Pinchas Zukerman to Make Early Return to National Arts Centre

Classic Arts News   Pinchas Zukerman to Make Early Return to National Arts Centre
Music director Pinchas Zukerman will cut short his six-month sabbatical and return to the podium of Ottawa's National Arts Centre Orchestra next month, the NACO announced yesterday.

The NACO had previously said that Zukerman would miss the entire spring season, returning in June for the NAC Summer Institute. The conductor has now decided to lead a program on May 11 and 12 featuring soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian and one on May 17 and 18 with pianist Lang Lang.

"I felt it was the right time for me to return and I want to get back to making great music with our superb NAC Orchestra," Zukerman said in a letter to subscribers.

In announcing the sabbatical in December, the NACO said that it was intended to allow Zukerman to "re-energize." But weeks later, he caused a stir when he told a reporter that there were "rotten apples" in the orchestra and suggested that he wouldn't return until they were "eradicated."

He later apologized to musicians and agreed to meet with a "facilitator" to help resolve tensions with his colleagues.

In his letter, Zukerman added that he is looking forward "with great anticipation" to the 2006-07 season, during which he is scheduled to appear in 12 programs.

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