2013-14 Season


Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Conductors’ Symposium gearing up to big start

For the past three years, one of Toronto's- nay, one of Canada's-largest choral organizations has put on a weeklong symposium to find and nurture the next generation of conductors because, in their own words, "At the head of every successful choral organization is a skilled conductor."

This year, in their fourth annual TMC Choral Conductors’ Symposium, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is set to embark on an intensive series of workshops and masterclasses from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1 where five conductors have been selected to study under the tutelage of Noel Edison.


Battle of the Messiahs: Toronto Symphony wins this round

Will the 10,000 people who go hear the show at Roy Thomson Hall get the better or worse experience than the 6,800 at Koerner and Massey halls? It’s long been a seesaw battle.

Based on the Toronto Symphony’s first Messiah performance on Tuesday night and Tafelmusik’s on Wednesday, it’s the former that has a slight edge in 2013.

First-time visiting conductor Christopher Warren-Green did a remarkable job of teasing out impressive details from Handel’s music — using less than three-dozen members of the TSO set against the 140 members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.


Concert review: This could be the Toronto Symphony’s best Messiah so far this century

Tuesday’s first performance of the Toronto Symphony’s five-concert run of Handel’s oratorio Messiah at Roy Thomson Hall was that rare beast: a triumph from brisk Overture to rousing Amen.

This interpretation has it all: great soloists, a lean, expressive orchestra, superb choir and a cohesive performance approach from a veteran British conductor making his Toronto Symphony début.


Messing with Messiah

Noel Edison, artistic director of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir says he has no problem with unconventional approaches to The Messiah but, when he leads his singers on their five days with the TSO’s program, he is strictly on the side of tradition.

“I’m too conservative,” Edison admits. Besides, he says, it doesn’t need embellishment. Handel “has so intimately, honestly and elegantly placed the text with the music, that it comes alive.”

TMC Media Release

Toronto Mendelssohn Choir announces five conductors selected to participate in the 4th Annual Choral Conductors’ Symposium in January 2014

The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s annual Choral Conductors' Symposium brings together five emerging conductors for a week of intense master classes and workshops with acclaimed conductor Noel Edison. During the week of January 28 – February 1, 2014 the conductors, selected through a juried application process, have the rare opportunity to conduct both the chamber-sized Elora Festival Singers and the large-scale Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. The Symposium concludes with a free public concert on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 3 pm at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto.


Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and guests make magic of Benjamin Britten cantatas

Here’s a suggestion: If you go to one choral concert other than Messiah this season, make it the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s brilliant tribute to Benjamin Britten on Wednesday evening.

Tuesday night’s dress rehearsal at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church revealed not only a compelling, deeply affecting programme, but wonderful performances from the Mendelssohn Choir, the Toronto Children’s Chorus, orchestra, pianists, organist and, last but far from least, soloists tenor Colin Ainsworth and soprano Leslie Bouza.

Mendelssohn Choir music director Noel Edison chose two cantatas to showcase the composer’s genius for writing potent music drama for all ages and abilities: The Company of Heaven, created for BBC Radio in 1937, and Saint Nicolas, commissioned for the centennial of Lancing College but premiered at Aldeburgh in 1948.

TSO and TMC perform Carmina Burana, October 2013. Photo: Josh Clavir

Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Carmina Burana raises Roy Thomson Hall roof

John Terauds, Musical Toronto The feature draw was an all-stops-pulled performance of Carl Orff’s modern classic from 1936, Carmina Burana. The Toronto Symphony was joined by 116 members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, three-and-a-half-dozen young voices of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, Romanian-born soprano Valentina Farcas, American tenor Nicholas Phan and Canadian baritone James Westman. Music...