invite you to see the impact firsthand. “The Hexagon Studio recently moved to the NAC main lobby and there’s a small window so that patrons can see Pinchas teaching or a podcast being recorded,” says Maurizio.

“These are important initiatives,” Maurizio explains. “Donor investment in technology finds its way to students and institutions across the country. It brings people together in a cost-effective way and helps us maintain our leadership role in this area. It’s through projects like Hexagon that the NAC can continue to serve artists and audiences across Canada.”

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