National Arts Centre Orchestra extends Music Director Alexander Shelley's Contract to 2023

September 6, 2018

Since Mr. Shelley joined the NAC as Music Director in 2015, the Orchestra has strengthened its national role and focus on Canadian creation and artists, in addition to receiving acclaim for Mr. Shelley’s exceptional talent as a conductor and communicator.

“I am thrilled to extend my contract with the NAC Orchestra,” said Alexander Shelley. “The past three years have been enormously rewarding, and I’m so proud of what these incredible musicians and I have achieved together. We’ve toured from coast to coast to coast. I’ve hugely enjoyed meeting, working with, and learning from people throughout Canada. As the NAC is reborn inside and out, I’m looking forward to more wonderful projects championing Canadian creation with this superb ensemble.”

This is an eventful time for Mr. Shelley. He and his wife, Zoe, just announced the birth of their first child, a boy named Sasha Felix Shelley, born on August 25.

Since coming to the NAC, Mr. Shelley has worked tirelessly to program outstanding concerts, showcase some of the finest artists in classical music, and develop extensive initiatives in the areas of artistic creation and music education. Highlights of his tenure so far include welcoming world-renowned guest artists Diana Krall, Emanuel Ax and Joshua Bell for performances with the NAC Orchestra; the recording and release of four albums of new works with Montreal label Analekta, namelyLife Reflected, ENCOUNT3RS, New Worlds and The Bounds of our Dreams (to be released in September 2018); the epic Canada 150 Tour which saw the Orchestra visit, perform and engage with communities across Canada; as well as commissioning 13 new Canadian works including Life Reflected and Encount3rs.



In celebration of Alexander Shelley’s contract renewal, the NAC is also announcing today that longtime NAC Foundation donor Elinor Gill Ratcliffe – originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, now living in Kingston, Ontario – has made a $1 million gift in support of Mr. Shelley’s artistic vision. “I am confident that Mr. Shelley will continue to inspire, engage, teach and challenge the NAC Orchestra, audiences, young artists and students in the years to come. I am beyond pleased to provide my support.”

Under the leadership of Alexander Shelley, the NAC Orchestra continues to grow its extensive artistic collaborations with some the most sought-after musicians in the world. For instance, for the 2018-19 season, the NAC Orchestra will welcome to its stages GRAMMYTM award-winning soprano Renée Fleming, homegrown piano superstar Jan Lisiecki and international piano sensation Yefim Bronfman.