NACO’s weeklong festival of Beethoven piano concertos and Schumann symphonies wrapped up Thursday. Alexander Shelley saved the best for last, with the legendary Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder making his first Ottawa appearance with Beethoven’s Fourth Concerto.
Tao, Ashkar in Beethoven and Schumann | At Southam Hall | Reviewed Wednesday
NACO’s Beethoven-Schumann festival continued this week with two stylistically opposite, yet equally remarkable, young pianists: one an acclaimed Beethoven specialist, the other an all-rounder and musical chameleon.
NACO Beethoven Schumann festival | At Southam Hall | Reviewed Thursday | Festival continues to Oct. 20
When it comes to pairing composers, orchestras often pick the tried-and-true. Beethoven with Haydn, or Schumann with Brahms, are as common — and comforting — as peanut butter and jelly. By linking Beethoven to Schumann for their fall festival, Alexander Shelley and NACO have brokered a more unexpected marriage. Call it a love match, instead of an arranged one.
Joshua Bell | At Southam Hall | Reviewed Thursday. Concert repeats Friday evening
An appearance by violinist Joshua Bell can whip up rock star levels of energy and excitement. Add to that the anticipation surrounding the formal opening of a redesigned Southam Hall, and Thursday night’s NACO season launch was almost heady with buzz.