Cover image of NACOcast: Classical music podcast with Sean Rice

NACOcast: Classical music podcast with Sean Rice

Join host Sean Rice (Second Clarinet, NAC Orchestra) as he explores the world of classical music and its great composers. In this series of audio programmes you can look forward to hearing insightful commentary about upcoming NAC Orchestra programmes as well as musical excerpts and interviews with NACO musicians and guest artists.

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Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto with Jon Kimura Parker

Christopher's guest is the ebullient Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker, a virtuoso star who is also known for his outgoing personality and cheerful sense of humour. Jackie and Christopher discuss Beethoven's "Emperor" Piano Concerto No. 5.


14 Dec 2007

Rank #1

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Is Classical Music Really Dead?

The death knell for classical music has been ringing for decades. Yet many say the music is not only alive, it’s kicking! Join us for a fascinating, up-close-and-personal conversation with two highly original voices – Alexander Shelley, Music Director of the NAC Orchestra, and Andrew Potter, Editor of the Ottawa Citizen. With special guest Nadia Sirota ,violist and host of WQXR's Q2 Music Meet the Composer podcast.

1hr 21mins

17 May 2016

Rank #2

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Joel Quarrington

A Fifth of Quarrington -- In this week's NACOcast, Christopher speaks with the National Arts Centre Orchestra's remarkable Principal Bass, Joel Quarrington. Canada's foremost virtuoso of the double bass, Joel is the only great modern bassist who tunes his bass like a cello. Find out how this came about as Joel discusses the history, evolution and current state of double bass playing.


4 Oct 2006

Rank #3

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Beethoven Symphony No. 2

To mark the beginning of the NAC Orchestra's Beethoven Festival, Christopher offers up a guided tour of the complete 2nd Symphony. Featured in this week's podcast is the NAC Orchestra's CBC Records recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 under the the baton of Music Director Pinchas Zukerman.


15 Sep 2007

Rank #4

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Timo Andres

In this archival episode from 2016, NACOcast host Sean Rice connects with composer and pianist Timo Andres whose works were performed by members of the NAC Orchestra as part the WolfGANG Sessions. During their conversation Andres discusses the inspiration and structure of his compositions Early to Rise and Safe Travels and describes himself as a very harmonic composer who is obsessed with compositional craft. Philip Glass selected Timo Andres as the recipient of The City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize in 2016 and calls Andres as “a brilliant compositional mind with a wonderful sense of interpretation of music.”


2 Aug 2019

Rank #5

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Eric Friesen and Pinchas Zukerman on Elgar's Violin Concerto

Eric Friesen, acclaimed author, speaker and broadcaster sits down with Maestro Pinchas Zukerman to discuss playing Elgar's Violin Concerto.


15 Nov 2012

Rank #6

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Pinchas Zukerman (Pt.1)

Special guest Maestro Pinchas Zukerman joins Chris Millard to discuss the mechanics of making music with the violin. Join Chris and Pinchas in this first of two interviews -- They discuss bowing and vibrato techniques and the divergent approaches of European and North American orchestras to string playing.


23 May 2006

Rank #7

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Sean Rice chats with Nadia Sirota before the Canadian premiere of Nico Muhly’s Electrifying Viola Concerto

Vanguards of the New York indie classical scene, composer Nico Muhly and violist Nadia Sirota embody the meaning of "classical reincarnated" in an electrifying concert. Nadia Sirota joins Alexander Shelley in the Canadian premiere of Nico Muhly’s Electrifying Viola Concerto. This much anticipated work was commissioned by an international consortium of orchestras and organisations made up of Orquesta Nacionales de España, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Festival of Saint Denis and National Arts Centre Orchestra. Nadia Sirota’s debut album, First Things First (New Amsterdam Records), was a New York Times 2009 record of the year, and she can also be heard on albums by Grizzly Bear, yMusic (a new music ensemble who commission Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, and other young American composers),Jonsi, the National, Ratatat, Doveman, My Brightest Diamond, and Arcade Fire’s Grammy-winning The Suburbs.


27 Apr 2016

Rank #8

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Handel's Messiah with Christopher Millard

The NACOcast's perennial holiday favourite is back! Curl up by the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy Christopher Millard's thirty minute guided tour of Handel's Messiah. Read more about Handel at https://c.nac.ca/1wCrwox and listen to entire pieces for free at https://nacmusicbox.ca


16 Dec 2014

Rank #9

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The Man with the Violin

“Every time a child passed through the station, the child wanted to stop, and every time, the adult with them pulled them along on their way.” Sean Rice interviews author Kathy Stinson, illustrator Dušan Petričić and composer Anne Dudley who all had a hand in creating the music performed by the NAC Orchestra’s telling of The Man With The Violin in December 2017. The book and the music were inspired by the real-life story of world-renown violinist Joshua Bell and the National Post's experiment on a January morning in Washington’s subway station.\n\n The Man with the Violin: Suite for Violin and Orchestra is a co-commission with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. The work was premiered at the Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. in February 2017.


4 May 2018

Rank #10

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"Clown of the Orchestra"

Christopher discusses primates, brontosauri and other musical influences in a wide ranging examination of his favourite orchestral instrument.


