Peter Jennings knows something about the U.S. arts scene. He’s on the board at Carnegie Hall and is involved with Jazz at Lincoln Center. So who better to raise the profile of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in the U.S.—before it embarks on a southof-the-border tour in the fall—than this Ottawa-raised ABC World News Tonight anchor? On March 6, Jennings and his wife Kayce Freed, a TV producer, will host a dinner at their tony New York City home, introducing the NAC Orchestra musical director, renowned conductor and violinist Pinchas Zukerman, to about 30 influential Americans and U.S.-based Canadians, including retired U.S. senator George Mitchell and artist Joel Shapiro, whose
sculpture is on display at the U.S. embassy in Ottawa. “My wife and I were talking about the dinner this morning,” says Jennings. “I think we’ll serve Arctic char.” Even though the National Arts Centre opened five years after Jennings left Canada, he’s definitely a fan. In 1998, he actually performed at the NAC, playing the narrator in a contemporary version of The Merry Widow. “It was one of the greatest occasions of my adult life,” he says. So for Jennings, helping out with a dinner was a natural thing. “I’m really glad that they’ve done so well with Zukerman,” he says. “I’m interested, as any Canadian would be, in the whole notion of continuing to develop and produce Canadian work.” SHANDA DEZIEL
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.