In his beautiful composition A Ballad of Canada, the late Canadian composer Malcolm Forsyth remembered John McCrae and his infamous 1915 poem, In Flanders Fields. McCrae composed the poem in the field, his surgeon’s kit bloodied and his heart broken after seeing a school friend die in battle.
This year marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. The musicians of Canada’s NAC Orchestra will travel to the United Kingdom and offer a musical tribute to express the shared humanity, bravery and sombre appreciation for what war does to individuals, families and nations. The Orchestra will remember all of the Canadian soldiers who, like the poet John McCrae, stepped off a ship and onto the British isle for training on the Salisbury Plain; 30,000 were trained there before seeing active battle in France.
Canadian and British soldiers who fought in the First World War forged an allegiance and a history that we live still. The musicians of the NAC Orchestra and Music Director and violin virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman will take the works of two Canadian composers – the late Malcolm Forsyth and John Estacio – on a five-city performance and education tour that celebrates the shared stories that began in the summer of 1914.
The NAC Orchestra will perform public evening concerts in five beautiful venues in Edinburgh, Bristol, Nottingham, London and Salisbury – a concert inside the magnificent and massive Salisbury Cathedral.
For Pinchas Zukerman, it’s important for the world to know about the extraordinary musicians of the NAC Orchestra, and for those musicians to share what they know; they are teachers as well as professional artists. For that reason, the Orchestra will take part in over 30 educational activities, including visits to schools, choirs and community groups.
For many students on previous NAC Orchestra tours, participating in the Orchestra members’ workshops has sowed a seed of interest. To witness the sound of the full Orchestra, then get to know one musician close-up and learn something new from her or him, is a combination that many young artists find very powerful. They get to see how the art is made, and imagine that they too could play like that too.
Come hear Canada’s orchestra – the NAC Orchestra – on the U.K. Tour (October 22- 31). Explore full details at: NACOtour.ca
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