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NAC Orchestra

By Ludwig Van on March 23, 2023

NAC-Orchestra (Photo: Andre Ringuette)


1 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON

Phone: 1-844-985-2787 (Box Office)

Website: nac-cna.ca/orchestra

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Since its debut in 1969, the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) has been praised for the passion and clarity of its performances, its visionary education programs, and its prominent role in nurturing Canadian creativity. Under the leadership of Music Director Alexander Shelley, NACO frequently commissions new work, mostly from Canadian composers, for radio and over 50 commercial recordings. These include several JUNO Award winners and nominees for Classical Composition of the Year and Classical Album of the Year. National and international tours have been a hallmark of the Orchestra from the very beginning, visiting 120 cities in Canada as well as 20 countries and 138 cities internationally. Each season, NACO features world-class artists such as Artist-in-Residence James Ehnes, Hilary Hahn, Angela Hewitt, Itzhak Perlman, Lang Lang, Joshua Bell, Gabriela Montero, MILOŠ, Hélène Grimaud, Tanya Tagaq, Branford Marsalis, Stewart Goodyear, Jan Lisiecki, Bruce Liu, Yefim Bronfman, Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds, Principal Youth Conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, and Conductor Emeritus Pinchas Zukerman.


The Folks Behind It All

Alexander Shelley
Alexander Shelley (Photo: Curtis Perry)

Alexander Shelley began his tenure as Music Director in 2015. The ensemble has since been praised as an “orchestra transformed… hungry, bold, and unleashed” (Ottawa Citizen) and Shelley’s programming credited for turning the orchestra “almost overnight… into one of the more audacious orchestras in North America,” (Maclean’s magazine). Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and former Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, he has been in demand around the world, conducting concerts on six continents, and maintains a regular relationship with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and the German National Youth Orchestra.

Born in London in 1979, Shelley, the son of celebrated concert pianists, studied cello and conducting in Germany and first gained widespread attention when he was unanimously awarded first prize at the 2005 Leeds Conductors’ Competition, with the press describing him as “the most exciting and gifted young conductor to have taken the highly prestigious award. His conducting technique is immaculate, everything crystal clear and a tool to his inborn musicality.”

Ludwig Van
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