13 episodes

How did the NAC Orchestra become the world class organization it is today? Veteran broadcaster Eric Friesen chronicles the unfolding drama of the NAC Orchestra from its earliest days in 1969 to the present time. With his charming personality and a host of probing questions, he interviews conductors, orchestral musicians, guest artists and administrators about the Orchestra’s beginnings, the challenges it faced, the tours it made all over Canada and to many foreign lands, and the kind of individuals it took to mold the Orchestra into what it is today.

Eric Friesen presents the NAC Orchestra Canada's National Arts Centre

    • Music

How did the NAC Orchestra become the world class organization it is today? Veteran broadcaster Eric Friesen chronicles the unfolding drama of the NAC Orchestra from its earliest days in 1969 to the present time. With his charming personality and a host of probing questions, he interviews conductors, orchestral musicians, guest artists and administrators about the Orchestra’s beginnings, the challenges it faced, the tours it made all over Canada and to many foreign lands, and the kind of individuals it took to mold the Orchestra into what it is today.

    In With the New: a Golden Age of creativity

    In With the New: a Golden Age of creativity

    With a revived commitment to commissioning and performing new music and particularly new Canadian music the NAC Orchestra is more creatively active than ever. All the forces are working in harmony - from the board, the senior administration, the creative leaders, and all who sail with the NAC- understand their mission of being Canada’s Stage, of being a truly national artistic institution, and what it takes to make it so, and to make it of value to the entire country.

    • 45 min
    Beyond Ottawa: Touring, Recording, Broadcasting, Digital Engagement

    Beyond Ottawa: Touring, Recording, Broadcasting, Digital Engagement

    NAC Administrators and music lovers answer the question "Why is it important to have a national orchestra?" The NAC recognizes people are listening to music outside of the concert hall and away from the radio. And it is by touring, educating, recording and connecting with Canadians that the NAC orchestra and its artists will fulfill its mandate of being truly national.

    • 39 min
    The players speak: Backstage with the NAC Orchestra musicians

    The players speak: Backstage with the NAC Orchestra musicians

    Eric speaks with the players themselves about this decade of transition, the 5th decade of the NAC Orchestra. Musicians share what brought them to Ottawa and why they continue to stay. This orchestra is special, not just for the quality of its performances night after night, year after year, decade after decade, but that quality is built on something quite unusual in an orchestra - a positive culture - a sense of family that isn’t in every orchestra, that’s for sure.

    • 43 min
    The fifth decade: A new musical vision for the orchestra

    The fifth decade: A new musical vision for the orchestra

    The fifth decade of the NAC Orchestra would see Pinchas Zukerman finish up his 16 year tenure as Music Director and give way to a new leader, Alexander Shelley. The Pinchas legacy continues to be evident in the sound of the NAC Orchestra and now in this new era, Alexander Shelly has begun to imprint his vision, his style and his approach to programming on the orchestra.

    • 45 min
    The 2009 NAC Award Winners: Up Close and Personal

    The 2009 NAC Award Winners: Up Close and Personal

    Meet the second group of three Canadian composers given the prestigious NAC Awards: Peter Paul Kaprowski, Anna Sokolovic and John Estacio. Two are immigrants to Canada from Eastern Europe and the third a first generation Portuguese Canadian. They have just begun a 3-year residency with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and will each contribute at least 3 major works in collaboration with Music Director Pinchas Zukerman and the NAC Music team. Here we are looking to the present and the future, as these three composers tell us their stories and talk about their music and their dreams for new work inspired by writing for this superb orchestra.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    The Post War Years: Canadian Composers Come of Age

    The Post War Years: Canadian Composers Come of Age

    This is the story of the composers from the last two decades of the 20th century. These are men and women who are confident of their place in Canadian culture and yet looked out to the world and embraced minimalism, the influences of pop and rock music, a new rhythmic vitality, eastern music and the new trends from western Europe and the United States. Composers from other countries continued to find Canada a welcome home. It's the era of Glenn Buhr, Kelly-Marie Murphy, Alexina Louie, Gary Kulesha, Michael Colgrass, Istvan Anhalt and many more in English Canada. And in Quebec: Jacques Hétu, Claude Vivier, Linda Bouchard, Denis Gougeon and Denys Bouliane.

    • 1 hr 8 min

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