National Arts Centre Orchestra Announces Resident Conductor

By Francisco Salazar

Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra has announced that Nova Scotian conductor Henry Kennedy has been selected as its new Resident Conductor.

Kennedy spent his educational and professional life based in the United Kingdom and at the age of 27-year-old, Kennedy is already a distinguished young conductor with a background in both opera and orchestral music.

Throughout his young career he has conducted at the Wroclaw Opera, Berlioz Festival, Salzburg Festival, The Royal Opera of Versailles, Berliner Philharmonie, and BBC Proms. Now, Kennedy is set to conduct “Tosca” in Italy with Orchestra Cherubini, marking the 100th anniversary of Puccini’s death.

In a statement, Kennedy said, “I will never forget the lightning bolt response I received from the Orchestra in the audition. I feel greatly honored to be joining the National Arts Centre Orchestra as their Resident Conductor. I will never forget the lightning bolt response I received from the Orchestra in the audition when I gave the downbeat for the first movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. From the beginning to the end of the audition, I felt a musical electricity that I have never experienced before. This position offers a unique opportunity to work alongside some of the world’s finest musicians and contribute to the vibrant cultural landscape of Canada. I look forward to a period of immense growth and artistic collaboration in the beautiful city of Ottawa.”

Alexander Shelley, NACO Music Director said, “I am delighted to be welcoming Henry to our artistic team. During his audition he demonstrated wonderful technique and poise in front of the orchestra and spoke eloquently about the role of the conductor in the community and about the importance of music to us all. He joins us at an exciting moment in his career as his work across the pond in the UK and Europe continues to blossom. I am confident that our audiences in Ottawa and across Canada will benefit greatly from his artistry. Welcome, Henry!”

The new two-year Resident Conductor position will offer Kennedy an immersive professional development opportunity under the mentorship of Music Director Alexander Shelley. Responsibilities will include serving as assistant conductor for the Orchestra’s guest conductors, working closely with Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds and Principal Youth Conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser.