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National Arts Centre Orchestra unveils details of ambitious British tour

Pinchas Zukerman conducts the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Paul Labelle

The National Arts Centre Orchestra announced further details of its fall trip to Britain on Tuesday, which include a concert at the famed Salisbury Cathedral and a joint concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.

As music director Pinchas Zukerman winds down his 15-year tenure with the Ottawa-based orchestra, the NAC has become quite ambitious in its touring and educational plans.

The October trip to Britain – first announced last November – is the second major international foray the orchestra has made in as many years, following its successful tour of China last year. And with young British conductor Alexander Shelley on tap to take over the orchestra in 2015, with a renewed commitment to Canadian repertoire, the NAC Orchestra seems to be shedding its conservative skin and facing the future with energy and optimism.

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This might seem an anomaly in these troubled financial times, but in fact Canadian orchestras are in far better shape than many of their American cousins. The doom and gloom surrounding classical music is not quite as dire on this side of the border.

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