LSM Newswire

Thursday, October 16, 2008

National Arts Centre Orchestra Western Canada Tour, Oct. 24-Nov. 12

Canadas National Arts Centre Orchestra led by Music Director Pinchas Zukerman embarks on Western Canada Tour, Oct. 24 to Nov. 12, 2008, including over 130 educational events

OTTAWA, CANADA Canadas National Arts Centre Orchestra, with Music Director Pinchas Zukerman as conductor and violin soloist, will head to Western Canada for its 2008 tour from October 24 to November 12. The Western Canada Tour, with pianist Jon Kimura Parker, composer Alexina Louie, and guest conductors James Judd and Boris Brott, will include 13 orchestral concerts in 10 cities from Victoria to Whitehorse to Winnipeg spanning four provinces plus the Orchestras first-ever visit to the Yukon. In addition, the Orchestra will reach thousands of young people through events ranging from masterclasses with Pinchas Zukerman and Jon Kimura Parker to student concerts with the full Orchestra. In total, there will be more than 130 education activities in 26 cities and communities during the 20-day tour.

The Western Canada Tour 2008 will see the National Arts Centre Orchestra performing concerts led by Pinchas Zukerman in Vancouver (Oct. 25 and 27 at 8 p.m.), Victoria (Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.), Calgary (Nov. 7 at 8 p.m.), Regina (Nov. 8 at 8 p.m.), Saskatoon (Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.) and Winnipeg (Nov. 10 at 8 p.m.). Guest conductor James Judd will lead concerts in Prince George (Oct 28 at 8 p.m.), Whitehorse (Oct. 29 at 8 p.m.) and Kamloops (Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.). There will be student matinees led by the NAC Orchestras Principal Youth and Family Conductor Boris Brott in Whitehorse (Oct. 30 at 10 a.m.); at CFB Edmonton (Nov. 4 at 1:15 p.m.) as part of an innovative day in residence both on the military base and at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans; and in Spruce Grove (Nov. 5 at 10:30 a.m.). Pinchas Zukerman and members of the NAC Orchestra will perform chamber music at the Banff Centre (Nov. 6 at 8 p.m.).

The NAC is donating the performances of the artists and the NAC Orchestra in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Victoria to help host orchestras in those cities with their fundraising, and in Regina in honour of that orchestras 100th anniversary season.

The National Arts Centre Foundation gratefully acknowledges support for the Western Canada Tour from Presenting Partner EnCana, Signature Education Partner Agrium, and the NAC Friends and Trailblazers.

A distinguishing feature of any National Arts Centre Orchestra tour is educational outreach to children and youth. These outreach activities are opportunities for Music Director Pinchas Zukerman, guest artists and musicians of the Orchestra to step off the stage and into schools and classrooms to teach, encourage and inspire students, and to leave a real and lasting imprint.

The education events on the Western Canada Tour will include instrumental masterclasses for advanced students led by Pinchas Zukerman, Jon Kimura Parker and musicians of the NAC Orchestra; student open rehearsals with the NAC Orchestra; instrumental clinics in high schools; school concert-demonstrations by NAC Musician in the Schools ensembles in French immersion schools and by teaching musicians with the NACs Music Alive Program (formerly Music Ambassador Programme) in Alberta and Saskatchewan; sectional rehearsals with youth and community orchestras; composition lectures/masterclasses and pre- and intermission-concert chats with NAC Award Composer Alexina Louie; and pre-concert lobby performances by local youth choirs and instrumental ensembles. An additional special project is Music Connections - Winnipeg, a 9-week in-school program that integrates Aboriginal and Western cultural traditions and culminates with a live performance by up to 90 participating students with a brass octet from the NAC Orchestra on November 12 at 1 p.m. (location to be determined). Over 50 partners are engaged in helping to present these outreach activities.

In addition, the five participants in the NAC Orchestras 2008-09 Institute of Orchestral Studies will join the Orchestra on tour to perform in Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. These students, selected by audition, will be rehearsing and performing with the NAC Orchestra during five separate weeks throughout the season.

NAC educational resources to be distributed on the Western Canada Tour consist of the Vivaldi and the Four Seasons Teacher Resource Kit, the Lets Go Mozart Teacher Resource Kit, and the Introducing Beethoven student newspaper guides. Schools involved in the student matinees on tour, the Music Connections Winnipeg project, and the Music Alive Program will be supplied with the relevant resources.

