LSM Newswire

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The NAC Orchestra launches its 09-10 season with Romantic Revolution Festival led by Music Director Pinchas Zukerman, including guest artists Gil Shah

Ottawa, Canada – Pinchas Zukerman opens the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s 40th anniversary season with the Romantic Revolution Festival from Wednesday, September 23 to Thursday, October 1 with guest stars including violinist Gil Shaham, pianists Angela Cheng, Katherine Chi and Anton Kuerti, and cellist Lynn Harrell. Over the course of five magnificent concerts on September 23, 24, 25, 30 and October 1 – four led by Pinchas Zukerman and one by Jean-Marie Zeitouni – the Festival explores the pivotal period in artistic and musical history that marked the emergence of Romanticism. Audiences will hear the first tentative strains of Romanticism in the music of Haydn (including his Cello Concerto performed by Lynn Harrell) and in Mozart’s later piano concertos (performed by Angela Cheng and Katherine Chi). They will hear it flourish in the glorious passages of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony and Concerto for Violin (the latter performed and conducted by Pinchas Zukerman) and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto (performed by Gil Shaham) and in the anguished harmonies of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony; and reach full power in the Symphony No. 4 by Schumann (Romantic composer par excellence) and the heart-wrenching Prelude to Act III of Verdi’s La Traviata. (A chronological listing of concerts follows.)

Each concert opens with a capella musical selections sung by the
Cantata Singers of Ottawa led by director Michael Zaugg.

The Festival includes “Musically Speaking” talks at 7 p.m. given by media and musical celebrities prior to the concerts on September 23, 24, and 25, and October 1. The first two are in French: “L’Art de composer un programme” with musicologist Carol Bergeron on Sept. 23; “Les Beautés de l’inachèvement : la Huitième Symphonie de Schubert” with François Dompierre, composer and host, Radio-Canada, Espace musique on Sept. 24. The second two are in English: “Schumann’s Revision Quest: a journey from brainstorm to score” with CBC Radio Executive Producer Jill LaForty interviewing CBC Music Producer David Houston on Sept. 25; and “Beethoven Lite” with writer and broadcaster Eric Friesen on Oct. 1. The Oct. 1 concert also includes a Post-Concert Talkback with Eric Friesen interviewing Pinchas Zukerman following the latter’s performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto.

The Sept. 30 concert is a detailed exploration of Mozart’s Final Piano Concerto beginning with a “Beyond the Score®” multi-media exploration of Mozart’s life and times featuring narrator Bill Richardson (of CBC Radio), Ottawa actor Pierre Brault, soprano Donna Brown and pianist Katherine Chi, with the NAC Orchestra performing musical excerpts. In the second half Katherine Chi and the NAC Orchestra led by Jean-Marie Zeitouni perform the concerto in its entirety. “Beyond the Score®” is a presentation of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets for the Romantic Revolution Festival in the NAC’s Southam Hall at 8 p.m. are on sale now at $19, $29, $39.50, $50, $60, $70 and $87.50 at the newly renovated 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 www.nac-cna.ca.

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 grp@nac-cna.ca.

COMPLETE ROMANTIC REVOLUTION FESTIVAL PROGRAMMING

Beethoven’s “Eroica” Wednesday, September 23 at 8 p.m.
Mark Motors Audi Signature Series
Pinchas Zukerman, conductor; Gil Shaham, violin; Cantata Singers of Ottawa; Michael Zaugg, chorus master

Cantata Singers a capella prelude:
BRAHMS Fünf ernste Gesänge, Op. 104

NAC Orchestra:
MALCOLM FORSYTH Jubilee Overture
MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto in E minor
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”

Beethoven’s “Eroica” marks the turning point from Classicism to Romanticism with its extraordinary scope, bold harmonies, and drama. And its title? Originally dedicated to Napoleon, Beethoven angrily changed his dedication to “Sinfonia Eroica, Composed to Celebrate the Memory of a Great Man,” after Napoleon declared himself Emperor. Gil Shaham, recent winner of the coveted Avery Fisher Prize and multiple Grammys, dazzles with lustrous tone and brilliant technique in Mendelssohn’s jewel of a violin concerto.

Musically Speaking: Pre-Concert Chat at 7 p.m. (in French)
“L’Art de composer un programme” with musicologist Carol Bergeron

Wednesday Mark Motors Audi Signature Series subscribers will attend this concert, and Thursday Signature Series subscribers will attend the Thursday, October 1 concert.

