The Richness of Live Music

Live music has been an essential component of every performance since the founding of The National Ballet of Canada in 1951, inspiring the dancers and providing a richness and immediacy to audiences. The ability to play live gives orchestra members the opportunity to be flexible and responsive to the needs of the dancers, creating a remarkable cohesion in performance and the creation of unique collaborative experience.

"The National Ballet of Canada has an unwavering commitment to live music and its transformative power. It's not only a priority but a necessity, inspiring the dancers and contributing to the audience's full experience of dance." David Briskin, Music Director and Principal Conductor


The Orchestra

The National Ballet is the only dance company in the country to retain its own symphony orchestra and is fortunate to perform in the Four Seasons Centre which was designed with superior acoustics. Currently, the National Ballet Orchestra consists of 62 musicians, 40 of whom have been playing together for 25 years or more, and is led by Music Director and Principal Conductor David Briskin. The National Ballet Orchestra is highly regarded for its unity and ability to readily embrace complex repertoire, particularly in conjunction with new productions and original scores.

Orchestra View Gallery

“In playing for dancers I think there is the most incredible opportunity to create a musically dramatic narrative that will emotionally inspire them. To shape and pace the music in such a way that the dancers can be moved to express themselves is, for me, one of the most exciting, living and real-time artistic creations we can be a part of.” - Lynn Kuo, Assistant Concertmaster

  • Discover

    Discover more about the Orchestra
    Discover More

  • Donate

    Donate to support the National Ballet's commitment to the Orchestra and live music
    Donate Now

  • Learn

    Learn more about our Membership Programmes that recognize your generosity
    Learn More

Top image credit: Members of The National Ballet Orchestra in the pit. Photo by Bruce Zinger.