15 May 2008

Rank #11

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Beethoven's Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Symphonies

Sean Rice and Alexander Shelley continue their three-episode series about the Beethoven Symphonies on the occasion of the NAC Orchestra’s Festival Focus 2018. Symphonies 4, 5 and 6 were running in Beethoven’s head concurrently. He was a master of making a huge work out of just a scrap of a musical idea. These three symphonies are excellent examples of this methodology. Symphonies 5 and 6, forming in his mind before the fourth, were premiered on December 22, 1808. Discover how that evening unravelled, and hear Sean and Alexander rave about Beethoven’s accomplishments and contributions to the world.


19 Sep 2018

Rank #12

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Jack Everly

POPS! goes the NACOcast -- This week an interview with NAC Orchestra principal pops conductor Jack Everly. Christopher talks with Jack about his distinguished career and the world of symphonic popular music.


5 Jun 2006

Rank #13

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Beethoven's First Three Symphonies

Sean Rice, 2nd clarinetist of the NAC Orchestra, and Alexander Shelley, NAC Music Director, discuss Ludwig van Beethoven’s first three symphonies, putting them in context with Mozart’s and Haydn’s large volume of works. Why are Beethoven’s symphonies so significant and important? The 2018 Festival Focus is the perfect opportunity for this discussion. The first symphony is deeply rooted in classical form, quite heavily influenced by Haydn’s teachings and Mozart’s works, with four movements mirroring the expected model and a few extra instruments. The chosen key structure is quite unique and signals Beethoven’s intention of veering off the standard course. The second symphony, written in the spa town of Heilegenstadt, came at the cathartic moment when Beethoven was showing signs of losing his hearing. The third symphony, “Eroica”, dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, was an important statement about the common man. Beethoven composed from the last movement to the first, outlining the journey towards a celebration of humanity. Sean and Alexander unravel some historic and musical stories within each of these symphonies, as we begin an exploration of the development of Beethoven through his nine symphonies.


11 Sep 2018

Rank #14

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Vivian Fung

Sean Rice, NAC Orchestra’s 2nd clarinetist, chats with JUNO Award-winning composer Vivian Fung on the occasion of NACO’s performance of her composition, Earworms. Discover when Sean and Vivian first met, what Vivian has been up to in her career and family life, and her inspiration for Earworms, which was commissioned by the NAC and premiered in Southam Hall, with Alexander Shelley, in March 2018. “Earworms… musically depicts our diverted attention spans and multi-tasking lives.”


5 Feb 2019

Rank #15

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Beethoven's Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Symphonies

Sean Rice, NAC Orchestra’s 2nd clarinetist, and NAC Music Director Alexander Shelley complete their three-episode series on Beethoven’s nine symphonies for the 2018 Beethoven Focus Festival. The seventh symphony’s funeral march starts off the conversation. The 1813 premiere of the work featured an encore of the funeral march. What made it so significant? The eighth symphony was “much better” in Beethoven’s opinion than the seventh. The harmonic architecture of its first movement is rather unusual for the day, while the next two movements are very classical. The short, quick and witty fourth movement harks back to the first movement. But the ninth… The ninth symphony is of a scale that he had never before undertaken. Sean Rice and Alexander Shelley discuss this marvelous work beginning by its last movement, and lay out the political climate in Vienna at the time, making a connection between the ninth and Beethoven’s influences. “Be embraced, you millions: this kiss is for the whole world”.

1hr 6mins

2 Oct 2018

Rank #16

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Who's Afraid of Anton Bruckner?

Nick, Carissa Klopoushak and Sean Rice discuss the music of this frequently under-appreciated composer, as the NAC Orchestra prepares a performance of Bruckner's Ninth Symphony.


8 Jun 2015

Rank #17

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A Night of Classical Collisions #TheKiss

In celebration of Beethoven and Schumann – two highly expressive and innovative composers, the NAC Orchestra created an eclectic evening of music, dance and art called Classical Collisions. Fine art inspired graffiti artists while classical music mixed with DJ scratching - and everybody danced. Artist Anita Kunz, who was commissioned to create the illustration of Beethoven and Schumann in a fraternal kiss loved the concept. “It’s a lovely, warm idea of brotherhood between these two great composers.” For Music Director Alexander Shelley it was an opportunity to welcome a diverse community of artists to collaborate and create. "It’s absolutely appropriate that we should have other improvisers in the building showing what they do with these themes." explained Shelley. Classical Collisions was a 21st century interpretation of the free spirited romantic era. And it was a party I’m sure both Beethoven and Schumann would have loved.


12 Dec 2016

Rank #18

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Eric Friesen

The musician interviews the broadcaster. Veteran CBC radio host and champion of classical music, Eric Friesen joins Chris Millard this week on the NACOcast. The two discuss Eric's passion for radio and music.


16 May 2006

Rank #19

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The NAC Orchestra's Institute for Orchestral Studies

The four apprentices in the NAC Orchestra's Institute for Orchestral Studies — violinist Sunny Shi, violist Kayleigh Miller, cellist Zhou Fang and bassist Nate Martin, plus former apprentice Emily Westell — were the guests for the pre-concert talk of November 14. The young musicians spoke about their experiences in the IOS, NACO's tour of China, and they performed movements from Mozart's “Divertimento" and Vivian Fung’s “Pizzicato".


28 May 2014

Rank #20