Nicholas Atkinson interviews Alexander Shelley

Alexander Shelley conducts the NAC Orchestra © Fred Cattroll
Alexander Shelley speaks at the 2015-16 season launch
Alexander Shelley, Music Director Designate NAC Orchestra
Nicholas Atkinson, NACOcast host and principal tuba, NAC Orchestra © Fred Cattroll

The NACOcast, a classical music podcast produced by the National Arts Centre, regularly rates in the top five classical music podcasts on iTunes. Hosted by Nicholas Atkinson, Principal Tuba of the NAC Orchestra, the series explores the broad world of orchestral music and its great composers. 

The following episode captures Nick's conversation with Music Director Designate Alexander Shelley about his first NAC Orchestra season, which begins in September 2015.

In their discussion Shelley outlines some of the season’s building blocks. One of his first decisions was to put a work the NAC Orchestra had never performed on each of the programs Shelley will conduct, allowing both the orchestra and the audience to learn and grow. 

Each of the programs in the 2015-16 season will have a narrative that will open a dialogue between the orchestra and the audience. "For me as a performer context is incredibly important,” Shelley said.

The season’s opening festival Fusion Reactions zeroes in on the early 20th century, and the influences of politics, literature and art on the music from that time. "It's all music which is accessible, but it's also music which is very meaningful and celebrates a period in our human history of creation which is really quite extraordinary."

Another major feature of the season is a commitment to creation, including three remarkable Canadian commissions – Dear Life, based on the short story by Alice Munro, I Lost My Talk based on a poem by Mi’kmaw poet and elder, Rita Joe, and Golden slumbers kiss your eyes by NAC Award composer Ana Sokolovic, dedicated to the memory of the NAC Orchestra’s Founding Music Director, Mario Bernardi. 

Visit to download or listen to the complete episode.

Join our email list for the latest updates!