February 25, 2020

Alexander Shelley and the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) had a busy and intense early month of February. They were joined by violinist Joshua Bell for concerts in Ottawa and in Toronto for which they were praised for ‘luscious interpretations‘ of music by Lili Boulanger, Jocelyn Morlock and Debussy alongside Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.

In the following week the orchestra returned to Ottawa for the world premiere of Stewart Goodyear‘s new Cello Concerto, written for and performed by NACO principal cellist Rachel Mercer. This premiere was complimented by music from south of the boarder: Barber’s Adagio, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Copland’s Four Dances from Rodeo among others. Read Artsfile’s Natasha Gauthier’s review of the concert here.

During the following weekend youth and education was in the foreground, with the National Arts Centre welcomed hundreds of young people to its Big Bang Festival. Shelley led the NACO in two children’s concerts exploring the music of Mozart as part of the festivities and subsequently spent a morning with the String Orchestra of Hillcrest High School working on their latest repertoire.

Shelley next returns to the NACO in April for an exciting performance of Vivian Fung’s ‘Launch’, Vincent Ho’s percussion concerto ‘The Shaman’ with superstar soloist Evelyn Glennie, as well as Brahms’s 3rd Symphony.

This week, Alexander’s ‘Composer360°‘ series with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra continues at Cadogan Hall with ‘Wagner360°’. In this latest instalment music by Hans von Bülow, Liszt, Brahms and Wagner will be performed as the series explores the life and times of the creator of the legendary Ring cycle. As always, Alexander conducts and presents the concert, offering insight into the stories behind the music. Tickets and further info here.