News / Ottawa

NAC goes casual to draw in new crowd

The National Arts Centre is hoping to draw in a new group of music lovers who may not be immediately comfortable with a night at the orchestra.

Call it "orcasual" rather than orchestral. The NAC Orchestra is planning a three-concert series called Casual Fridays, marketed towards a younger crowd.

"I think its great for perhaps a person that thinks it's going to be stuffy, or they have to behave a certain way," said Amanda Forsyth, the orchestra's principal cellist. "I'm just so tired of hearing about that. Let's just go to a concert."

Forsyth, along with the orchestra's Jethro Marks, will perform a double concerto written by her late father, composer Malcolm Forsyth. It will be the second in the Casual Friday series, taking place on March 7, 2014.

The orchestra made the announcement as part of a busy 2013-2014 lineup, which includes everything from Beethoven to Paul Anka. The orchestra will also make a sojourn to China for a performance and education tour from Oct. 4 to Oct. 20 with music director Pinchas Zukerman.

For a bit of Canadiana, the orchestra will perform a rendition of The Hockey Sweater, Roch Carrier's classic story of a boy wearing a Maple Leafs jersey in a town obsessed with the Montreal Canadiens. Carrier himself will narrate the story, and Ken Dryden will co-host the event on Jan. 14, 2014.

The orchestra's full lineup can be found at

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