Upcoming and past musical and developer-oriented events that I am either leading, participating in, or attending. Click or tap on an event for more details.
Come celebrate the sounds of Spring with a delightful concert featuring the Liebeslieder Waltzes by Johannes Brahms. These are a set of 18 songs sung by eight voices, some of them in smaller configurations, about love and loss in the most Romantic tradition, with accompaniment by two persons at one piano.
The Choir of Men and Boys presents a concert of sacred German music from the Baroque period for Palm Sunday. This consists of two works: Bach's Palm Sunday cantata no. 182 "Himmelskönig, sei willkommen" and three of the seven parts of Buxtehude's Membra Jesu nostri. These are two very different kinds of works that together promise to make a wonderful short afternoon of musical reflection. The Bach in particular has some very fine arias for solo voices, even a tenor that you may find familiar.
Do come out to support the hard work of our choir, especially the boys who have been working with and inspiring degree of dedication and fine musicianship all this year long. The concert is free of admission charge, but of course a donation is always welcome to support the music programme and the work of the Cathedral church at large in the community.
Come to see (and hear, obviously!) the début of the new Thirteen Strings Chamber Choir as we sing Bach's Magnificat in D with the orchestra at the annual Christmas concert, dubbed Christmas by Candlelight. Besides this very fine work, the concert comprises a number of other items including an absolutely stellar recorder concerto and Quest by Canadian composer Alice Ping Yee Ho. And, of course, audience participation with a small selection of favourite Advent hymns led by the choir.
Tickets are available on-line or at the door.
Come celebrate the Feast of All Souls with a special Eucharist service featuring the spectacular Requiem by Maurice Duruflé. The Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys joins together with the Cathedral Girls' Choir and orchestra to sing this stirring work, based on the traditional Gregorian chant of the Requiem, in its function as the music of the Mass.
As this is a worship service, there are no tickets and no entrance fee. However, a freewill offering is gratefully accepted as always.
The Cantata Singers of Ottawa present a new multi-media work by Andrew Ager, called The 11th Hour. This features, in the choir, arrangements of a few popular songs from the time of the First World War along with original settings of some well-known texts appropriate to the centennial observance of the Armistice.
The Seventeen Voyces chamber choir presents an annual favourite event, the Silent Movie. This year it is once again just in time for Hallowe'en, which is apt because the film is the classic Nosferatu starring the inimitable and brilliantly named Max Schreck. The choir sings dramatic, eerie, and mostly pleasant music to accompany the drama, aided and abetted by the very talented Matthew Larkin on the organ.
Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for students, available from a singer or on-line. A solid deal. And there will be a cash bar to enjoy at the intermission, so altogether a great night out.
Please note that if you cannot make the Friday night showing, it repeats at the same time on Saturday 27th October.
I will be the tenor soloist for CAMMAC's production of the Mozart Requiem. This event is an open reading of the work, with orchestra, welcoming all choristers in the Ottawa area to join in. The choir and orchestra will be led by Ottawa's own Laura Hawley, an accomplished choral conductor and composer with whom it is great fun to sing, from warm-up exercises to the final curtain call.
I will be tenor soloist in an offering of The Crucifixion, an oratorio by John Stainer, together with the Men and Boys of Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa. This work very effectively tells the story of the Passion of Christ, with dramatic and stirring moments and always beautiful, lyrical lines. The tenor solo for the majesty of the divine humiliation is a wonderful example of the range of this work.
The congregation even has opportunities for participation: the work includes five hymns for the people to join the choir in singing. And, of course, there is the centrepiece chorus God So Loved the World, a favourite in long standing.
As this is a worship service, there are no tickets and no entrance fee. But as always, there is a collection taken of free-will offerings. Please do come and enjoy this meditation on Palm Sunday afternoon!
Ottawa's Capital Chamber Choir offers a complete presentation of Vigilia: Vespers & Matins, a masterpiece of Finnish choral sacred music by Einojuhani Rautavaara. This a capella work features a wide array of textures and sonorities, with a lot of interplay between soloists and choir, drawn from the traditions of orthodox chant and Nordic harmonies. The listener will feel transported to a cold, dark cathedral church celebrating the mysteries of these ancient monastic services.
Tickets are, as usual, extremely affordable. The basso profundo solo lines are worth the price of admission alone, so do come out to support this extraordinary work that is so extremely rarely presented in Ottawa that probably this is an unique opportunity. Tickets are available on line, from choir members, or at various musical outlets around town.
The Cantata Singers of Ottawa present an afternoon delight of choral music composed variously in and for the Winter season. The centrepiece of the programme is the excellent Missa Brevis by Zoltán Kodály. This piece has it all: high-flying angelic sopranos, deep rumbling basses, moments of nervous quiet, dramatic excitement, even a near stampede.
Also on the bill are some exquisite works by other 20th-century and contemporary composers
As it happens, you'll be hearing a bunch from me in this concert. We are also joined by the fabulous Shawn Potter on the organ. Andrew McAnerney teases the very best out of us as usual.