The Western Canada Tour website to be found at will include a tour blog, audio clips, a photo gallery, and more.

Pinchas Zukerman said: It is wonderful to be traveling again to the West Coast with the NAC Orchestra. As Music Director, one of my favourite aspects of going on tour is the pleasure of performing for other communities and giving them a feel for what we do at home. We also look forward to our many educational activities which not only utilize the excellent players in our orchestra, but also our Artist-in-Residence Jon Kimura Parker, and NAC Award Composer, Alexina Louie. We hope the communities we meet enjoy these concerts and activities, and that we will see them again in Ottawa!

The National Arts Centre belongs to all Canadians... and its extremely important to us that we make a real contribution to communities across the country, said Peter Herrndorf, NAC President and CEO. NAC Orchestra performance and education tours provide opportunities for Canadians to hear our musicians in concert halls and in classrooms, while enriching our collaborations with Canadian artists, educators and partners on a national level.

Christopher Deacon, Managing Director of the Orchestra added: We are grateful for the opportunity to assist some of our fellow Canadian orchestras with their fundraising efforts this season by donating the services of Pinchas Zukerman and the NAC Orchestra in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina and Victoria. This, and the on-going education initiatives that begin during the tour and continue into the future, are ways that we are able to leave a lasting imprint after we tour.


The National Arts Centre Orchestra will perform Alexina Louies Infinite Sky with Birds at every public concert. Vancouver-born Alexina Louie, one of Canadas most frequently performed composers, has been one of the NACs three Award Composers since 2002. Infinite Sky with Birds, which had its world premiere at the NAC in 2006, is one of the NAC Orchestra commissions she has composed during this period. Programmes will alternate between the soaring melodies of Tchaikovskys Symphony No. 5 and Mozarts masterful final Symphony (No. 41) known as the Jupiter. Some audiences will have the opportunity to hear Pinchas Zukerman, one of the leading string players in the world, as violin soloist in Mozarts Violin Concerto No. 3. Others will hear the internationally renowned Vancouver-born pianist Jon Kimura Parker performing either Tchaikovskys iconic Piano Concerto No. 1 or Beethovens Piano Concerto No. 4. In Calgary, the NAC Orchestra will combine forces with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to perform Tchaikovskys Symphony No. 5.


The NAC Orchestra will again bring its highly successful recipe for interactive Student Matinees on tour to Whitehorse, Edmonton and Spruce Grove led by Principal Youth and Family Conductor Boris Brott. The Orchestra will present Bravo Beethoven! featuring Ottawa-based actor Peter Duschenes, the Artistic Director of Platypus Theatre, as co-host in the role of Beethoven. The matinees will also feature Victoria-born violinist Nikki Chooi, former student at the Victoria and Mount Royal College Conservatories and a participant in the NACs Summer Music Institute in 2004 and 2005 performing an excerpt from Beethovens Violin Concerto. Teachers will be given a teacher guide and class sets of student newspaper guides designed by the Ottawa Citizen to prepare for the matinees. Students will have the opportunity to sing and play along on recorders with the NAC Orchestra to Beethovens Ode to Joy.


Music Connections is a 9-week project involving up to 90 Grade 3 to 6 students from two inner-city Winnipeg schools Mulvey and Dufferin Schools that began on September 11, 2008 and culminates in a final shared performance with a brass octet from the NAC Orchestra on November 12 during which the children will perform and sing, and present creative responses to Vivaldis Four Seasons through dance, drama, music, visual arts and media. The partners involved are the NAC Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre of the University of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg School Division and Learning Through the Arts of The Royal Conservatory (Toronto).

Teaching artists working with the students include Richard Dub of Saskatoon who taught them how to assemble, decorate and play the Native American flute; singer/songwriter and storyteller Joseph Naytowhow, of the Woodland Cree Nation from Sturgeon Lake SK, who helped prepare the children to sing his composition One People in English and in Cree; and Lacey Eagle, a young opera singer from Flin Flon MB. Beyond the 9-week project, the three local Winnipeg partners will work together to develop a sustainability plan to continue the music programs. In addition, portions will be documented on video and shown at the final performance on November 12th. And from August through December, a research team led by Ann Patteson of Learning Through the Arts will oversee an extensive research component.


