Artists

 

Andrew Adair

Andrew Adair

Andrew Adair is Director of Music and Organist at Toronto’s historic Church of St. Mary Magdalene. He previously served as Associate Director of Music at St. James’s Cathedral, Toronto, and as Assistant Organist at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene. At St. James’s Cathedral he contributed regularly to the recital series, playing well over 100 programmes. Andrew studied at the University of Toronto with University Organist John Tuttle, and has additionally received tuition from a number of international sources.

Michael Bloss

Michael Bloss

Michael Bloss has developed a celebrated reputation for animated performances, sensitive collaborative playing, and illuminative coaching. In an enviable career of touring, performing and recording throughout the world, he was the first Canadian to be awarded the designation of Preisträger at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig, Germany playing in Bach’s own church. J.S. Bach remains his first and best love. Currently, Michael leads the music at Christ’s Church Cathedral, Hamilton ON following respected tenures at the Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, Park Congregational Church in Grand Rapids and Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto. Recent appearances include a tour through Germany and Austria with the Chapel Choir of Royal St. George’s College, Toronto, and recitals in Germany and Denmark. Before the COVID pandemic began, he also served as a CRJ 100/200 Training Captain at Air Canada Express flying to a variety of US destinations and was type rated on the B767 for Air Canada Rouge.

Alison Clark

Alison Clark

Alison Clark, a native of New Zealand, travelled to Canada in 1981 to complete a Masters Degree in Organ Performance at McGill University (Montreal). She won the New Zealand Organ Competition when she was 18, and while studying in Montreal she travelled to Chartres (France), Bruges (Belgium), Manchester (England), and Ann Arbor, Michigan to play in more Competitions. Alison has also performed for Radio New Zealand, and Radio Canada (Montreal).

 

Currently, Alison is the music director of St Marks Anglican Church, Brantford, but she has held church positions in Montreal (assistant at Christ Church Cathedral), Fredericton’s Christ Church Cathedral, Toronto, and Kitchener-Waterloo.

 

Alison has played many concerts in many cities…Boston, Hilton Head, P.E.I, Halifax, Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Montreal, Toronto, to name just a few. She enjoys learning a wide variety of music, and loves to encourage and promote young organists braving the music scene these days.

Isabelle Demers

Isabelle Demers

With playing described as having “bracing virtuosity” (Chicago Classical Review) and being “fearless and extraordinary” (Amarillo-Globe News), Isabelle Demers has enraptured critics, presenters, and audience members around the globe. Her 2010 recital for the International Society of Organbuilders-American Institute of Organbuilders convention “left the entire congress in an atmosphere of ‘Demers fever’”. That same year, her performance at the Washington D.C. national convention of the American Guild of Organists was described as “one of the most outstanding events of the convention” (The American Organist). The standing-room-only audience there called her back to the stage five times.

 

She has appeared worldwide in recital in Europe, Oman, Australia, New Zealand, and coast to coast in the United States and her home country of Canada. Highlights of her 2018-2019 season include performances at the Maison Symphonique (Montreal, Québec), the Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg, Germany), City Hall (Stockholm, Sweden), the Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing, China), and Westminster Abbey (London, UK), in addition to numerous other engagements in North America, Europe, and Asia.

 

Dr. Demers is in continual demand by her fellow colleagues as witnessed by performances for regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Institute of Organ Builders and International Society of Organbuilders, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and the Organ Historical Society.

 

Her first recording on the Acis label, The Old and the New, was met with critical acclaim. Fanfare Magazine called it “superbly produced”, a “clear, tightly focused recording”, and a “brilliantly played program.” Her second disc, featuring the organ works of Rachel Laurin, was released in June 2011, and her recording of Max Reger’s Seven Chorale-Fantasias in November 2012. Her fourth CD, Bach, Bull, and Bombardes (Pro Organo), was released in May 2013. In 2018, she appeared as solo organ accompanist in a recording of Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem with the Baylor University Choir, recorded at Duruflé’s church, St. Étienne-du-Mont, in Paris, also on the Acis label.