Tickets are very affordably priced with discounts for advanced purchase. Details available on the choir's web site.
You'll be tired of seasonal music by the 9th of December, so the Capital Chamber Choir is pleased to offer extraordinary choral music by some of today's most gifted composers, and none of it even remotely resembles any holiday music. All of it unaccompanied:
- a very dramatic mass setting by Giles Swayne
- a deeply moving elegy for a recent tragedy by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
- an ethereal, serene piece by Jordan Nobles
- two works by Uģis Prauliņš that are simply breathtaking in their scope. Enormous sonic paintings of sacred text
This is music that you probably won't hear live in Ottawa again unless this choir repeats itself. We are lucky to have a group devoted to the presentation of such a wide range of modern choral compositions. This truly is a concert not to be missed.
Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for students and seniors, with a generous $5 discount on both for advanced purchase. Available on-line, at The Leading Note, or from any member of the choir.
Yes! Autumn is still just around the corner, so why not celebrate it with an evening of beautiful music featuring the magnificent Requiem by Maurice Duruflé?
The Capital Chamber Choir joins the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir to present the powerful mix of ancient and modern music crafted by the French master. Simple choral lines based on the Gregorian chant of the mass for the dead combine with a complex and exciting accompaniment to great effect. Perfect for Remembrance Day reflection on the 99th anniversary of the Armistice.
Other pieces on the programme include more modern works by Sir John Tavener, Eric Whitacre, and the Canadian composer Peter-Anthony Togni. Don't forget that this concert is in the beautiful St-François d'Assise church in Hintonburg, not our usual spot, so take advantage of the great nearby restaurants to make a dinner-and-music date night! Tickets are only $25 or $15 for students and seniors, available now.
The Cantata Singers of Ottawa present the Requiem of Gabriel Fauré by candlelight on the evening of Saturday 4 November. This masterpiece of the choral canon features an exquisite tenor line in the Agnus Dei that is worth the price of admission alone, but we don't stop there. We have invited two fabulous guest soloists to some very important bits: soprano Jeanine Williams and baritone Ryan Hofman.
The Fauré is, of course, the centrepiece of the evening but there is other music on the menu to enjoy:
- an excellent Misericordias Domini by Mozart in which he demonstrates how counterpoint is as much child's play to him as every other musical form (yes, he would have invented the tone poem if he had lived a while longer)
- another Fauré work that shows an early aptitude for choral composition
- another Mozart work that showcases our soprano soloist gloriously
- one of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos to give your ears a break from the choir and just enjoy the fine orchestra that is supporting our evening's work
So many reasons to come out for a peaceful evening of fine music. And tickets are easy to come by, in advance, on-line, or at the door. Advanced tickets are: $25 regular admission, $20 for seniors, and $8 for students.
Yes! It's the fourth Larkin by Request concert at which Matthew Larkin plays any and all requests for your favourite music on organ, piano, even voice and other instruments as available! Always a great time and entirely in support of the valuable work of the choirs: this year the Choir of Men and Boys' UK tour happening this July. Your donations go straight into a fund that helps a young person to go on a once-in-a-lifetime (literally) trip to experience the pinnacle of our sacred choral music tradition.
As an added incentive, some men of the choir including yours truly are contributing with their time and talents in song and who knows what else. I shall be singing a pair of famous love songs by a great romantic German master of the Lieder art, accompanied of course by the maestro.
The length of the programme depends on the number of requests received. There may still be time for yours (maestro learns quickly) but it is running out! In any case, do come out and avail yourself of the free-will offering baskets to launch a boy chorister's dream!
Coming soon, the Christ Church Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys presents another concert of Solid Walls of Sound: grand walls of bold, beautiful, uplifting, moving sound. Not only is this a crucial fund-raising opportunity for our imminent UK Tour, but it is also a last chance to see this choir in concert under the direction of our beloved Matthew Larkin (we do have more smaller-format services and concerts in the month of June to follow).
Proceeds from this concert will help to send amazingly talented and hard-working young people, the future of our great choral tradition, on a one-of-a-kind adventure that they will cherish forever. So, please give generously and bring your friends and family!
The Choirs of Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa this year are once again presenting a musical offering for prayer and reflection on Good Friday. It will feature a wide variety of music, with evocative, expressive works by Brahms, Geistliches Lied; Barber, his own choral adaptation of his famous Adagio for Strings as an Agnus Dei; the modern master, Eric Whitacre; and historic masterpieces by Venetian writers, including a Miserere mei by Raphaella Aleotti, the first published woman composer in music history.
As this is a worship service, there is no admission fee, although donations are very welcome and will be shared amongst several worthy causes, including:
- St. Luke's Table: an important outreach program for hungry and homeless people downtown
- Restoration 120 initiative for the Cathedral structure (PDF)
- the choir's UK tour this summer to Gloucester Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and St Alban's Cathedral, which is an exciting and rare opportunity for the youth of the choir especially
The cover image for this event is the official event poster, based on the White Crucifixion painting by Marc Chagall.
