LSM Newswire

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

NACO, June 10-11: NACO's first performance of Scheherazade; Kirill Gerstein plays Ravel's Concerto in G

Music Director Pinchas Zukerman leads the National Arts Centre Orchestra in its first-ever performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s glittering Scheherazade on Wednesday, June 10 and Thursday, June 11 at 8 p.m. in the NAC’s Southam Hall. These Mark Motor Audi Signature Series concerts also feature the NAC Orchestra debut of Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein presenting the sophisticated jazz stylings of Ravel’s sultry Concerto in G. The expanded orchestra for this concert, which opens with Copland’s majestic Fanfare for the Common Man, is made possible in part through the Friends of the NAC Orchestra Kilpatrick Fund.

There will be Musically Speaking Pre-concert Chats both nights at 7 p.m. in English titled “Classical and Jazz: Not Such Strange Bedfellows” featuring composer, arranger, musician and CBC Radio personality Andrew Craig, and hosted by CBC Radio’s Alan Neal.

Both nights, there will also be an intimate post-concert Jazz Café in the NAC’s Fourth Stage hosted by Alan Neal and Andrew Craig and featuring Ottawa’s star bassist John Geggie with his guests, pianist Edward Simon and Montreal drummer Jim Doxas. Their performance will consist of many original compositions as well as repertoire reflecting their interest in classical composers and the improvised jazz idiom. Tickets for the Jazz Café are sold separately from the NAC Orchestra concert and cost $15.

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade will offer the NAC Orchestra concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki a chance to shine. In the composer’s musical setting of the Arabian Nights, it is the solo violin that personifies Scheherazade, the entrancing storyteller who postpones her death a thousand and one nights by bewitching the vengeful wife-killing Sultan with her exotic tales.

Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein is quickly proving to be one of today’s most promising and intriguing young artists. Born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia, he went to the US at the age of 14 to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston later studying with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music and Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid. Gerstein received the First Prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv and was a recipient of a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award. He was also selected as Carnegie Hall’s “Rising Star” for the 2005-06 season.

Kirill Gerstein says: “I both love and admire the G-major Ravel piano concerto. It seamlessly combines influences from the world of Jazz, Spanish music, Mozart and the Baroque, all the while sounding unmistakably Ravel. The composer himself said that he wanted this concerto to be “entertaining” – and it is, in the best sense of the word. Within a compact form, there is a multitude of moods, serious emotion in the beautiful second movement, virtuosic solos for various instruments and sections of the orchestra as well as brilliant piano writing. I am very much looking forward to playing the piece with the NAC Orchestra and Maestro Zukerman.”

Tickets for these National Arts Centre Orchestra concerts led by Pinchas Zukerman with pianist Kirill Gerstein on Wednesday, June 10 and Thursday, June 11 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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