 

A native of Québec and a doctoral graduate of the Juilliard School, Dr. Demers is Organ Professor and Head of the Organ Program at Baylor University in Texas.

Duo Majoya

Duo Majoya

Marnie Giesbrecht and Joachim Segger are Duo Majoya, the uniquely versatile and innovative keyboard team that has circled the globe performing keyboard duets of all combinations in North America, Europe, South Africa and Asia. The duo has performed a distinctive repertoire of commissioned, original and arranged works on community and university concert series, at conventions and international organ festivals. Commissions include works for organ duet and organ/piano by Canadian and international composers funded by the RCCO (Royal Canadian College of Organists), AFA, Canada Council, and other sources. Commissions include more than twenty pieces for organ duet and organ/piano by Canadian and international composers; Duo Majoya records a broad range of keyboard duet repertoire on CDs and videos.

 

Enthusiasts and advocates for the development of organ music in Edmonton and Canada through leadership roles in the RCCO and other regional and national musical organizations, Giesbrecht and Segger also serve the Edmonton community as music directors at First Presbyterian Church. The duo was inducted into the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame in June, 2014 for their individual careers and exceptional work as Duo Majoya. In July, 2015, Giesbrecht and Segger were inaugurated Honorary Fellows of the Royal Canadian College of Organists.

 

Giesbrecht and Segger began playing piano duets upon meeting as students. Their piano studies intersected in the classes of Ernesto Lejano (University of Alberta) and Kurt Neumüller (Mozarteum in Salzburg); and the Eastman School of Music (Cecile Genhart and Barry Snyder). Playing piano duets continues to be a constant joy.

 

Dr. Giesbrecht is Professor Emerita and University Organist at the University of Alberta; and Adjunct Professor of at The King’s University; Dr. Segger is Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department at The King’s University.

David Enlow

David Enlow

David Enlow is a “commanding” organist (The New Yorker), teacher, and conductor based in New York, who is active in North America and Europe. Credited with “immense virtuosity” (Stuttgarter Zeitung) and “performances full of color, passion, invention, and power” (The American Record Guide), David works in concert music and church music. His solo recordings include Pater Seraphicus, the complete major organ works of César Franck; Piano à l’Orgue, an album of piano transcriptions; and Bach on Park Avenue, recorded on the Mander organ at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York.

 

David has taught church music, service playing, improvisation, and organ repertoire master classes for local, regional, and national events of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and at the Juilliard School, from which he received two degrees. David also received the Fellowship diploma, with both prizes for highest marks, from the AGO, which resulted in his joining the committee on professional certification, which sets the standards for the national organist examinations and grades them. David then served two terms as Dean of the New York City Chapter AGO.

 

In national organ performance competitions, he received the first prizes of the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival (USA) and the Arthur Poister Competition, and has recently served as a judge for several others including the Albert Schweitzer festival and the AGO’s improvisation competition. David studied the organ with Paul Jacobs, John Weaver, and John Tuttle, and improvisation with Gerre Hancock.

 

David’s work at the Church of the Resurrection on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where he arrived in 2001 while still a student, has included directing performances of over fifty different settings of the mass each year, sung by the church’s professional choir. The music program places special emphasis on the great works of Mozart, Haydn and their contemporaries, often offered with chamber orchestra, but also includes plainsong, Renaissance polyphony, Baroque music, and 20th-century works. For two years, the church offered choral evensong, featuring the 19th and 20th century cathedral repertory.

John Paul Farahat

John Paul Farahat

John Paul Farahat is Director of Music and Principal Organist of Saint Basil’s Church, the collegiate church of the University of Saint Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. He further serves as one of five organists for Saint Michael’s Cathedral Basilica, Toronto, and sits on the National Council of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Past solo organ concert engagements include the Cathédrale Notre-Dame and Église St-Eustache in Paris, the International Organ Festival Toulouse Les Orgues, Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, London, and Trinity College, Cambridge, UK, as well as Saint Thomas Church and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC.