***

The Radiance of Mozart Thursday, September 24, 2009
Ovation Series
Pinchas Zukerman, conductor; Angela Cheng, piano; Arianna Zukerman, soprano; Cantata Singers of Ottawa; Michael Zaugg, director

Cantata Singers a capella prelude:
FANNY HENSEL-MENDELSSOHN Gartenlieder, Op. 3: Im Wald; Hörst Du nicht die Bäume rauschen
FELIX MENDELSSOHN Sechs Lieder im Freien zu singen: I. Herbstlied
FANNY HENSEL-MENDELSSOHN Gartenlieder, Op. 3: Abendlich schon rauscht der Wald

NAC Orchestra:
VERDI Prelude to Act III of La Traviata
SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished”
MOZART Aria: “Ch’io mi scordi di te”
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 21 “Elvira Madigan”

Critically acclaimed Angela Cheng, known for her spot-on Mozart interpretations, is the soloist for his 21st Piano Concerto, which took its nickname from the radiant second movement heard in the film Elvira Madigan. Arianna Zukerman’s shimmering voice reveals the beauty of Mozart’s farewell gift to an admired soprano. Plus Schubert’s most famous – and mysteriously abandoned – symphony, the “Unfinished.”

Musically Speaking: Pre-Concert Chat at 7 p.m. (in French)
“Les Beautés de l’inachèvement : la Huitième Symphonie de Schubert” with François Dompierre, composer and host, Radio-Canada, Espace musique

Thursday Ovation Series subscribers will attend this concert, and Wednesday Ovation Series subscribers will attend the Friday, September 25 concert.

***

Lynn Harrell & a Haydn Classic Friday, September 25, 2009
Ovation Series
Pinchas Zukerman, conductor; Lynn Harrell, cello; Cantata Singers of Ottawa; Michael Zaugg, director

Cantata Singers a capella prelude:
SCHUMANN Vier doppelchorige Gesange: Ungewisses Licht
SCHUBERT Die Nacht, Op. 17
BRAHMS Nun stehn die Rosen in Blüte
SCHUMANN Vier doppelchörigie Gesänge: Talismane

NAC Orchestra:
BACH Suite for solo cello
HAYDN Cello Concerto in C major
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 4

Schumann gave his wife the Fourth Symphony as a special gift: it celebrated her 22nd birthday, their first wedding anniversary, and the christening of their first child, and even included a musical portrait of her. Lynn Harrell’s appealing way of reaching out to an audience has captured rapt listeners not only at the world’s famed concert halls, but also at the Grammys, where showbiz glitterati marveled at his artistry.

Musically Speaking: Pre-Concert Chat at 7 p.m. (in English) “Schumann’s Revision Quest: a journey from brainstorm to score”
CBC Radio Executive Producer Jill LaForty interviews CBC Music Producer David Houston

Wednesday Ovation Series subscribers will attend this concert, and Thursday Ovation Series subscribers will attend the Thursday, September 24 concert.

***

Mozart’s Final Piano Concerto *Beyond the Score® Wednesday, September 30, 2009
National Arts Centre Orchestra; Jean-Marie Zeitouni, conductor; Katherine Chi, piano; Donna Brown, soprano; Bill Richardson, narrator; Pierre Brault, actor

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 27

Join the NAC Orchestra and conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni, with stellar soloists, actor Pierre Brault and narrator Bill Richardson to explore the history of Mozart’s music. The first half of this program includes projected images, musical examples performed by the NAC Orchestra and soloists, and theatrical narration; the second half features a performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 in its entirety.

English narration with French surtitles

This concert is part of the Romantic Revolution Festival.

* Beyond the Score is produced by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

***

Pinchas Plays Beethoven Thursday, October 1, 2009
Mark Motors Audi Signature Series
Pinchas Zukerman, conductor and violin; Anton Kuerti, piano; Combined Ottawa Choruses; Duain Wolfe, chorus master

Cantata Singers a capella prelude:
FRIEDRICH SILCHER Ännchen von Tharau
MENDELSSOHN Abshied vom Walde
PETER CORNELIUS Der Traum
BRAHMS Abschiedslied

Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27
BEETHOVEN Egmont Overture
BEETHOVEN Choral Fantasy
BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto

Beethoven’s notoriously difficult masterpiece, sometimes dubbed “the Mount Everest of violin concertos,” has near sacred status, testing the mettle of performers. What makes this evening even more extraordinary is that Pinchas Zukerman is not only the soloist but also conducts. Rounding out this all-Beethoven concert is a dramatic overture and the stately Choral Fantasy that, in tone and melody, foreshadows the “Ode to Joy” of the Ninth Symphony.

Musically Speaking: Pre-Concert Chat at 7 p.m. (in English)
“Beethoven Lite” with writer and broadcaster Eric Friesen

Musically Speaking: Post-Concert Talkback
Writer and broadcaster Eric Friesen interviews Pinchas Zukerman, Music Director of the NAC Orchestra

Thursday Mark Motors Audi Signature Series subscribers will attend this concert, and Wednesday Signature Series subscribers will attend the Wednesday, September 23 concert.

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