This spring and fall the National Arts Centre Orchestra will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation by embarking on a national tour–the first to be led by the Orchestra’s highly acclaimed Music Director Alexander Shelley.

 

The Canada 150 Tour begins in Atlantic Canada from April 26 to May 7, and will feature the internationally renowned Canadian violinist James Ehnes, who will perform Eric Korngold’s Violin Concerto. Ehnes is a GRAMMY® Award and 10-time JUNO winning violinist, and is widely considered one of the world’s finest living soloists.

 

Repertoire will feature classical masterworks, as well as I Lost My Talk, a new work by Alberta composer John Estacio. The work is based on the poem of the same name by Mi’kmaw poet and elder Rita Joe, C.M., about her experience at Shubenacadie Residential School in Nova Scotia.

 

The Atlantic leg of the Canada 150 Tour includes 50 education and community engagement activities that will unite the musicians of the Orchestra with students, educators, community leaders and artists. The tour will also include a series of meaningful events that will focus on reconciliation through the arts.

 

“2017 is an incredible year for Canada and for all Canadians,” said Music Director Alexander Shelley. “What better way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation than by putting together a line-up of concerts and education events featuring the best artists and musicians Canada has to offer, and bringing it right to the doorsteps of Canadians all across the country.”

“Bringing exciting and original programming to Canadians across the country is part of our mandate as the National Arts Centre Orchestra,” said Managing Director Christopher Deacon. “We are delighted to be partnering with outstanding performing arts, education and community organizations across Canada on what is sure to be an exhilarating tour.”

 

“Our education activities are tailored to the specific needs of the communities we visit,” said Geneviève Cimon, Director of Music Education and Community Engagement. “We want to give students the opportunity to celebrate their unique cultures and perspectives through the transformative power of music.”

MAJOR CONCERTS: ATLANTIC CANADA

Thursday, April 27 – St. John’s AC Centre
Saturday, April 29 (NAC Orchestra and Sistema New Brunswick) – Moncton Wesleyan Celebration Centre

Monday, May 1 – Charlottetown Confederation Centre of the Arts
Wednesday, May 3 – Eskasoni, Nova Scotia, Eskasoni Hockey Arena
Thursday, May 4 – Saint John Imperial Theatre
Saturday, May 6 – Halifax Rebecca Cohn Auditorium

 

A detailed schedule can be found at the bottom of this release.

I LOST MY TALK IN ESKASONI, NOVA SCOTIA

 

Each performance in Atlantic Canada will culminate with I Lost My Talk by Edmonton-based composer John Estacio. This lush and powerful new work, which premiered during the NAC Orchestra’s 2015‒2016 season, is based on the poem by Mi’kmaw elder and poet Rita Joe, C.M., about her experience at Shubenacadie Residential School in Nova Scotia. Reviewer Christophe Husse from Le Devoir called it one of “Estacio’s very best compositions for orchestra … a truly powerful and overwhelming creation.”  It will be performed with film presentation and live narration by Guna and Rappahannock actor Monique Mojica.

 

On Wednesday, May 3, on what is sure to be a tour highlight, the Orchestra will perform I Lost My Talk at Eskasoni First Nation on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia – the largest Mi’kmaq community in the world, and the home of Rita Joe and her family. The day will also include a band clinic day for more than 200 Cape Breton students on Cape Breton Island at Eskasoni First Nation.

 

I Lost My Talk was commissioned for the NAC Orchestra by the family of The Right Honourable Joe Clark, P.C., C.C., A.O.E., to commemorate his 75th birthday.

 

SIDE BY SIDE CONCERT WITH SISTEMA NEW BRUNSWICK

 

On Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, the NAC Orchestra will work with Sistema New Brunswick, an organization that promotes social change through music. On Saturday, April 29, the day will culminate with a historic concert in which both orchestras will share the stage and perform “side by side.”

 

THE LAUNCH OF THE NAC’S MUSIC ALIVE PROGRAM IN ATLANTIC CANADA

 

The National Arts Centre acts as a catalyst for learning across Canada. The NAC’s Music Alive Program sends local teaching musicians to work with children in rural and remote communities, and its programming promotes musical and cultural diversity. Developed in consultation with local arts organizations and in consultation with school boards, the Music Alive Program began in 2006 in Alberta and Saskatchewan. It expanded to Nunavut in 2010, then to Manitoba in 2011. The program has now reached more than 105,000 students, teachers and community members across Canada.

 

From April 28-30 the NAC will launch the Music Alive Program’s expansion to Atlantic Canada with a Young Artist Summit in Saint John, New Brunswick, for indigenous performers, in partnership with the East Coast Music Association and the Canada Council for the Arts. The Music Alive Program, which will run in all four Atlantic provinces, is being established in partnership with community leaders, local organizations, classroom teachers, arts specialists and teaching artists across Atlantic Canada.

EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES

 

In addition to student matinees, masterclasses, private coaching sessions and musician-in-schools performances, education and community engagement highlights include:

 

  • Thursday, April 27, St. John’s AC Centre, 20:00 – A performance by the Shallaway choir in St. John’s that will include a new work with words by Newfoundland poet and playwright Robert Chafe and Toronto composer Larysa Kuzmenko
  • Wednesday, April 26, District Conference Centre, 8:45 – A day of professional development for Newfoundland teachers with Alexander Shelley and members of the NAC Orchestra
  • Wednesday, April 26, Holy Heart School, 13:00 – A student matinee led by Alexander Shelley at Holy Heart School featuring the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra
  • Wednesday, April 26, St. John’s Rocket Room, 20:00 – A musical evening Duane Andrews and members of the NAC Orchestra

 

  • Monday, May 1, Murphy’s Community Centre, 9:30 – Alexander Shelley conducting local choirs and Singing Strings in Charlottetown as part of the national Music Monday celebration
  • Wednesday, May 3, Allison Bernard Memorial High School, 9:30 – A band clinic day for more than 200 Cape Breton students on Cape Breton Island at Eskasoni First Nation, the largest Mi’kmaq community in the world, and the home of Mi’kmaw Elder and Poet, Rita Joe C.M.
  • Thursday, May 4, Saint John High School master class and workshops for local-area students
  • Friday, May 5, Location TBA, 20:00 – A musical evening in Halifax featuring artists and youth from the African Nova Scotian community

 

 

FOLLOW THE TOUR ONLINE

People from across Canada and around the world can follow this extraordinary tour by visiting nacotour.ca.  Daily reports will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter @CanadasNAC.

 

PARTNERS IN MUSIC PERFORMANCE AND EDUCATION

The Canada 150 Tour is made possible with leadership support from Tour Patrons Gail and David O’Brien, Presenting Supporters Alice and Grant Burton, Supporting Partners Peng Lin & Yu Gu and Education Partner Dasha Shenkman, OBE, Hon RCM.

 

ABOUT ALEXANDER SHELLEY AND THE NAC ORCHESTRA

In September 2015 Alexander Shelley took up the mantle as Music Director, leading a new era for the National Arts Centre’s Orchestra. Shelley has an unwavering reputation as one of Europe’s leading young conductors, notably as Chief conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and most recently as the Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Formed in 1969 at the opening of Canada’s National Arts Centre, the NAC Orchestra gives over 100 performances a year with renowned artists including Itzhak Perlman, Renée Fleming, James Ehnes, Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. It is noted for the passion and clarity of its performances and recordings, its ground-breaking teaching and outreach programs, and nurturing of Canadian creativity. Since its inception the Orchestra has commissioned 80 works, mostly from Canadian composers. In 2001 it inaugurated the National Arts Centre Awards for Canadian Composers and the recipients thus far have been Denys Bouliane, John Estacio, Peter Paul Koprowski, Gary Kulesha, Alexina Louie and Ana Sokolović.

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TO BOOK AN INTERVIEW, PLEASE CONTACT:

 

Andrea Ruttan

Communications Officer, NAC Orchestra
(613) 947-7000, ext. 335
Andrea.Ruttan@nac-cna.ca

 

DETAILED TOUR SCHEDULE: ATLANTIC CANADA

 

St. John’s

Thursday, April 27, 2017, 20:00

St. John’s AC Centre, St. John’s, Newfoundland

Alexander Shelley, conductor

James Ehnes, violin

Shallaway Youth Choir

NAC Orchestra

Monique Mojica, actor

CALIXA LAVALLÉE / Chapman O Canada
TBA Intermezzo – New Work for Shallaway Youth Choir and NAC Orchestra
ANTONIN DVORAK Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”
ERICH KORNGOLD Concerto in D Major, Opus 35, for Violin and Orchestra
JOHN ESTACIO I Lost My Talk

Plus: Pre-concert event and Open Rehearsal with Shallaway Choir and Inuit singers

 

Moncton
Side by Side Sistema Concert

Saturday, April 29, 2016, 19:00

Moncton Wesleyan Celebration Centre, Moncton, New Brunswick

Alexander Shelley, conductor

NAC Orchestra Members

Sistema New Brunswick – Moncton Youth Orchestra

The NAC Orchestra will perform Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, 4th movement

 

Charlottetown
Music Monday Event

Monday, May 1, 2017, 13:00

Murphy’s Community Centre, Charlottetown, PEI

Alexander Shelley, conductor

NAC Orchestra members

Workshops, Music Monday activities and a concert

 

Monday, May 1, 20:00

Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, PEI

Alexander Shelley, conductor

James Ehnes, violin

NAC Orchestra

Monique Mojica, actor


CALIXA LAVALLÉE / Chapman O Canada
ANTONIN DVORAK Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”
ERICH KORNGOLD Concerto in D Major, Opus 35, for Violin and Orchestra
JOHN ESTACIO I Lost My Talk

 

Eskasoni

Wednesday, May 3, 12:00

Eskasoni Hockey Arena, NS

Alexander Shelley, conductor

James Ehnes, violin

NAC Orchestra

Monique Mojica, actor

 

Program TBD

 

Saint John

Thursday, May 4, 2017, 20:00

Saint John Imperial Theatre, Saint John, NB

Alexander Shelley, conductor

James Ehnes, violin

NAC Orchestra

Monique Mojica, actor

 

CALIXA LAVALLÉE / Chapman O Canada
ANTONIN DVORAK Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”
ERICH KORNGOLD Concerto in D Major, Opus 35, for Violin and Orchestra
JOHN ESTACIO I Lost My Talk

 

Halifax

Saturday, May 6, 2017, 19:30

Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Dalhousie Arts Centre, Halifax, NS

Alexander Shelley, conductor

James Ehnes, violin

NAC Orchestra

Monique Mojica, actor
CALIXA LAVALLÉE / Chapman O Canada
ANTONIN DVORAK Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World”
JEAN SIBELIUS Concerto in D minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 47
JOHN ESTACIO I Lost My Talk