LSM Newswire

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NACO, Feb. 18-19: Grammy-winner James Ehnes performs Korngold Concerto

Violinist James Ehnes performs the Korngold Violin Concerto for which he won a 2008 Grammy Award. These NAC Orchestra concerts on Feb. 18-19 led by David Lockington include the world premiere of “The Kiss”, an NAC-commission from composer Scott Good

Ottawa (Canada) – James Ehnes, the violin virtuoso from Brandon, Manitoba, who is widely considered one of classical music’s brightest talents, took the Triple Crown of music last year – winning, a GRAMOPHONE AWARD, a JUNO and a GRAMMY, the latter two for his recording of the Korngold Violin Concerto. He will perform this romantic masterpiece with the National Arts Centre Orchestra led by British conductor David Lockington on Wednesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 19 at 8 p.m. in the NAC’s Southam Hall. These Mark Motors Audi Signature Series concerts include the world premiere of “The Kiss”, a work commissioned by the NAC from Canadian composer Scott Good, a former participant in the NAC Summer Music Institute’s Composers Program. Maestro Lockington completes the evening with Elgar’s Enigma Variations – fourteen charming portraits of the composer and his friends based on a theme, the identity of which is one of history’s greatest musical mysteries.

Korngold was the first composer of international stature to hold a contract with a movie studio, and in the Golden Age of Hollywood he turned out lush, romantic, heroic, swashbuckling scores enjoyed by millions in such classics as The Adventures of Robin Hood, Of Human Bondage, Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk, among many others. Korngold’s Violin Concerto draws most of its principal themes from his film scores, and it is pure romanticism all the way, with the soloist seldom out of the spotlight. It was premiered by none other than Jascha Heifetz.

James Ehnes won the 2008 GRAMMY and JUNO Awards for Best Classical Album of the year for his recording of the Korngold, Barber and Walton Concertos with the Vancouver Symphony. He also won the 2008 Gramophone Award for Best Concerto Recording of the Year for Elgar’s Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra (London). And the honours keep coming! He recently received his 13th JUNO nomination for Homage, an extraordinary project featuring performances on 12 of the greatest string instruments ever made by master craftsmen Stradivari, the Guarneri family, Guadagnini and others, all belonging to the unique Fulton Collection. Ehnes performs 21 musical selections all carefully chosen to showcase each individual instrument. James Ehnes has performed in over 20 countries on five continents with many of the world’s most renowned orchestras and conductors. He first performed at the NAC in recital on the NAC Debut Series in 1993 at age 16 and a few months later made his NAC Orchestra debut at the CBC Young Performers Competition which he won. He has returned regularly since both with the NAC Orchestra and in recital.

Composer Scott Good’s association with the National Arts Centre began in 2005 when he became a member of the Orchestra’s Composers program. He wrote a string quartet (Sun-Moon) and a work for chamber orchestra (Variations), both of which were performed at the NAC. His orchestral work Cry was also performed at the NAC by the Orchestre de la francophonie canadienne in 2007, at which time the NAC Orchestra commissioned him to write a new work which will now have its world premiere. Scott Good explains how he was inspired by the sculptures of renowned French artist Auguste Rodin. “The Kiss had a particularly profound impact on me with its sense of proportion and physical sensuality. The bodies are in perfect balance, neither dominating the other. The impression was so strong that I hoped somehow to pay tribute this work. The commission to write a new piece for the National Arts Centre Orchestra provided the appropriate opportunity.”

Tickets for these Mark Motors Audi Signature Series concerts with violinist James Ehnes, conductor David Lockington and the NAC Orchestra on Wednesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 19 at 8 p.m. are on sale now at $19.00, $39.00, $49.00, $59.00, $69.00 and $86.00 (GST and Facility Fee included) at the NAC Box Office (Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), and through Ticketmaster (with surcharges) at 613-755-1111. Ticketmaster may also be accessed through the NAC’s website at

Half-price tickets for students in all sections of the hall are on sale in person at the NAC Box Office upon presentation of a valid student ID card. Live Rush tickets (subject to availability) for full-time students (aged 13 to 29) are $11 at the NAC Box Office from 2 p.m. the day before the concert to 6 p.m. the day of, upon presentation of a valid Live Rush card.

Groups of 10 and more save 15% to 20% off the regular price of tickets to NAC Music, Theatre and Dance performances. To reserve your seats call 613-947-7000 ext. 384 or email

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