 

John Paul Farahat holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance from the University of Toronto, where he studied with Kevin Komisaruk and authored Precomposed and Extemporized: Rediscovering the Life and Improvisatory Work of Canadian Organist Victor Togni (1935 – 1965). He received additional instruction from Olivier Latry, Peter Williams, Martin Haselböck, Noam Sivan, and Thomas Murray. Visit www.farahat.ca for more information.

Shawn Grenke

Shawn Grenke

Conductor, Pianist and Organist Shawn Grenke is Director of Music at Eglinton St. George’s United Church in Toronto, Associate Conductor and Accompanist for the Amadeus Choir of Toronto, Accompanist to the Elmer Iseler Singers of Toronto, and Artistic Director of the 80-voice Achill Choral Society in Orangeville, Ontario. Shawn began his musical training as a chorister and pianist with the Hastings County Board of Education Concert Choir under the Direction of Rudolf Heijdens in his hometown of Belleville.

 

He has a Bachelor of Music degree (2000) from Mount Allison University (New Brunswick), and a Master of Music degree (2002) from the University of Toronto. Shawn has made international appearances in concerts in Poland, at the ‘Let the Future Sing’ Choral Festival in Sweden, the ‘Le Mondial Choral Loto-Québec World Choral Competition’ in Laval, Québec, ‘Xinghai Choral Competition’ in China, Seoul, Roy Thomson Hall, CBC Radio, and other various festivals, concert series, and recitals throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Ariel Harwood-Jones

Ariel Harwood-Jones

Ms. Harwood-Jones received her formal education at the University of Toronto, earning a Bachelor of Music in Performance. She has performed for many prestigious organizations, including Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, Canadian Brass, the Elora Festival Singers, the Elmer Iseler Singers, Nexus, and Toronto Consort.

 

A few of Ms. Harwood-Jones’s appearances include Bach’s Magnificat with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bramwell Tovey, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Sault Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with Mississauga Choral Society, Mozart’s Requiem with the Elora Festival Singers, Handel’s Dixit Dominus with Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, Einhorn’s Voices of Light with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with the Nota Bene Baroque Players in their production of Bach’s Magnificat, conducted by Howard Dyck. Since 2016, she has been focusing on using her extensive knowledge of Early Music to develop a new ensemble, Kammerchor London, where she performs, manages, and directs. Ariel is also a piano technician, working with both private clients and Western University.

Angela Hewitt

Angela Hewitt

Photo credit: James Katz

One of the world’s leading pianists, Angela Hewitt appears in recital and as soloist with major orchestras throughout Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. Her interpretations of the music of J.S. Bach have established her as one of the composer’s foremost interpreters of our time. She was a prizewinner in numerous piano competitions in Europe, Canada, and the USA, but it was her triumph in the 1985 Toronto International Bach Piano Competition, held in memory of Glenn Gould, that truly launched her international career.

 

Angela’s award-winning cycle for Hyperion Records of all the major keyboard works of Bach has been described as “one of the record glories of our age” (The Sunday Times). She has won four Juno Awards, including one for her album of Mozart Concertos with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. In 2020 she was awarded two prestigious prizes: the City of Leipzig Bach Medal (being the first woman in its 17-year history to receive the award), and the Wigmore Hall Gold Medal in recognition of some 80 performances over the past 35 years in London’s most prestigious chamber music venue.

 

Described as “one of the busiest pianists on earth” by London’s Evening Standard (2005), Angela also devotes herself to nurturing new talent. Her masterclasses, both around the world and online, are hugely appreciated, and every few years she gives a week-long masterclass in Italy for gifted pianists. She was also part of Piano Six from 1994-2004: a project which took live music into the remote communities of Canada—giving concerts, masterclasses, and playing for school children across the country. Her writings on music include all the liner notes for her CD recordings as well as several book reviews for the Times Literary Supplement.