The NAC will launch the second phase of its highly successful Music Alive Program (formerly titled Music Ambassador Programme) in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Over the next three school years, 6 professional Alberta and Saskatchewan-based teaching musicians with connections to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Edmonton, Red Deer, Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras will work with classroom teachers and students in 100 schools. The program provides opportunities for students and teachers, primarily in rural schools with limited access to live music and music education resources, to interact with orchestral music and musicians. It also assists generalist teachers in fulfilling provincial curricular objectives for the arts by providing accessible lesson plans. The 2008-09 season will be based on the music of Mozart using the NACs Lets Go Mozart! Teacher Resource Kit and student newspaper guides.


Included in the outreach on the Saskatchewan portion of the NACO Western Tour will be up to 10 performance/presentations and teaching sessions by Saskatchewan-born trumpeter Amy Horvey in her capacity as the recipient of the Richard Li Young Artist Chair for the 2008-2009 season. This honour is awarded annually to an exceptional young Canadian musician under the age of 35 who aspires to, or is in the early stages of, an orchestral career. From Nov 9 to 17, Horvey will visit Regina, Waldeck, Cabri, Vanguard, Swift Current and the University of Saskatoon. The Richard Li Young Artist Chair was established thanks to the generosity of Hong Kong-Canadian businessman Richard Li.


Oct. 25 and 27 at 8 p.m.: Programme 1 (two nights)

Vancouver, BC Orpheum Theatre, presented by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Includes a 7:05 p.m. pre-concert talk by NAC Award Composer Alexina Louie

Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.: Programme 2

Prince George, BC Vanier Hall, presented by the Prince George Symphony Orchestra

Includes a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert lobby performance by District 57 Tapestry Singers and a post-concert Q & A with guest conductor James Judd and soloist Jon Kimura Parker

Oct. 29 at 8 p.m.: Programme 2

Whitehorse, Yukon Territories Yukon Arts Centre presented by Yukon Arts Centre

Includes a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert lobby performance by the Whitehorse Suzuki Strings.

Oct. 30 at 10 a.m.: Student Matinee

Whitehorse, Yukon Territories Yukon Arts Centre, presented by Whitehorse Concerts

Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.: Programme 3

Victoria, BC Royal Theatre, a Gala fundraiser for the Victoria Symphony and the NAC Orchestra presented by Eric Charman

Includes a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert lobby performance by Viva Choirs and an intermission talk by NAC Award Composer Alexina Louie

Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.: Programme 2

Kamloops, BC Sagebrush Theatre, presented by Kamloops Symphony Orchestra

Includes a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert lobby performance by the Kamloops Thompson Honour Choir.

Nov. 4 at 1:15 p.m.: Student Matinee

Edmonton, AB Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Field House, presented by CFB Edmonton in collaboration with Guthrie School (located on the Base)

Nov. 5 at 10:30 a.m.: Student Matinee

Spruce Grove, AB Horizon Stage, presented by City of Spruce Grove

Nov. 7 at 8 p.m.: Programme 4 (Finale combined with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra)

Calgary AB Jack Singer Hall, presented by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

Includes a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert lobby performance by the Arioso Choir of the Mount Royal College Conservatory and an intermission talk by NAC Award Composer Alexina Louie

Nov. 8 at 8 p.m.: Programme 4

Regina SK Conexus Arts Centre, presented by the Regina Symphony Orchestra

Includes a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert lobby performance and an intermission talk by NAC Award Composer Alexina Louie

Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m.: Programme 5

Saskatoon SK TCU Place, presented by the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra

Includes a 6:45 p.m. pre-concert lobby performance by the Saskatoon Strings and an intermission talk by NAC Award Composer Alexina Louie

Nov. 10 at 8 p.m.: Programme 4

Winnipeg MN Centennial Concert Hall, presented by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Includes a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert lobby performance by St. James-Assiniboia Childrens Choir and an intermission talk by NAC Award Composer Alexina Louie.


