National Youth Orchestra of Canada Announces Paula Arciniega as the Commissioned Artist for the 2023 Aurora Tour

Toronto, Canada – The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) is thrilled to announce Paula Arciniega as the commissioned artist for the highly anticipated 2023 Aurora Tour. With a unique background in music and painting, Paula seamlessly combines her artistic paths to produce captivating pieces of art that bridge the gap between sound and colour.

NYO Canada is proud to feature Paula’s painting Debussy – La Mer as this year’s tour artwork, encapsulating the essence of the 2023 Aurora Tour. This exquisite piece reflects Paula’s exceptional talent in capturing the essence of music through visual art and resonates deeply with NYO Canada’s mission to celebrate the interconnectedness of art forms and this year’s Aurora theme.  Paula’s artwork beautifully embodies the spirit of Aurora, the dawn, and a vibrant musical journey.

In addition to Debussy – La Mer, Paula’s current project revolves around a series of paintings representing Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky/Ravel. NYO Canada will be touring and performing this iconic musical composition throughout the summer. In an interview with NYO Canada, Paula shared her perspective on the interconnectedness of art and music, stating, “Art and music are to me one and the same.” Her deep connection to music as a language of expression is reflected in her artwork, which aims to communicate and evoke emotions, resonating with Mussorgsky’s work’s emotional depth and narrative.

“I, of course, loved the piece,” Paula shared. “I thought about it, and I’d never seen anybody do an exhibition on “Pictures at an Exhibition”, and [this series], it’s a reflection of a reflection of a reflection of a reflection, and that, to me, is the eternal and beautiful echo of how when we have the privilege of performing and bringing to life these works, we get to experience, and it comes to life through us.”

For Paula, this artistic endeavour required delving into the essence of the original source material and the intentions behind it. She explained, “For this piece, I had criteria. I had to look at what we have left of Victor Hartman’s works, what Mussorgsky was trying to show because he wanted to immortalize his dear friend. So, it got really exciting. I really do have to follow some guidelines. As an artist, it was drawing out of me something I’m not necessarily comfortable with, pushing me to my non-comfort zone, where I have to represent a narrative. The visual representation you’ve seen, already the Baba Yaga, The Catacombs, I’m not used to that representational aspect of my artistic output.”

NYO Canada invites all listeners to seize this unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and experience of “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Through Paula’s artistic interpretations before attending a concert on the tour this summer. Not only can audiences explore the surviving art of Victor Hartman, but they can also explore the beautiful new perspectives she brings to these timeless compositions online or on Paula’s social media channels, where she is always sharing behind-the-scenes updates. By immersing themselves in both the music and Paula’s artwork, they can truly experience “Pictures at an Exhibition” as it is played on the sage as never before.

The 2023 Aurora Tour by NYO Canada promises to be an extraordinary musical journey. Audiences in seven cities across Eastern Canada will have the privilege of witnessing the orchestra’s exceptional talent and dedication. The tour includes signature public concerts in Halifax, Saint John, and Charlottetown, with additional stops in Quebec City, Mont-Laurier, and Toronto’s renowned Koerner Hall. It is an opportunity for music enthusiasts to be captivated by NYO Canada’s musicians’ prowess and artistry.

Moreover, the tour will introduce a unique pricing scale, “Pay What You Can,” to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience the magic of classical music. NYO Canada encourages audiences to embrace this inclusive approach, making their own meaningful contribution and supporting the organization’s mission of nurturing the next generation of exceptional Canadian musicians.

“Paula Arciniega’s unique artistic vision, her unwavering dedication to her craft, and her ability to evoke profound emotions through her artwork makes her art a remarkable addition to the NYO Canada family,” said Emily Dunbar, Marketing and Communications Manager of NYO Canada. “Her exceptional talent and commitment to artistic expression will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on audiences as the tour artwork during the 2023 Aurora Tour.”

As NYO Canada embarks on its Aurora Tour 2023, it aims to create an unforgettable experience for musicians and audiences alike. This long-awaited return to live performances marks a significant milestone in the organization’s history, demonstrating resilience, passion, and a commitment to nurturing the next generation of exceptional Canadian musicians.

About Paula Arciniega: Paula Arciniega is an exceptional artist known for her captivating artwork that evokes profound emotions. With her unwavering dedication to her craft and unique artistic vision, Paula has established herself as a remarkable contemporary artist. Her artwork explores themes of identity, connection, and the human experience, inviting viewers to delve into their own emotions and interpretations.

