The Sunday Edition

Music as the language of love for Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth

Posted: June 14, 2015

Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth (Credit: Talin Vartanian)

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Michael talks to Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth ​of the NAC Orchestra ​about what it's like to work in the same place as your spouse, and about the music they make together.  39:46

After sixteen years of gracing the same stage, Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth are stepping down from the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He is a virtuoso violinist and Music Director, she is Principal Cellist. 

Forsyth – who explains during this conversation why her nickname is "Demanda" – was a member of the Toronto Symphony before the Calgary Symphony hired her as their youngest Principal ever, a post she held for six years.  In 1998, she moved to Ottawa, as the Acting Principal Cellist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and was appointed Principal a year later.

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Pinchas Zukerman conducts the NAC Orchestra's concert in Nottingham, England on Oct. 25, 2014. (Fred Cattroll/NAC)

Zukerman is, of course, one of the world's most respected and celebrated musicians, conductors and teachers. He has been Music Director of a number of orchestras, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dallas, Baltimore and – since 1999 – in our nation's capital. June 20th will mark his last stand on the conductor's podium in Ottawa.

They brought not just music to Ottawa, but glamour. Their nuptials in 2004 were dubbed the city's "society wedding of the year".

Pinchas Zukerman, seen playing his Guarneri del Gesu violin. ((National Arts Centre))

This online version of the interview is longer than the one we aired on the radio.  It adds reminiscences (some pleasurable, some not) of growing up in homes where music mattered; what it is like to be considered a prodigy; and an explanation of why it feels lonely to be a conductor.

CBC host Lucy van Oldenbarneveld with Amanda Forsyth. (CBC)

Mostly, though, the interview is about their devotion to music -- and to each other.

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