 

In 2005, Angela launched the Trasimeno Music Festival in the heart of Umbria, Italy of which she is Artistic Director. An annual event, it draws an international audience to stunning venues including the Castle of the Knights of Malta in Magione (near Perugia) on the shores of Lake Trasimeno. Seven concerts in seven days feature Hewitt as recitalist, chamber musician, song accompanist, and conductor, working with both established and young artists of her choosing.

 

As an Ambassador for “Orkidstra”– a Sistema-inspired social development program in Ottawa’s inner city, she brings attention to how music can bring children and young adults together through the joy of making music and learning an instrument, as well as how it teaches valuable skills such as commitment, teamwork and tolerance.

 

In March of 2020, when all concert activity and travelling abruptly stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic, Angela went online to share daily offerings of short pieces—many of which form the basis of teaching material.

 

In 2006 Angela was awarded an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II, and in 2015 she was promoted to a Companion of the Order of Canada. She was “Artist of the Year” at the 2006 Gramophone Awards, “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2010 MIDEM Classical Awards at Cannes, and in 2018 received the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Ottawa. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, has seven honorary doctorates, and is a Visiting Fellow of Peterhouse College, Cambridge.

Aaron James

Aaron James

Organist and musicologist Aaron James is the Director of Music at the Toronto Oratory of St Philip Neri. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music with both a PhD degree in musicology and a DMA degree in organ, along with the Performer’s Certificate in organ. He was the 2011 winner of the National Organ Playing Competition of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and has won numerous other prizes and scholarships for his organ playing, including first prizes in the Florence and Stanley Osborne Organ Competition and the Howard Fairclough Organ Competition; he was also a finalist in the 2012 Franz Schmidt International Organ Competition (Kitzbühel, Austria). He performs regularly as an organ recitalist in both Canada and the United States, and has appeared as a soloist with the Eastman Graduate Chamber Orchestra, the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. A regular performer of contemporary music, Aaron has given national or world premieres of numerous new compositions, including works by Emily Hall, Martin Herchenröder, Michael Nyman, Daniel Ochoa and Kyle Quarles. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, the College’s highest academic distinction, receiving the Willan and Porter prizes for the 2012 Fellowship examinations.

 

Aaron completed his doctoral studies as an organist in the studio of Edoardo Bellotti, having previously studied with Hans Davidsson and Michel Bouvard at Eastman, and with Paul Merritt at the University of Western Ontario, where he received the Faculty of Music Gold Medal. His PhD dissertation examined the mid-sixteenth-century German music printer Sigmund Salminger, demonstrating how Salminger adapted and transformed older repertories of Franco-Flemish polyphony for the religiously divided public of post-Reformation Augsburg. Aaron’s research has been presented at multiple international conferences and has been widely published. He currently serves as a Sessional Lecturer in organ at the University of Toronto, having previously taught at Eastman and at the University of Rochester.

Martin Jongsma

Martin Jongsma

Martin Jongsma (b.1986) began his organ studies after participating in a Hamilton POW (Pipe Organ Week) initiative in 2001. Martin completed a Bachelor of Music degree in 2008 from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, and a Master of Music degree in 2011 from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. He became an associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists in 2012. Martin manages a private music studio, directs the “Uplifted Voices” choir and regularly accompanies church services in the Hamilton-area Reformed churches. Martin is in the final phase of his doctoral program in organ performance at the University of Toronto under the mentorship of Kevin Komisaruk. Martin’s dissertation is titled: “The History and Practice of Congregational Organ Accompaniment in the Dutch Reformed Churches of the Seventeenth- and Eighteenth Centuries.”

