LSM Newswire

Monday, May 12, 2008

NACO, May 18: Music for a Sunday Afternoon celebrates music and art

Ottawa, Canada The next Music for a Sunday Afternoon concert has been especially programmed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the National Gallery of Canada with three works inspired by art two solos and one ensemble piece on Sunday, May 18 at 14:00 in the Auditorium of the National Gallery of Canada, where the series has been taking place since the Gallery opened in 1988. The concert will include a talk on the relationship between music and art by the NAC Orchestras longtime programme annotator Robert Markow.

Stephen Chatmans Varley Suite for solo violin was inspired by six paintings by Frederick Horsman Varley, one of the famous Group of Seven, renowned for both his landscapes and his portraits. Chatman, an American-born composer who has lived in Canada since 1976, wrote each movement based on one of Varleys paintings, three of which (Maud, Green Wings and Vera) hang in the National Gallery of Canada. (A touring exhibition of Varleys works is due to open in Ottawa on May 23.) The Varley Suite will be performed by NACO violinist Jessica Linnebach.

The renowned American composer John Harbison began Six American Painters as a musical description of six paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, though when the work was finished, he titled the movements after the artists rather than the paintings. The artists he chose rank among the greatest America produced in the 19th and 20th centuries, four realists and two Abstract Expressionists. This piece will be performed by Charles Hamann, oboe; Jessica Linnebach, violin; David Thies-Thompson, viola; and Leah Wyber, cello.

The final work is Mussorgskys famous Pictures at an Exhibition which the NAC Orchestra performed in its orchestral setting for the first time in 2002. Here it will be heard in its original version for solo piano performed by Vancouver pianist Ian Parker. Mussorgsky composed the piece as a tribute to his close friend Viktor Hartmann, an artist, designer and sculptor, whose death had devastated the composer. Ian Parker (a cousin of Jon Kimura and James Parker), was First Prize winner at the 2001 CBC National Radio Competition, and also won the Grand Prize at the Canadian National Music Festival, among others.

Tickets for Music for a Sunday Afternoon on May 18 are on sale now at $29.00 (GST and Facility Fee included) at the NAC Box Office (Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 21:00), and through Ticketmaster (with surcharges) at 613-755-1111. Ticketmaster may also be accessed through the NACs website at http://www.nac-cna.ca/. They may also be purchased at the National Gallery one hour before the concert.

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