On Tour in Toronto

February 22, 2019

Following a busy week of performances, recording and community outreach work in Ottawa, Alexander and the National Arts Centre Orchestra this weekend travel to Toronto for a concert at Roy Thomson Hall, presented by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. 

The programme, which they performed twice in Ottawa last week, features French pianist David Fray interpreting Chopin’s 2nd Piano Concerto and opens with NAC Orchestra leaders Yosuke Kawasaki and Jessica Linnebach assuming the solo roles for Jocelyn Morlock’s intimate work ‘Cobalt’. 

This first half combination is paired with Schumann’s optimistic 1st Symphony, a work which the orchestra has now also recorded as part of an upcoming series of releases on the Analekta label. Schumann himself was an early and generous advocate of Chopin’s piano music and this symphony marked his first, lyrical foray into a genre still, in his mind and the mind of most composers, dominated by Beethoven.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week Alexander visited schools around Ottawa to work with young musicians and ensembles. This season sees the NAC Orchestra collaborating with Hillcrest High School in the ‘Ensemble Together’ project, which will include teaching visits by NACO musicians, collaborative concerts and creative projects. On Tuesday Alexander rehearsed Hillcrest’s Senior Band and took part in a video interview with some of the students, discussing music as a career. The following day Alexander rehearsed with the senior string ensembles from Canterbury High School and Ecole secondary publique de la Salle, leading a collaborative concert with the two orchestras at Canterbury School that evening. To find out more about the NAC’s outreach work, visit the orchestra’s website here.