The Cantata Singers of Ottawa presents another candlelit concert this season, featuring music from renaissance Venice. The centrepiece of the evening is the massive Vespers by Claudio Monteverdi. The featured soprano soloist for the evening is Ottawa's own Bronwyn Thies-Thompson and the choir is joined also by the excellent Ottawa Baroque Consort and a brace of sackbuts. I even have the pleasure of singing some solo passages together with these sackbuts.
Advance tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $10 for students. You can get them directly from me or from the usual local musical shops.
The Choir of Men and Boys of Christ Church Cathedral is joining Ottawa's Seventeen Voyces in a presentation of the classic Cecile B. DeMille silent film The Ten Commandments. The choirs will be providing live music to accompany the film, our Christ Church choir filling the second of the double choir scoring of Handel's oratorio Israel in Egypt. And, of course, whatever time is not spent with the choirs singing, Matthew Larkin will fill with his usual masterful improvisation at the organ.
The show repeats for a second presentation the following evening, Saturday 25th February at the same time and place. Advance tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students, available at the Seventeen Voyces website.
If you are a fan of modern choral music, the Capital Chamber Choir has the Christmas concert for you! And, if you don't know whether you are a fan of modern choral music, this concert will convince you that you are! There is Canadian content, there is American content, there is a large portion of excellent Latvian content, and there is even one absolutely stunning piece that has us singing Icelandic. A truly cosmopolitan and very exciting array of music.
Tickets are available at very holiday-friendly prices ($25/$15) with a $5 discount even on that if you buy in advance from me or from the Leading Note.
Three of Ottawa's brightest musical starts are collaborating to present an exciting programme of music for Advent: Julie Nesrallah (mezzo-soprano), Caroline Léonardelli (harp), and Matthew Larkin (organ). Much of the program will be based on their recent CD release, Noël Nouvelet, which Harpcolumn called “… a stunning concert/service of all French music with a very personal flair and fresh perspective…”.
Joining them on a few numbers, and doing a set of their own, will be the Christ Church Choir of Men and Boys. Proceeds from the concert support the boys in their musical development and community outreach.
Purchase tickets ($30/$10) on-line at Cathedral Arts.
The Capital Chamber Choir joins the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir, both choirs directed by Jamie Loback, for a concert of solemn music for Remembrance Day. The centrepiece of the programme is the gorgeous Deutches Requiem by Johannes Brahms.
On its own, the Capital Chamber Choir will be performing the stirring Exaudi for solo violoncello and choir by Canadian composer Jocelyn Morlock. The text is an excerpt from the latin requiem service and the music puts rich choral ostinato figures under and around a dramatic, searching 'cello line.
Tickets are available at the door at standard rates ($15 - $30), but advanced sales are discounted, so plan early!
Christ Church Cathedral is offering a special requiem service for the feast of All Souls with the haunting and dramatic music of Maurice Duruflé. The Choir of Men and Boys, together with the senior members of the Cathedral Girls' Choir and soloists Lydia Piehl and Gary Dahl, with soloists from the choir, is joined by an orchestra and organ to present the complete work as the obligatory liturgical bits of the ancient requiem mass. Duruflé's treatment of the beautiful traditional plainchant melodies perfectly completes that mood of antiquity and authenticity in a fairly modern context. Also on the slate is a Dona nobis pacem by the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks.
As this is an eucharist service, it is not a concert and there is no admission fee, but a free-will offering is accepted.
This is my own personal favourite setting of the requiem, so I'm excited to be singing it again. And I shall be very happy to see you there!
The Christ Church Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys ends our fund-raising concert season in a presentation of the Requiem, KV 626, by Mozart and Süßmayer, together with the Phoenix Boys' Choir visiting from Arizona. And there's more than music! Have fun with a silent auction, supporting the choir by bidding up your rivals for antiques, giftables, who knows what? It will be a surprise.
Celebrate the Tulip Festival with music. Floral music! Come to hear the Cantata Singers of Ottawa sing madrigals, part-songs, and various else all on themes of flowers. Some pieces are silly, some are serious, but all are beautiful music to brighten a cheery spring afternoon.
The Choirs of Christ Church Cathedral present the St Luke Passion by James MacMillan on Good Friday. Featuring the composer's signature style that you will instantly recognize, this work is very movingly crafted, full of pathos. The children's chorus delivering the words of Christ is particularly effective. Come join us in the Canadian première of the fabulous new Passion.
A work that probably needs no introduction, Carmina Burana is a favourite of audiences and singers alike. Come hear the newly reconstituted Rideau Chorale present these energetic, mysterious, graceful, and sometimes silly songs on vulgar (in the best sense of the word!) texts from the Middle Ages together with the Chorale Lyrica children's chorus, pianists, and percussion.
Tickets are available at Leading Note, Compact Music, or from any member of the chorus.
A beloved favourite of the requiem service genre, Gabriel Fauré's contribution to the art will be presented by the Christ Church Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys with orchestra to celebrate All Souls' Day (but actually on All Saints' Day). Come hear this beautiful work and let it lift up your prayers!
A free-will offering will be accepted.