Artistic Leadership

Noel Edison

Noel Edison - Artistic Director

Noel Edison, Artistic Director
photo by Sophie Hogan

Noel Edison is well established as one of the most versatile and charismatic conductors in the world today. As conductor and artistic director of two world-class Canadian ensembles, the large-scale Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the chamber-sized Elora Festival Singers, Edison is widely recognized and appreciated for his skillful interpretive work with both choir and orchestra.

The 2016/17 season will be Noel’s 20th as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. His vision for the TMC is to create performances that connect audiences emotionally with some of the greatest traditional and contemporary choral repertoire.

A native of Toronto, Edison moved to the scenic village of Elora where, in 1979, he co-founded the Elora Festival and, a year later, the Elora Festival Singers as its choir-in-residence. Since 1984 Edison has served as Artistic Director of the Elora Festival as well as Organist and Choirmaster of one of the few all-professional church choirs in Canada at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Elora. In 1997 the Elora Festival Singers were selected as the professional core of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

In 2002 the University of Guelph conferred upon Noel Edison the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music. In 2009 he was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour, and in 2012 he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.

Noel Edison records regularly for the Naxos label and his extensive discography includes works by Arvo Pärt and Healey Willan, the Berlioz Requiem, the Juno-nominated Mystery of Christmas, and the Grammy-nominated Eric Whitacre: Choral Music. His latest recording with the TMC is a collection of Christmas music entitled A Festival of Carols: Music for Choir, Brass and Organ. 

Jennifer Min-Young Lee

Jennifer Min-Young Lee

The 2016/17 season is Jennifer’s second as Associate Conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

Jennifer Min-Young Lee is an active conductor, music educator, vocal pedagogue, and soprano in the greater Toronto area. In addition to her role as TMC Associate Conductor, she also serves as Assistant Conductor of the Orchestra Toronto. Equally dedicated to music education, she is a high school music teacher where she directs numerous choral and wind ensembles. Ensembles under her leadership regularly perform at festivals in Canada, the United States and in Europe.

Jennifer has worked with the complete spectrum of voices- from children’s and youth choirs, university and community choirs, to professional choirs. She was Assistant Conductor of the Bach Chamber Youth Choir for five seasons, as well as the Ontario Youth Choir. As a passionate vocal pedagogue, she also maintained a private voice studio as a secondary voice teacher at the Eastman School of Music.

Jennifer holds a Master of Music degree in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music, as well as Bachelor of Music and Education degrees from the University of Western Ontario. She has served as a conducting fellow for the Allegra International Orchestral Conducting Institute in Bulgaria, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Eastman Advanced Conducting Institute, Orchestra Toronto Apprentice Program and Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute.

Jennifer is a former member of the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir and participated in the 2013 TMC Choral Conductor’s Symposium.


James Bourne

James Bourne

James Bourne

James Bourne has been the pianist for the TMC since 2004. As a pianist of extraordinary musical flexibility, he is equally at home in the worlds of solo performance, chamber music and art song, as well as music written for the cabaret, ‘new music’, and music theatre. James has had a broad musical education beginning with early studies at the Conservatoire royal de musique de Liège (Belgium). He holds a graduate degree in collaborative piano from the University of Western Ontario, where he received the Alumni Gold Medal. Postgraduate studies were with John Barstow at the Royal College of Music (UK) presenting recitals with members of the Belcea Quartet and violinist Padraic Savage.

James has appeared at the summer festivals of Banff, Parry Sound, Elora and Tanglewood. Recent collaborations have included recitals and appearances with tenors Ben Heppner and Colin Ainsworth, sopranos Carla Huhtanen and Measha Brueggergosman, Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem (scored for two pianos) with Peter Tiefenbach, “Pub Operas” (in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Sloan’s pub in Glasgow) with Tapestry New Opera, the Tapestry/Luminato production of Dark Star Requiem, and Luminato’s 2010 production of Rufus Wainwright’s Primadonna. James served as assistant conductor for the Dora-winning Luminato/Soundstreams co-production of R. Murray Schafer’s The Children’s Crusade in 2009, and Opera Atelier’s production of The Marriage of Figaro in 2010.

James is director of music at Leaside Presbyterian Church in Toronto.