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ENCOUNT3RS is a milestone commission of the National Arts Centre Orchestra to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. This unprecedented project paired three of Canada’s top choreographers (Emily Molnar, Jean Grand-Maître and Guillaume Côté) with three of the country’s most exciting composers (Nicole Lizée, Andrew Staniland and Kevin Lau), creating three new one-act ballets, each with an original orchestral score.

This is the fourth National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) album on the Analekta label and the second with the Orchestra’s new artistic director, Alexander Shelley. It was recorded in April 2017 when the pieces had their world premieres.

It opens with Andrew Staniland’s composition Phi, created to accompany the Alberta Ballet in Caelestis, choreographed by Jean Grand-MaîtreNicole Lizée’s Keep Driving, I’m Dreaming, written for Ballet BC to complement Emily Molnar’s dance of the same name, transports us to the world of 80s and 90s neo-noir cinema. Kevin Lau’s Dark Angels was created to accompany theatmospheric choreography by Guillaume Côté for his colleagues at the National Ballet.

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Alexander Shelley

ECHO prize-winner Alexander Shelley succeeded Pinchas Zukerman as Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in September 2015, making it “an orchestra transformed … hungry, bold, and unleashed” (Ottawa Citizen) and Alexander’s programming credited for turning the orchestra “almost overnight … into one of the more audacious orchestras in North America.” (Maclean’s Magazine). Last season Alexander concluded his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Nürnberger Symphoniker, a position he held since September 2009. In January 2015 he assumed the role of Principal Associate Conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Encount3rs is his second release with the NAC Orchestra on the Analekta label, following the bold Life Reflected. Visit for more info.

More about Alexander Shelley

© Michael Slobodian

National Arts Centre Orchestra

Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra is a superb ensemble of world-class classical musicians from across Canada and around the world, under the inspiring leadership of Music Director Alexander Shelley. Formed in 1969, the Orchestra gives about 100 performances a year in Ottawa, across Canada and around the globe, working with diverse artists of international renown. It breaks boundaries with its regular commissions of new creations including the critically acclaimed, immersive Life Reflected. The NAC Orchestra reaches a wide audience through national and international tours, recordings, extensive educational outreach across Canada and on tour, and via the websites and
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More about NAC Orchestra


« Historically, composers have written some of their best music for ballet productions. (…) A new album from Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra continues the tradition with three new ballet scores. »
CBC Music


“This creative collaboration is unprecedented in NAC history. These world premieres from six incredible Canadian artists will be a dance/music delight!”