LSM Newswire

Monday, January 5, 2009

NACO, Jan 8-9: Pinchas Zukerman leads Beethoven's Fifth on an all-Beethoven program with pianist Jonathan Biss

Pinchas Zukerman leads Beethoven’s Fifth on an all-Beethoven program on January 8 and 9 that also features American pianist Jonathan Biss in the Piano Concerto No. 3

Ottawa (Canada) – Four instantly recognizable notes (“ba-ba-ba-BAH”) start you on a magnificent journey called Beethoven’s Fifth. Music Director Pinchas Zukerman will lead the way through this most celebrated and superb of all symphonies on an all-Beethoven program to begin the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s New Year on Thursday, January 8 and Friday, January 9 at 8 p.m. in the NAC’s Southam Hall. These Bostonian Bravo Series concerts open with the brilliant young American pianist Jonathan Biss performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

The NAC is offering two ways for audiences to prepare for the experience. Beethoven’s Third Concerto is part of the NAC Orchestra’s online “Explore the Symphony” series of podcasts by music critic Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer hosted in separate English and French versions by NAC Orchestra assistant principal double bass Marjolaine Fournier. The podcast can be found online in the podcast section of the NAC website, or in the Jan. 8-9 event listing, or in the NAC Orchestra under “Explore the Symphony”.

This concert also offers the first of this year’s “Musically Speaking” pre-concert performance-demonstrations featuring an artist on the Debut Series together with a teacher. On Friday, January 9 (one night only) at 7 p.m., concertgoers are invited to explore Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 as described by teacher James Anagnoson, the Dean of the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and demonstrated by young pianist Alexander Serendenko. This entertaining and informative lecture-demonstration, hosted by Paul Lefebvre, is free. (Alexander Serendenko will also perform a one-hour Debut Series recital at 12 noon on January 9 in the NAC Foyer.)

American pianist Jonathan Biss first performed Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto in 1999. He says, “Once when my favourite moment came – the hushed entry of the timpani after the cadenza – it hit me so hard I stopped breathing. This is not the wisest course of action when playing a concerto, but I can honestly say it was involuntary.”

Twenty-eight-year-old American pianist Jonathan Biss has already proved himself an accomplished and exceptional musician with a flourishing international reputation through his orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances in North America and Europe and through his EMI Classics recordings. He made his debut with the NAC Orchestra in 2002, and his most recent appearance at the NAC was in September 2007, playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 under the direction of Pinchas Zukerman. Since he made his New York Philharmonic debut in 2001, Jonathan Biss has appeared with the foremost orchestras of the United States and Europe. This season includes debuts with the Colorado Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets for these Bostonian Bravo Series concerts on Thursday, January 8 and Friday, January 9 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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