Jean-Willy Kunz

Jean-Willy Kunz

Jean-Willy Kunz is the first organist in residence of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. In addition to playing both with the Orchestra and in recital, he sees to the development and showcasing of the OSM’s Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique at Maison symphonique de Montréal. His most recent performances include concerts with l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, les Violons du Roy, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, as well as with the singers Pierre Lapointe, and Rufus and Martha Wainwright. His discography includes many recordings which reflect the broad range of his musical influences: solo organ; “Impressions” for organ, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, double bass and percussions; “Symphonie et créations pour orgue et orchestre” with the OSM (Juno Award 2016); “Punkt” with Pierre Lapointe; “André Gagnon Baroque” for harpsichord and symphony orchestra. Jean-Willy Kunz is organ professor at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and Artistic Director of the Canadian International Organ Competition.

Matthew Larkin

Matthew Larkin

Matthew Larkin was born in Oxford, England, and came to Canada shortly before his sixth birthday. He was educated at Lord Strathcona School in Kingston, Ontario, and received his early musical training as a chorister at St. George’s Cathedral, later serving as assistant organist. He attended the University of Toronto as organ scholar of Trinity College, where he was a student of John Tuttle, and subsequently the Royal College of Music. One of Canada’s most influential liturgical musicians, he has held appointments in Toronto, Ottawa, and Victoria, and was director of music at Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa, for fifteen years. Active as a choral director and conductor, he founded the Caelis Academy Ensemble and has served as musical director of a number of other noteworthy Canadian ensembles. His recital work has taken him worldwide, and his collaborative projects have produced commercially successful recordings on several labels, including his most recent release on the ATMA Classique label. He is conversant in a number of musical genres, and is well-known as a composer, arranger, and educator. Matthew is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists and has served as a member of its Examinations Committee. He is a resident of Ottawa and Toronto, dividing his time between choral, conducting, recital, recording, and live-streaming projects. Matthew Larkin is represented by Domoney Artists Management, Toronto.

Rachel Laurin

Rachel Laurin

Rachel Laurin was born in l96l, in St-Benoît, Province of Quebec, Canada. After her studies at the Montreal Conservatory, she became Associate Organist of Raymond Daveluy at St-Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal (1986-2002), and from 2002 to 2006, she was Titular Organist at Notre Dame Cathedral, Ottawa. She now devotes herself to composition, recitals, master classes and lectures.

 

She has performed organ recitals in major cities in Canada, the United States and Europe, and has made more than twelve recordings on Motette, Musicus, Musicus/Fidelio, Analekta, SRC (Radio-Canada), Riche Lieu, DJA, BND, and Raven labels. Rachel Laurin is well known as an improviser, and she has had many opportunities to teach this art in many schools including the Montreal Conservatory, the Summer School of Sacred Music in Épinal, France, and in many workshops and academies in Canada and USA. During the 2009-2010 season, she was “Distinguished Guest Artist” at Yale University (New Haven, CT). She was also invited at the Mount Royal College (Calgary, AB), University of Alberta (Edmonton), Baylor University (Waco, TX), Syracuse University (NY), Kansas City University (MO), St. Thomas University (Minneapolis, MN) among others, for recitals and teaching.

 

​Rachel Laurin is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. She has composed more than a hundred works for solo instruments, voice, instrumental ensembles and orchestra. These works have been performed and recorded in major cities throughout the world. Five complete CDs are devoted to some of her organ compositions and chamber music, on labels ATMA, Acis and Raven. Her compositions are published by Doberman, RCCO Music Publications (Canada), Europart (France), Hinshaw Music (Fred Bock) and Wayne Leupold Editions (USA) where she has been “House Composer” since 2006. She has won many awards, including the « Prix Conrad-Letendre », the Holtkamp-AGO Composition Award in 2008, the first Prize in the Marilyn Mason New Organ Music Competition in 2009, and the “Composer of Distinction” award from the AGO in 2020.

 

A feature-length program devoted to her work as a composer and organist, titled “Rachel’s Children”, was broadcast by American Public Media’s PIPEDREAMS presented by Michael Barone, in October 2012.

