November 2002
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Orchestra Wows New Brunswick audience
By Mahmoud H., Grade 12, Fredericton High School, Fredericton, NB

Jaws crashed when the National Arts Centre Orchestra graced the stage at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick. Under the baton of the supreme violinist Pinchas Zukerman, the orchestra performed works by Beethoven, Schubert and Kulesha.

The Saint John concert represented the end of the NAC orchestra Atlantic Canada tour, that included St. John's, Charlottetown, Halifax, and Moncton. During the tour the orchestra assisted in the development of young talent and young audiences by presenting close to sixty educational outreach activities.

Atlantic Canadians anticipated that the tour would be a success. One music director of an Atlantic youth orchestra said "In Atlantic Canada, we are proud of our musical heritage and the success we have had in developing professional musicians. A large part of this success has come about because we work hard to provide students with the opportunity to be exposed to the highest quality artists available. The National Arts Centre Orchestra Tour will be an extremely important part of this endeavour in 2002-2003."

The first selection on the programme was "Syllables of Unknown Meaning." It was created to celebrate the millennium, and it represented the first century (1000-1100). The composition was very fragile and it depicted distant memories, described by the composer as "the memories of a dream the next morning." This piece was somewhat overshadowed by Schubert's third symphony which gave the audience a taste of the orchestra's full potential.

The whole theatre was silent as people listened, totally spell-bound by Zukerman as he performed and conducted the Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major. It evoked emotions that most people did not even know existed. This was truly the highlight of the evening.

In addition to the Atlantic Tour, the National Arts Centre will host a festival of the Atlantic arts and culture. Atlantic Scene will take place in the National Capital Region from April 22 to May 4, 2003.


National Arts Centre Orchestra website


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