Her Current Project: “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky/Ravel

Paula’s current project, “Pictures at an Exhibition,” is a testament to her artistic depth and ability to connect music and visual arts. Inspired by the renowned musical piece of the same name, Paula embarked on a journey to visually interpret the emotions and narratives conveyed by the music. Through her artwork, she seeks to capture the essence of the music and invite viewers to experience the evocative power of “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Paula’s Perspective on the Project:

When asked about her approach to selecting pieces to paint, Paula shares, “How I choose a piece to paint, I’ve connected with it on some level, and it’s trying to show me something about myself. It’s trying to show me how to heal, discover, or embrace the next level of expression. I see art and music as a way for us to evolve our spirits, grow, to expand because our ultimate goal is to connect with others. And to do that, we must open our hearts, become vulnerable,”

Expressing her enthusiasm for “Pictures at an Exhibition,” Paula says, “I, of course, loved the piece. I thought about it, and I’d never seen anybody do an exhibition on ‘Pictures at an Exhibition.’ It’s like a reflection of a reflection of a reflection, and that, to me, is the eternal and beautiful echo of how, when we have the privilege of performing and bringing these works to life, we get to experience and share that profound connection with others.”

Challenges and Narrative Representation:

For this project, Paula embraced the challenge of representing a narrative in her artwork. She delved into the remaining works of Victor Hartman and Mussorgsky’s intentions in immortalizing his dear friend. While pushing her artistic boundaries, Paula discovered new dimensions within herself. She explains, “As an artist, it drew something out of me that I’m not necessarily comfortable with, pushing me to my non-comfort zone, where I have to represent a narrative. The visual representations you’ve seen, such as “Baba Yaga” and “The Catacombs,” differ from my usual artistic output. While I create landscapes that evoke mood and feeling, they don’t aim to depict a story. This project challenged me to explore the representational aspect of my artistry.”

Experience the Journey:

To immerse yourself in Paula Arciniega’s captivating artistic journey and explore her visual interpretations of “Pictures at an Exhibition,” visit her official website at Paula Arciniega’s Website. There, you can discover her portfolio, gain insights into her creative process, and witness the fusion of music and art.

Stay Connected:

Follow Paula Arciniega on social media to stay updated on her latest artwork, exhibitions, and projects:

Join Paula on her artistic exploration and experience the profound connections between music and visual art through “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

NYO’s 2023 season includes performances in the following cities: 

  • Fri. July 14 @ 7:30 p.m. – Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, 390 King St. W., Kingston, ON 
  • Sun. July 16 @ 2:30 p.m. – Espace Théâtre, 543 Rue du Pont, Mont-Laurier, QC
  • Tues. July 18 @ 7:30 p.m. – Palais Montcalm, 995 Rue D’Youville., Québec, QC 
  • Sun. July 23 @ 7:30 p.m. – Confederation Centre, 130 Queen Street, Charlottetown, PEI 
  • Wed. July 26 @ 7:30 p.m. – Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, 6101 University Avenue, Halifax NS
  • Sat. July 29 @ 7:30 p.m. – Imperial Theatre, 12 King Square South, St. John, NB
  • Wed. August 2 @ 7:30 p.m. – Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON

 Repertoire and featured artists will include: 

  • Jocelyn Morlock (Canadian Composer) – My Name is Amanda Todd – a JUNO Award-winning orchestral work honouring 15-year-old singer and musician Amanda Todd who took her own life in 2012 following years of online bullying and harassment at school. 
  • Johannes Brahms – Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 77 – 2023 Canada Council for the Arts Michael Measures 1st prize winner as the featured soloist 
  • Kalen Smith – Glacial Titan (2023 SOCAN Emerging Composer prize commissioned by NYO Canada) World Premiere
  • Modest Mussorgsky/Arr. Maurice Ravel – Pictures at an Exhibition 

Tickets can be reserved online at: 

Social Media Links: 

LinkedIn:        NYO Canada LinkedIn  

Twitter:           NYO Canada Twitter

Facebook:       NYO Canada Facebook 

Instagram:       NYO Canada Instagram 

TikTok:           NYO CanadaTikTok  

Media Contact:

Emily Dunbar

Marketing and Communications Manager

416-532-4470 ext. 225