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Thursday, December 20, 2007

NACO, Jan. 10 : NAC Orchestra launches new Debut Series of recitals and "Exploration of the Concerto"

National Arts Centre Orchestra / News Release

December 19, 2007

For immediate release

NAC Orchestra launches new Debut Series of recitals and "Exploration of the Concerto" on Jan. 10

Ottawa , CanadaThe National Arts Centre Orchestra's long established Debut Series, which gives talented young musicians the opportunity to perform in recital at the NAC, will begin a new format in the New Year. The first concert of the new series takes place on Thursday, January 10 at noon in the NAC Salon featuring violinist Nikki Chooi from Victoria, BC and pianist Jean Desmarais. The programme will include the Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin Op 30, No.3, Tchaikovsky's Melodie and Waxman's Carmen Fantasy. Admission is $3, with proceeds going to fund the NACO Bursary.

Each Debut Series concert is connected to a Musically Speaking "Exploration of the Concerto" prior to that evening's National Arts Centre Orchestra concert, at which the young instrumentalist and mentor discuss and demonstrate the concerto to be performed. On January 10 at 18:30 in the Salon, violinist Nikki Chooi and his former teacher William van der Sloot of Mount Royal College Conservatory, with Jean Desmarais at the piano, will explore elements of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto to be performed that evening by superstar Midori. Admission to the Pre-Concert Talk hosted by Paul Lefebvre is free.

In addition, the following day on Friday, January 11, William van der Sloot will give a masterclass as part of the NAC International Masterclass Series from 9:30 to 11:30 in the NAC's Rehearsal Hall B.

The next Debut Series features cellist Ni Tao in recital with pianist Jean Desmarais on February 21 at noon, and in a pre-concert "Explore the Concerto" with mentor John Kadz of Mount Royal Conservatory at 19:00. Pianist-teacher André Laplante (student and exact date TBA) will be featured in April.

Nikki Chooi, born in Victoria, is in his freshman year at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia studying with Joseph Silverstein and Ida Kavafian. His previous teachers include Bill van der Sloot at the Mount Royal College Conservatory, and Sydney Humphreys at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He participated in a masterclass with Pinchas Zukerman during the NAC Orchestra's BC Tour in 2004, and subsequently participated in the NAC Summer Music Institute. He was awarded two Special Prizes and was a semifinalist at the XIII Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition at which he was the only Canadian. His many other awards include being the only competitor to place 1st in three major categories in the history of the Canadian National Music Festival. He has performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

William van der Sloot has established a reputation as a leader in the development of young artists in Canada. His students have won international acclaim, having won prizes in many major national and international competitions, including Grand Prizes at the Canadian National Festival and the Canadian Music Competition. He has given many master classes for major music organizations in Canada, the United States, Germany, Russia, and China. He will again be a faculty member at Mount Royal College's international Morningside Music Bridge program this summer and at the Valhalla Summer School of Music in Silverton, BC. He has worked in extensive masterclass seminars with Max Rostal, Tibor Varga, Yehudi Menhuin, Joseph Gingold, and members of the Juilliard, Hungarian, and Alban Berg String Quartets.

-30-

Jane Morris

Communications Officer/Agente de communication

National Arts Centre Orchestra/Orchestre du Centre national des Arts

Telephone/Téléphone: 613-947-7000 x 335

Fax: 613-996-2828

www.nac-cna.ca

www.artsalive.ca

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