March 5, 2012
Pinchas Zukerman, one of the world's premier violinists, violists and conductors announced today that he will not renew his contract with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) and will depart at the close of NACO's 2014-2015 season. After a tenure of 17 years as Music Director Designate and Music Director, Mr. Zukerman's will step down August 31, 2015.

In a statement issued today, Mr. Zukerman said: "It has been my great pleasure and honor to lead this outstanding orchestra for the past 13 years. I have fallen in love with the city of Ottawa, its citizens and our audience, and I truly consider Canada my second home. My collaborations with the Orchestra and interactions with the audience have been very meaningful for me. I look forward to continuing this musical journey in Ottawa over the course of the next three concert seasons with the same satisfaction and joy I have felt since the first day of my contract in 1998."

Pinchas Zukerman has remained a phenomenon in the world of music for four decades. His musical genius, prodigious technique and unwavering artistic standards are a marvel to audiences and critics. Devoted to the next generation of musicians, he has inspired younger artists with his magnetism and passion. His devotion to teaching has resulted in innovative programs in London, New York, China, Israel and Ottawa. The name Pinchas Zukerman is equally respected as violinist, violist, conductor, pedagogue and chamber musician.

As he completes his 13th season as Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Mr. Zukerman is recognized for elevating the ensemble's caliber of performance and reputation, inaugurating the prestigious National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute, and expanding the ensemble's repertoire to include large-scale works. Performances under Maestro Zukerman have included the Brahms, Mozart, Verdi and Fauré Requiems, Opera Lyra Ottawa's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute and major works by Beethoven, Berlioz, Bruckner, Dvorák, Elgar, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Schumann, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky.

Mr. Zukerman has enriched the National Arts Centre Orchestra's cultural identity within the region, and since his appointment has taken an interest in virtually every aspect of Ottawa's artistic community. He has made five recordings with the Orchestra, procured a new Acoustic Control System for the NAC's Southam Hall, and been involved in a number of national radio and television broadcasts. Countless educational initiatives have been established under his leadership, including the NAC Institute for Orchestral Studies and the Summer Music Institute which brings students to Ottawa from around the globe to participate in the Young Artist, Conductors and Composers Programs. The Zukerman Musical Instrument Foundation for the NAC Orchestra was created to acquire donated and new instruments for the Orchestra's musicians. He has championed contemporary Canadian composers, conducting works by Linda Bouchard, Jacques Hétu, Alain Perron, Peter Paul Koprowski, Gary Kulesha, Denis Bouliane, Alexina Louie, Denis Gougeon and Malcolm Forsyth.

Since Zukerman's arrival as Music Director in 1998, the National Arts Centre Orchestra has renewed its commitment to touring, both nationally and internationally. He led enormously successful Canadian tours in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2005, as well as critically acclaimed tours to the Middle East and Europe in 2000 and the United States and Mexico in 2003. Under his direction all touring was coordinated with hundreds of education outreach activities, including ground-breaking and innovative use of the internet. Mr. Zukerman plans to tour with NACO in China before the conclusion of his tenure.

For more information on Pinchas Zukerman, please click here.

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