 

Rachel Laurin is a member of the “Comité d’Honneur de la Fédération Francophone des Amis de l’Orgue”, since 2016.

Sarah MacDonald

Sarah MacDonald

Sarah MacDonald is a Canadian-born organist, conductor, and composer, living in the UK, and currently holds the positions of Fellow and Director of Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and Director of the girl choristers at Ely Cathedral. She has been at Selwyn since 1999, and is the first woman to hold such a post in an Oxbridge Chapel. In 2018 MacDonald was given the honorary award of Associate of the Royal School of Church Music (ARSCM).

 

MacDonald moved to the United Kingdom from Canada in 1992 as Organ Scholar of Robinson College, Cambridge after studying piano, organ, and conducting at The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School in Toronto with Leon Fleisher, Marek Jablonski, and John Tuttle. At Cambridge she read for a degree in Music, and studied the organ with David Sanger. Her early musical studies as a pianist took place at the Victoria Conservatory of Music on the west coast of British Columbia.

 

MacDonald has played numerous recitals and conducted choirs throughout the UK, North America, the Middle East, New Zealand, and much of mainland Europe. She has made over 35 recordings as pianist, organist, conductor, and producer, and currently works most frequently with Regent Records. MacDonald is a winner of the Royal College of Organists’ (RCO) coveted Limpus Prize, and has taught organ and conducting for Eton Choral Courses, Oundle for Organists, the Jennifer Bate Organ Academy, and courses run by the RCO. For its first ten years, she was a regular director of the Girl Chorister Course at St Thomas’ Church Fifth Avenue, in New York City, and is a guest conductor of international RSCM residential courses (Charlotte NC 2016, Rhode Island 2017, Pacific Northwest 2018, Australia 2020). MacDonald holds the Royal College of Organists’ Fellowship Diploma (FRCO), is Examiner for the RCO and the Cambridge University Music Faculty, and also spent many years as a member of the Academic Board of the RCO and as a Trustee. She is an Honorary Patron of the Herbert Howells Society and of the Society of Women Organists.

 

MacDonald is active as a composer, and has had works published by Encore Publications the Royal School of Church Music, August Press, and St James Music Press. MacDonald also writes a popular monthly column for the American Guild of Organists’ magazine ‘The American Organist’, called “UK Report”.

 

In January 2020, the ‘Sarah MacDonald Choral Series’ with Selah Publishing was launched.

Rachel Mahon

Rachel Mahon

Photo credit: Graham Lacdao

Rachel Mahon is based at Coventry Cathedral, where she was Assistant Director of Music and is now the Director of Music, and responsible for training and conducting the Cathedral Choir and running the music programme. Prior to this, she was Assistant Organist at Chester Cathedral where she worked regularly with the Cathedral Choir.

 

Rachel was Organ Scholar at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, England from 2014-2016, and made history as the first female organist on staff in its 1400-year history. As one of the full time organists, she gave recitals and regularly played and conducted for services, working with the world famous Cathedral Choir in the daily cycle of worship as well as services of National significance.

 

She combines life as a Cathedral musician with a busy international recital schedule, touring as soloist and as part of Organized Crime Duo. Recent and upcoming engagements include an opening concert for the Montreal Symphony; the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ National Convention 2016; Orgelsommer Festivals 2016 & 2017, Lüneburg, Germany; The Toronto Bach Festival 2018; Haderslev Cathedral, Denmark; and the Lichfield Festival. Rachel has appeared on radio as performer and presenter, most recently accompanying the BBC Singers in Choral Evensong and presenting This is My Music on CBC radio and Inside Music on BBC radio 3. Funded by a grant awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Rachel’s debut solo album, featuring all Canadian music on the organ of Coventry Cathedral, was released to excellent reviews – it received five stars in Choir and Organ Magazine and was Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice in March 2020.