Programme 1

LOUIE: Infinite Sky With Birds

MOZART: Concerto for Violin No. 3

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5

Programme 2

LOUIE: Infinite Sky with Birds

MOZART: Symphony No. 41

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4

Programme 3

LOUIE : Infinite Sky with Birds

MOZART: Concerto for Violin No. 3

MOZART: Symphony No. 41

Programme 4

LOUIE: Infinite Sky with Birds

TCHAIKOVSKY: Concerto for Piano No. 1

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5

Programme 5

LOUIE : Infinite Sky with Birds

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 5

Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra

Pinchas Zukerman has for four decades been recognized internationally as one of the worlds greatest string players. His discography contains over 100 titles, and has earned him 21 Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards. Since his appointment as Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 1998, he has taken an interest in virtually every aspect of Ottawas artistic community while continuing his international career. He is the driving force behind the national role the National Arts Centre plays in education and community outreach, and in the use of new technology to reach Canadians from coast to coast. This includes the creation in Ottawa of the NAC Summer Music Institute which over ten years has provided training from an international faculty to 581 instrumentalists, conductors and composers from 34 countries.

Touring is an important part of the mandate of the National Arts Centre Orchestra which has visited, in its 39-year history, 112 cities in Canada, and 122 cities internationally. The Western Canada Tour is Pinchas Zukermans ninth tour with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and eighth since being appointed Music Director in 1998. In 1999 he led the coast-to-coast Canada Tour, followed by Tour 2000 to Israel and Europe, the Atlantic Tour 2002, the United States and Mexico Tour 2003, the British Columbia Tour 2004, the Alberta-Saskatchewan Tour in 2005 and the Quebec Tour in 2006. As guest conductor and soloist in 1990, Zukerman led the Orchestra on a European Tour.

Jon Kimura Parker

The extraordinary career of internationally acclaimed concert pianist Jon Kimura Parker has taken him from Carnegie Hall and Londons Royal Festival Hall to Baffin Island and Zimbabwe. In recent seasons, he has performed as guest soloist with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic and the NHK Tokyo Orchestra.

Jon Kimura Parker has a long history with the National Arts Centre Orchestra including a 1998 tour in Canada and a 1996 tour in the Eastern U.S. This season, he is the NAC Orchestras first artist-in-residence appearing in concert and in recital, and playing an integral role in education outreach. The Vancouver-born musician is an Officer of The Order of Canada, this countrys highest civilian honour.

Alexina Louie

One of the most frequently performed Canadian classical composers, Vancouver-born Alexina Louie is a two-time Juno Award-winner of international renown. She has been widely commissioned and performed by Canadas leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists, and has gained both personal acclaim for her compositions and recognition for Canadas new music abroad.

Alexina Louie is one of three recipients of the National Arts Centre Composers Awards ($75,000 each) through which she has written three compositions for the NACO and collaborated on a number of educational and outreach programs. She was Lead Composer of the NAC Summer Music Institutes Young Composers Programme in 2005 and accompanied the Orchestra on its BC Tour in 2004.

James Judd

Considered one of the pre-eminent interpreters of English orchestral music, British-born conductor James Judd is Music Director Emeritus of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, former Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille in France and former Music Director of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra where he spent 14 groundbreaking years including its first tour of the major concert halls of Europe. He has amassed an extensive collection of recordings on the Naxos label.

James Judd made his National Arts Centre Orchestra debut in May 2002 and has returned regularly since. He has led major orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic; conducted in the Salzburg Mozarteum and Viennas Musikverein, and continues to conduct regularly with all of the major British ensembles.

Boris Brott

Boris Brott is one of the most internationally recognized Canadian conductors. He enjoys an international career as guest conductor, educator, motivational speaker and cultural ambassador. In May 2004, he was named to the newly created position of Principal Youth and Family Conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, where for over 20 years he has regularly been conducting student matinees and concerts for young people. On tour, he has led the Orchestra in student matinees in the U.S. (2003), British Columbia (2004), Alberta-Saskatchewan (2005), and Quebec in 2006.

Mr. Brott is founding Conductor and Music Director of the New West Symphony in Los Angeles California. In addition he serves as Artistic Director of the McGill Chamber Orchestra in Montreal and is Artistic Director of the Brott Music Festival, established in 1988. In Canada, Mr. Brott had developed no fewer than six Canadian Orchestras. Internationally, he has served as Assistant Conductor to the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, and as Music Director and Conductor for the Royal Ballet. In 1987, Mr. Brott became an Officer of the Order of Canada.

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