Natasha Gauthier picks the shows to see this fall in classical music and dance

Here are some must-see shows in classical music and dance this fall.


Sept. 6: Daniel Tselyakov is the son of the excellent Russian-Canadian pianist and pedagogue Alexander Tselyakov. And he is one of several young musicians in a deep pipeline of keyboard talent coming out of Canada. The Brandon, Manitoba native will perform Beethoven’s Sonata Op.10 no. 3, the Chopin Barcarolle, and Prokofiev’s demonic Sonata no. 7 in a noon recital at Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Ave. Part of the Doors Open for Music series. Free will offering.

Oct. 2: The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra will introduce Ottawa to the winner of its first annual Sénécal Mozart Prize, a national competition for young instrumentalists. The inaugural award is for French horn; the winner, who will be announced in early September, gets to play the lovely second Mozart Horn Concerto. Alain Trudel will also conduct the Marriage of Figaro Overture. At the Shenkman Arts Centre at 8 p.m. Tickets and more information after Sept. 14.

Oct. 3-14: NACO’s fall festivals have turned into bona fide cultural happenings, with cool after-parties lasting late into the evenings. This year, the Ideas of North Festival will explore the musical and philosophical links between Canada and Finland. Notable concerts include Alexina Louie’s Concerto for Three Violins paired with Sibelius’ Tapiola and First Symphony on Oct. 3; the New Orford String Quartet on Oct. 4; Finland’s Rajaton vocal ensemble on Oct. 6; and Alexander Shelley leading Sibelius’ 5th and and 7th Symphonies, with NACO Principal Guest Conductor John Storgårds as the violin soloist in Kaija Saariaho’s Graal Theatre. Tickets and information,

Oct. 23: Chamberfest kicks off its fall-winter series with the extraordinary, probing pianism of Sir Andràs Schiff in a program of Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms. At Dominion-Chalmers at 7:30 p.m. Tickets and information,

Nov. 11: Kevin Reeves can always be counted on for creative programming with his Seventeen Voyces. For Remembrance Day, the ensemble will perform Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, the music enhanced by actors reading letters from the trenches of the First World War. 7:30 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in the Glebe. Tickets and information,


Sept. 28-30: The new Ottawa dance season opens with the can’t-miss-it production of the year. Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch returns to the NAC with a double bill of its late founder’s most iconic works: Café Müller and Rite of Spring. This is the tour’s only Canadian engagement — lucky us. 8 p.m. at Southam Hall. for tickets and information.

Oct. 4-5: Star Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen investigates the essence of masculinity in Morphed. Set to music by his compatriot Esa-Pekka Salonen, Saarinen’s newest work pushes his seven male dancers to their physical and emotional limits. 7:30 p.m. at the NAC’s newly-rechristened Babs Asper Theatre.

Oct. 14: Not many people know there’s a professional contemporary dance company in residence at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans. Tara Luz Danse’s productions are created with audiences of all ages and experience levels  in mind. At just 50 minutes, the whimsical Angelie’s Shoes, which the company premiered in 2013, is ideal for introducing younger kids to the world of choreography and movement. Presented in English at 10 a.m. and in French at 3 p.m.

Nov. 9-11: Yes, Swan Lake has been done to feathery death, but that’s not a reason to skip the extravagantly talented dancers of the Dresden Semperoper Ballet. Especially since this particular reimagining is by the company’s Canadian artistic director, Aaron S. Watkin, and because this will be the ensemble’s only Canadian appearance. Performances at Southam Hall at 8 p.m.

Nov. 23-24: The Israeli duo L-E-V, composed of  Gai Behar and Sharon Eval, bring their OCD Love to Ottawa. With a live soundtrack by DJ Ori Lichtik (also a Batsheva Dance darling), the work looks at love, lust and seduction through a glamourous, vaguely noir lens with a distinctly 1990s club kid vibe. 7:30 p.m. also at the NAC’s Babs Asper Theatre.

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.