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Thursday, February 26, 2009

2009 NAC Gala: a Magical Evening with Yo-Yo Ma and Pinchas Zukerman on Oct. 3

The 2009 NAC Gala offers a Magical Evening with Yo-Yo Ma and the NAC Orchestra led by Pinchas Zukerman on Oct. 3

Ottawa, Canada Yo-Yo Ma is the greatest cellist today. Everything he touches he turns to gold...gorgeous, almost voluptuous playing. Boston Herald

The National Arts Centre is delighted to announce that superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the most popular artist in classical music today, will return as special guest for the 2009 NAC Gala on Saturday, October 3. Music Director Pinchas Zukerman will lead the National Arts Centre Orchestra for this Magical Evening with Yo-Yo Ma, presented by TELUS. The fundraising evening benefits the National Youth and Education Trust which provides funds for the NACs wide array of performing arts programming for young artists, young audiences and schools.

Yo-Yo Ma has been a cultural beacon for decades. Young and old flock to his sold-out concerts, coming away moved, thrilled, and inspired. This astonishing artist has performed at the Oscars, the Grammys, the Olympics, and recently before a live audience of over a million at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. He returns to the NAC Orchestra to perform Dvorks beloved Cello Concerto with the NACs own luminary Pinchas Zukerman leading the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Additional programming will be announced at a later date.

There will be a pre-concert reception for all patrons at 5:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 6:30 p.m. Those who purchase Encore Seating will join Gala sponsors at a post-concert reception, followed by dinner on the Southam Hall stage.

Subscribers who sign up for the 2009-2010 National Arts Centre Orchestra season, which will be announced on March 3, will benefit from a priority purchasing period from April 1 to 15 before tickets go on sale to the general public on May 18.

The NAC is honoured once again to have TELUS, Founding Partner of the National Youth and Education Trust, as the Presenting Sponsor of the Gala a commitment that reflects TELUSs continuing support of this primary resource for supporting the artistic development of young Canadians through educational materials, professional training, mentoring programs and young audience performances. The Trust is also supported by Michael Potter and Vronique Dhieux, supporters and patrons of the National Arts Centre Gala, and members of the NAC Foundations Donors Circle.

The NAC is delighted to announce that Janet Yale, TELUS executive vice president, Corporate Affairs, has agreed to chair the Gala Committee for the fourth year.

Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and soon came with his family to New York, where he spent most of his formative years. Later, his principal teacher was Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. He sought out a traditional liberal arts education to expand upon his conservatory training, graduating from Harvard University in 1976. He has received numerous awards, including 15 Grammy Awards from his discography of over 75 albums, the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), and the World Economic Forums Crystal Award (2008). Appointed a CultureConnect Ambassador by the United States Department of State in 2002, Yo-Yo Ma has met with, trained and mentored thousands of students worldwide. In 2006, Secretary General Kofi Annan named him a U.N. Messenger of Peace and in 2007 Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon extended his appointment.

Pinchas Zukerman has been Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 1998, and his genius and prodigious technique have been a marvel to critics and audiences for over four decades. He is equally respected as a violinist, violist, conductor, and chamber musician while his dedication to teaching has been a major catalyst for many of the education initiatives supported by the National Youth and Education Trust. Pinchas Zukerman's discography contains over 100 titles, and has earned him 21 Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards. He was named first-prize winner of the 1969 Leventritt Competition, and, in 1983, President Reagan awarded him a Medal of Arts for his leadership in the musical world. In October 2002, he became the first recipient of the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence at the National Arts Awards Gala in New York City.

Pinchas Zukerman and the National Arts Centre Orchestra donate their services for the NACs annual Gala.

Concert tickets for the NAC Gala on Saturday, October 3 are priced at $70, $125 and $150 and include the pre-concert reception with wine and canaps at 5:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 6:30 p.m. These go on sale on April 1 to members of the NAC Donors Circle and to subscribers to the National Arts Centre Orchestras 2009-2010 season which goes on sale on March 3. Orders can be made only with a valid order form which will be accepted online, by mail, by fax, or dropped off in person in the NAC Box Office from Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. This priority period lasts until April 15. The Box Office opens to the general public on May 18.

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