Toronto Mendelssohn Choir welcomes three international conductors to conclude 2019/20 season

The three final concerts in the TMC’s 2019/20 season present an exciting opportunity for Torontonians to experience great choral music in interesting programs, and to see the work of three internationally-acclaimed conductors.

Romantics and New Romantics

On Saturday, February 22, John William Trotter will conduct the Choir in a FREE concert at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church. This concert, Romantics and New Romantics, features lush choral music by the great Romantics – Mendelssohn and Brahms – and works by the generation of new Romantics, including Lauridsen and Ešenvalds. The program will also feature the different choirs within a choir of the TMC – from the full Choir to the 60-voice Mendelssohn Singers, and the 20-voice professional core.

Dr. John William Trotter is Artistic Director Designate of the professional ensemble Chicago a cappella (described by the Chicago Tribune as “the city’s liveliest, most versatile vocal ensemble”), with whom he previously served for several years as Principal Music Director, leading over fifty performances of a dozen programs throughout the region.  He is also Associate Professor at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, where he leads the Concert Choir and trains young conductors.  John William interacts with musicians and audiences to celebrate the gift of music and its powerful place in human identity. He has conducted more than a dozen professional choirs and orchestras on three continents, and continues to study and teach widely in the areas of music, leadership, and the role of the arts in society.

Saturday, February 22
3:00 pm.
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge St. (just north of St. Clair subway station)
Free admission (donations to TMC’s Outreach and Education programs will be accepted).
Doors open at 2:15 pm. First come, first seated.

Sacred Music for a Sacred Space

On Wednesday, April 8 and Good Friday, April 10, Gregory Batsleer will conduct the Choir in a program of glorious music that has come to us across the centuries from the British cathedral tradition, performed in the beautiful setting of St. Anne’s Church.  Enjoy the soaring beauty of motets from the 16th century by Thomas Tallis and William Byrd up to contemporary works by John Tavener, James MacMillan and Eric Whitacre.  This popular annual concert by the TMC is taken by many as a moment for contemplation, to experience beautiful music in an inspiring setting.  St. Anne’s is known as the “Group-of-Seven Church” for its murals painted by members of the famed Group of Seven and other Toronto artists.

Gregory Batsleer is Chorus Director of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and Director of the Huddersfield Choral Society. Gregory has received widespread critical acclaim for his work in both raising musical standards as well as widening the artistic activities of each ensemble. As Guest Conductor, recent highlights include Gregory’s performances with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Halle Orchestra, the Black Dyke band, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Orchestra of Opera North, Manchester Camerata , Academy of Ancient Music, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, with whom he appears on a number of occasions throughout each season. Gregory is deeply committed to extending the reach of classical music beyond the concert hall and exploring new ways of presenting music.

Toronto audiences have seen Gregory with the TMC before. In June 2017, Gregory and the Huddersfield Choral Society performed a joint concert with the TMC.

Wednesday, April 8 and
Good Friday, April 10

7:30 pm
St. Anne’s Church, 270 Gladstone Ave.
Tickets: $35 – $60, with $20 VoxTix available for patrons 30 and under.

Great Poets in Music

On Saturday, May 30, Jean-Sébastien Vallée will conduct the Choir in a program that celebrates the very essence of choral music – the impact of powerful words complemented and enhanced through the work of great composers. Experience the poetry of Shakespeare set to music  by Vaughan Williams and Rutter, words of Alfred Lord Tennyson set by Elgar, Emily Dickenson set by Samual Barber, Robert Frost set by Randall Thompson and Eric Whitacre, and more. Enjoy this poetic evening in the Romanesque-revival architectural splendour of St. Andrew’s Church.

Dr. Jean-Sébastien Vallée is Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Studies, and Coordinator of the Ensembles & Conducting Area at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal. In addition, he is Director of the renowned choir of the church of St. Andrew & St. Paul in Montreal and Musical Director of the Ottawa Choral Society. Prior to his appointment at McGill University, he served as Director of Choral Studies at California State University in Los Angeles and was on the choral faculty of the University of Redlands. In addition to his interest in choral, operatic, and orchestral music, Jean-Sébastien is an advocate for contemporary music, making one of his priorities to premiere and commission works by young composers and program rarely performed repertoire.

Saturday, May 30
7:30 pm
St. Andrew’s Church, 73 Simcoe St.
Tickets: $35 to $60 with 20 VoxTix available for patrons 30 and under.

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