Concepts of North Competition
What: Live shows of classical and non-classical music, displays and extra, typically with a tie-in to Finland
The place: Nationwide Arts Centre
When: Oct. 3 to 14
Tickets and information:nac-cna.ca
With three-quarters of 2017 over, maybe you’ve put Canada’s sesquicentennial behind you. Properly, not so quick. Plus, there’s one other huge birthday for an additional nation to mark, specifically the a hundredth anniversary of Finland’s independence.
From Oct. 3 to 14, the Nationwide Arts Centre will mark each milestones with its Concepts of North Competition, a various mixture of free and paid occasions utilizing most of the new areas within the renovated NAC, together with orchestral and small ensemble classical live shows, exhibits by singer-songwriters, performances by an acclaimed Finnish trendy dance firm, post-concert events, household days, a particular menu at Le Café, the NAC’s restaurant, chats on Nordic structure, and extra.
NAC Orchestra music director Alexander Shelley says this yr’s NAC fall pageant has been within the works for nearly two years, sparked by the 2 nationwide anniversaries. The subject broadened to cultural commonalities that Canada and Scandinavian nations may share, “whether or not one might put one’s finger on influences of the north on the music, on the artwork, on the structure of the Nordic nations,” Shelley says.
“It’s in a pageant context that you would be able to truly dig into these questions and all people who attends can reply the questions for themselves.”
Central to the pageant is music by the revered Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, who was most energetic from 1899 to the early Nineteen Twenties and who’s credited with having helped Finland to develop a nationwide identification throughout its wrestle for independence from Russia.
Sibelius’s prodigious output consists of seven symphonies and the Concepts of North Competition will prominently function 4 of them, in chronological order.
“I discover it deeply shifting music,” Shelley says. “It’s additionally a frankly distinctive symphonic language, one thing that I needed to discover with the orchestra as a part of our creative improvement collectively, but in addition with the viewers.”
Sibelius, who was in a position to compress the “emotional, philosophical journey” of his music in order that his closing symphony was simply half so long as his first one, crafted “very evocative music, music that concisely encapsulates the human situation,” Shelley says.
Sibelius himself mentioned that “his works had been like placing collectively a mosaic,” Shelley says.
“You’ll hear an concept of unimaginable magnificence, however just for a fleeting second. Then you may hear how emotionally you’re making an attempt to return to that concept, you’re looking for achievement. It seems like a means of craving, typically in his symphonic works.
“In nearly each one, there shall be a second perhaps four-fifths approach by means of the piece when out of the blue it seems, that concept … it’s typically a sensation of hope, and even achievement. There’s one thing deeply gratifying that’s occurred, we’ve been on a collective seek for it. However nearly as shortly as he presents it to you, this answer, this second of magnificence, this arrival, it dissipates once more.
“I discover, and I imply this in a really optimistic sense, his symphonies depart you with an nearly painful sense of longing, You keep in mind the sweetness that was so briefly offered to you
Shelley will conduct the pageant’s opening live performance Oct. 3, throughout which this system will embody NACO performing Sibelius’s first symphony. On Oct. 5, Hannu Lintu, chief conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, will lead NACO when it performs Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 and different works.
The pageant’s closing live performance on Oct. 14 will function Shelley conducting when the orchestra performs Sibelius’s fifth and seventh symphonies. All through the pageant, the work and lifetime of Sibelius can even be featured within the banners and movies of an exhibit within the NAC’s Canal Lobby.
Along with Lintu, Finnish violinist and conductor John Storgårds will seem on the pageant, conducting NACO on Oct. 11 throughout an evening of music that includes Finnish soprano Helena Juntunen. The subsequent night time, Storgårds will lead the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, for which he’s the music director, throughout its first North American live performance. Then, this system will function Canadian and Finnish music.
Storgårds can even play violin on the Oct. 14 pageant nearer, performing a violin concerto by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho with NACO.
Shelley says he happy that Storgårds could have a pleasant run of performances in Ottawa. “I can’t wait,” he says. “Conductors by no means get to hang around with one another.”
The pageant can even function performances of recent music, together with the Oct. 5 world premiere of the piano concerto Anonymous Seas, that includes Ottawa’s Angela Hewitt on the piano. The piece was was written for her by Ottawa-born composer Matthew Whittall, who now lives in Finland.
The Oct. 12 Lapland Chamber Orchestra live performance will function the world premiere of Canadian choreographer Michael Greyeyes’s dance piece based mostly on the late Canadian composer Claude Vivier’s Zipangu. The Oct. 3 live performance will function one of many inaugural performances of Canadian composer Alexina Louie’s Triple Concerto, that includes NAC concertmaster Yosuke Kawasaki.
Additionally touring to Ottawa from Helsinki is the celebrated and eclectic a capella group Rajaton, whose identify means “boundless” in Finnish and whose repertoire ranges from sacred classical music to pop, jazz and people. Its members will harmonize in Southam Corridor on Oct. 6.
Past music, the Helsinki-based Tero Saarinen Firm will dance its vigorous all-male up to date dance work Morphed Oct. 4 and 5 within the NAC’s Babs Asper Theatre.
Two Canadian acts, the Ottawa Indigenous people duo Twin Flames and Swedish-born, Whitehorse-based Sarah MacDougall, will seem below the pageant’s umbrella, on Oct. 8 on the NAC’s Canal Foyer Stage and Oct. 10 within the NAC Fourth Stage respectively.
Though the pageant is but to start, Shelley says that it might nicely present the blueprint for comparable fall festivals on the NAC in years to come back.
“We’ve already ascertained throughout our work on this pageant that it is a model we could nicely revisit,” he says. “It’s very wealthy. There’s numerous repertory. I feel we’re very nicely suited to it, being a Nordic capital. The thought of getting a pageant, maybe each couple years, the place we construct relationships with different Nordic centres, is nice.”