 

Rachel has won numerous awards and competitions in Canada, including a graduating scholarship from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and the Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Scholarship from the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and she has just been nominated for the 2020 Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award through the Ontario Arts Council. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Toronto, where she studied with Professor John Tuttle and since moving to the UK, she has studied with Henry Fairs at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Whilst pursuing her degree, Rachel was the Bevan Organ Scholar at Trinity College, Toronto, as well as the Principal Organist at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church. She has also held organ scholarships at St James Cathedral, Toronto and Truro Cathedral, UK. In 2014, she was named one of the top 30 musicians under 30 in Canada by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

 

In 2012, Rachel and fellow organist Sarah Svendsen founded the duo Organized Crime and the two organists aim to entertain audiences with their music and crazy antics. The pair have toured across Canada many times and performed in the opening concert of the Montreal Organ Festival in 2017 and at the RCCO National Convention in Halifax in 2019.

Ottawa Bach Choir

Ottawa Bach Choir

The JUNO Award-winning Ottawa Bach Choir (OBC), founded in 2002 by Dr. Lisette Canton, offers audiences a wide range of choral music of the finest quality, performing music from all historical periods while keeping Bach’s choral oeuvre as the focus of its repertoire. Through a combination of both a scholarly and emotional approach to choral music, the professional chamber ensemble expands all aspects of the artistic spectrum. Joining some of Canada’s most accomplished artists and top choristers from the National Capital region and beyond, the choir has received national and international recognition.

 

The Ottawa Bach Choir, now in its 19th season, performs a large subscription concert series in Ottawa and travels extensively in Canada and abroad. In 2022, the choir has been invited to return to Bachfest Leipzig as one of a select number of ensembles worldwide (and the only Canadian ensemble) to present Bach’s entire chorale cantata cycle. In 2016, the OBC toured China, where it was invited to represent Canada at the festival, Meet in Beijing, in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2014, the choir received an invitation to perform in the prestigious international festival, Bachfest Leipzig 2014, the first Canadian choir to receive such an invitation. The choir made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2011, and has performed in London, Paris, Venice, Amsterdam, Bayreuth, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Prague, Vienna, and more. Past appearances have also included concerts at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and numerous cities and festivals across Canada. The OBC was invited as the first Canadian choir to perform and take over the duties of the Thomanerchor in May 2005 at the Thomaskirche, in Leipzig, and again in 2007 and 2009.

 

In addition to its successful performances of all of Bach’s major works, the OBC has sung sacred and secular works from all musical periods, and collaborated with numerous national and international artists and ensembles. The choir also engages in an educational outreach program each season and has performed in over 50 schools in the Ottawa-Carleton region.

 

The OBC has been broadcast nationwide on CBC Radio 1 and Radio 2, as well as on Radio-Canada. The choir has recorded seven compact discs to critical acclaim, including the JUNO Award-winning album, Handel, Bach & Schütz on the ATMA Classique label (2019), exclaimed as “among the very best” (American Record Guide) and “staggering and movingly performed” (Gramophone Magazine), ‘Twas But Pure Love (2016), Cantate Domino (2011), Jesu, meine Freude (2008), A Christmas Story (2005) and Festival Baroque (2005). The choir’s most recent broadcasts have been heard across the nation on CBC Radio Two and on Radio-Canada’s ICI musique.  For more information, please visit the Ottawa Bach Choir’s web site, www.ottawabachchoir.ca.

Stéphane Potvin

Stéphane Potvin

Stéphane Potvin is a multi-talented individual. First and foremost a choral and orchestral conductor, he is also an experienced arts manager, a skilled graphic designer, and a proficient audio and video editor.

 

As a conductor, he is recognized for his impeccable technique, highly efficient rehearsals, and his profound and inspirational approach to music making. With over thirty years of experience, he is able to coax lyrical performances from orchestras, choirs, and chamber ensembles alike. Maestro Potvin’s approach to music making marries the technical precision of the German culture, the silkiness of the Anglo Saxons singing, and the passion, fervour, and exuberance of his French-Canadian heritage. A respected composer, arranger and clinician, he also has a wealth of experience in education and adjudication. Above all he loves sharing his passion for music with colleagues and audiences.

 

Maestro Potvin is the Founder and Artistic Director of Musikay, a professional vocal and instrumental ensemble dedicated to the performance of classical music in and around Hamilton, with the goal of making that music accessible and relevant to today’s audience.

 

Maestro Potvin’s career has taken him throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. He has conducted the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra London, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra—where he served as Resident Conductor and Artistic Administrator—the Oakville Chamber Orchestra, the Canadian Armed Forces Band, and the National Academy Orchestra. As a well-established choral conductor, he has led numerous choirs including the Niagara Children’s Chorus, the Canadian Orpheus Male Choir, the Brott Music Festival Choir, and has worked with the McGill Chamber Singers.

 

Mr. Potvin is an excellent communicator with a sparkling sense of humour. Fully bilingual, he connects equally with audiences in French and in English. A devoted communicator, he knows how to engage audiences young and old alike.

Norman Reintamm

Norman Reintamm

Norman Reintamm’s undergraduate studies in music were done at the University of Toronto and McMaster University, with his postgraduate work being accomplished at the Royal College of Music (London, ENGLAND). While at the Royal College of Music, Norman had the great fortune to study with Sir David Willcocks, Sir Norman del Mar, and Sir Richard Popplewell. He has served as Senior Conductor at the Estonian National Opera, Head of the Opera Department at the Estonian Academy of Music, Tutor in the Opera Department at the Sibelius Academy, and Principal Conductor and Music Director for the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra.

 

Norman has given organ recitals in Canada, the United States, and Europe, including the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City and Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. He is now semi- retired, holding the position of Music Director at Saint Joseph’s RC Church in Hamilton (Ontario), Artistic Advisor to the Barbados Classical Music Festival, and Flight Instructor at the Brantford Flight Centre in Brantford.

Mark Segger

Mark Segger

Mark Segger is a Canadian drummer, percussionist, and composer. He has recorded and toured with various Toronto-based jazz and creative music projects and performed as an improviser with Dave Burrell, Steve Swell, Lina Allemano, and Jane Bunnett among many others. Segger appears regularly in the percussion section of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (when operative) and has toured the world with Sundance Productions (NYC), both as the percussionist and drummer for West Side Story. Segger is currently a doctoral Killam Scholar in composition at the University of Alberta and his music continues to garner international acclaim, with his most recent Mark Segger Sextet release Lift Off (2020) being praised as “challenging and rewarding music. Adventurous!” (Wulf Muller).

David Simon

David Simon

David Simon enjoys a diverse career as an organ recitalist, improviser, instructor, and liturgical musician. He has performed across North America, Europe, the UK, and Russia and has played with the Toronto and New Haven Symphony Orchestras as an organ soloist. First studying music as a chorister at St. Michael’s Cathedral-Basilica in Toronto, David continues to play organ at weekly masses in the Cathedral-Basilica and he instructs piano and organ for St. Michael’s Choir School. Fully embracing digital media for teaching, his studio includes students from across Canada and the United States.

 

David is the recipient of prestigious national prizes for organ repertoire interpretation and improvisation. In 2018, David won First Prize and Audience Prize in the University of Michigan organ improvisation competition and in 2019 won First Prize in the Royal Canadian College of Organists national competition. He is a doctoral candidate at Yale University in the studios of Thomas Murray and Jeff Brillhart, and is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (FRCCO), winning the Willan Scholarship for top national achievement.

Thanks to all of our sponsors including:

Click here to view our list of sponsors. 

Organ Festival Canada: Hamilton 2021 also gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Summer Jobs Program.

Follow Us

Contact Us
OFC Hamilton 2021
#1703-90 Duke St
Hamilton, ON L8P 1X6
info@rccofestival2021.ca
905-572-6584