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Amanda Forsyth, NAC Principal Cellist and JUNO Award Winner Announces her Resignation from Orchestra to Pursue Solo Career

The NAC Orchestra’s own superstar principal cellist, Amanda Forsyth, has officially announced that she will be leaving the NAC Orchestra at the end of the 2014/15 season, so she can focus her energies on her global solo and chamber music career.


On February 5 in her final solo performance with the NAC Orchestra as  principal cello, Forsyth will perform Brahms’ titanic Double Concerto alongside world-renowned conductor and violinist Pinchas Zukerman. Legendary pianist, Yefim Bronfman will follow with a performance of Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2. The Double Concerto performances will be recorded live for future release.


“The Brahms Double Concerto is the most important concerto for violin and cello. Pinchas and I have lived and shared this concerto with each other, performing it together for over fifteen years! Whether in Barcelona or Bulgaria, Singapore or São Paulo, with the Russian National Orchestra, Gustavo Dudamel in Lisbon, St. Petersburg with Valery Gergiev or at Carnegie Hall with Zubin Mehta, this double concerto has become a map of our touring schedule around the world. The magnitude of this concerto mimics our musical and personal life and marriage. We are so happy to perform it again, and also record it for future CD release with our own NAC orchestra. It is our swan song before we depart from our posts here in Ottawa,” said Forsyth.



Canadian JUNO Award-winning Amanda Forsyth is considered one of North America’s most dynamic cellists. She has performed as soloist on tours with the Royal Philharmonic and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, and has appeared with such orchestras as the Mariinsky Orchestra in St. Petersburg, Orchestre Radio de France, Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the San Diego and Grand Rapids Symphonies. Summer festival appearances have included Ravinia, Tanglewood, Verbier and Edinburgh. Ms. Forsyth began the 2014-15 season with her first homecoming tour of South Africa performing Malcolm Forsyth’s Elektra Rising as well as chamber music engagements with the Zukerman Trio. As featured soloist, Ms. Forsyth joins the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis, the Korean Chamber Orchestra in Moscow, Vienna and Seoul, the Maggio Musicale Orchestra in Florence and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Gala.


A founding member of the Zukerman Chamber Players, further tours with the Zukerman Trio bring her to Italy, Spain, China, Korea, and the Miyazaki Festival in Japan. In 2002, she was the subject of the Bravo! Canada television documentary Amanda Rising: The Amanda Forsyth Story.




Under the inspiring leadership of Pinchas Zukerman, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra is noted for the passion and clarity of its performances and recordings, ground-breaking teaching and outreach programs, and nurturing of Canadian creativity. This vibrant orchestra draws accolades from home and abroad.


The NAC Orchestra was formed in 1969 at the opening of Canada’s National Arts Centre, and gives over 100 performances a year with renowned artists including Itzhak Perlman, Renée Fleming, James Ehnes, Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma.


Previous Music Directors included Mario Bernardi and Trevor Pinnock. Alexander Shelley takes on this mantle from Pinchas Zukerman in 2015-16, and John Storgärds will be Principal Guest Conductor from the same season. Principal Youth and Family Conductor Alain Trudel, and Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly complete the strong artistic leadership team.


In addition to a full series of subscription concerts at the National Arts Centre each season, tours are undertaken to regions throughout Canada and around the world, most recently to China (2013) and the UK (2014). The latter commemorated the start of the First World War and explored themes of remembrance and healing through music in over 50 education and performance events. Following the footsteps of Canadian troops 100 years ago, it showcased the brilliant work of Canadian composers and the NAC Orchestra’s musicians, both as performers and as educators, and received standing ovations in packed halls throughout the UK.


In 1999 Pinchas Zukerman founded the NAC Young Artists Program, part of the wider NAC Summer Music Institute, which provides elite training to talented young musicians.  Students all over the world are also taught via videoconferencing in the NAC’s cutting-edge Hexagon Studio. The Orchestra also created and continues to pioneer education work locally and in indigenous communities in northern Canada.


The NAC Orchestra has made over 40 commercial recordings, and many more concerts are freely available through MusicBox on the NAC’s Arts Alive wide-reaching education website. These include many of the 100 new Canadian works commissioned by the NAC Orchestra in its 45 year history.


Located in the capital city of Ottawa, the National Arts Centre is the only bilingual, multidisciplinary performing arts centre in Canada. The National Arts Centre collaborates with artists and arts organizations across Canada to help create a national stage for the performing arts, and acts as a catalyst for performance, creation and learning across the country.