Christopher Jackson (musician)

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Christopher Donald Jackson (27 July 1948 – 25 September 2015) was a Canadian organist, harpsichordist and choral conductor. He is best known as a specialist in the performance of Renaissance music, and as the co-founder and long time conductor of the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Jackson was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He graduated from the École de musique Vincent-d'Indy and the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal.


As a young man, Jackson worked as an organ builder. He began teaching at Concordia University in 1973.[2] Jackson co-founded both the Société des Concerts d'orgue de Montréal and the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal in 1974.[3] He became the artistic director of the latter institutions in 1988. He conducted the ensemble in several recordings, including the 1998 Heavenly Spheres, which was awarded a Félix Award from the ADISQ and the Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year – Vocal or Choral Performance in 2000.[4][5]

Jackson taught at the music faculties of Concordia University[6] and McGill University. He was Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Concordia University from 1994 to 2005. He also held the post of organist and choirmaster at a variety of churches in Montreal, including St. George's Anglican Church.[4]

Jackson received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sudbury in 1999 and was inducted as a member of the Royal Society of Canada in 2009.

In 2011 Jackson conducted the Studio de music ancienne for the recording of an album, Musica Vaticana.[7]

Jackson died of lung cancer on September 25, 2015 in Montreal, aged 67.[8][9]

Selected discography[edit]

  • Heinrich Schütz : Christmas Story. CD Fonovox VOX7847-2 1981
  • H. I. F. Biber : Vespers. CD REM311207 1993
  • Giacomo Carissimi : Jonas, Jephté. Marc-Antoine Charpentier : le Reniement de Saint Pierre H.424. CD Analekta 1994
  • André Campra, Henry Dumont : Le Chant de la Jérusalem des terres froides. CD K617 1995 (reissue Montréal et Indiens Abenakis 2001, Musique sacrée en Nouvelle-France ACD22764 2017)
  • Henry Desmarest : 4 Motets Lorrains. 2 CD K617053 1995
  • Palestrina : Missa Ut re mi fa sol la. CD Analekta
  • Heavenly spheres - L’Harmonie des Sphères, Mouton, Gombert, Lassus, Morales, Palestrina, Victoria. CD CBC
  • Sacred Spaces - Lieux sacrés, G. Gabrieli and Monteverdi CBC 2002
  • Puer natus est Giovanni Gabrieli Concerto Palatino ACD22311 11/2003
  • Arvo Pärt : Stabat Mater ACD22310 03/2004
  • Marc-Antoine Charpentier : Messe à quatre chœurs H.4, 3 Psaumes des Ténèbres, H.228, H.229, H.230, Ensemble Stradivaria, Studio de Musique ancienne de Montréal. CD Atma 2005
  • Rise, O my soul Bull, William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, William Simmes, Thomas Tomkins, Ward, ACD22506 03/2007
  • Roma Triumphans Luca Marenzio et al. SACD22507 01/2008
  • Orlando di Lasso : Lagrime di San Pietro ACD22509 09/2010
  • Musica Vaticana ACD22508 09/2011
  • Splendore a Venezia (compilation) ACD23013 10/2013
  • Terra Tremuit : Brumel Missa Et ecce terrae motus ACD22653 03/2014
  • Orlando di Lasso : Laudate Dominum ACD22746 03/2017


  1. ^ "Décès du pilier de la musique ancienne au Canada ". Le Devoir, Christophe Huss 26 September 2015
  2. ^ "Christopher Jackson, 67, was master of Renaissance music". MontrealGazette, Arthur Kaptainis, September 27, 2015
  3. ^ "Conductor Christopher Jackson helped musicians shine". Robert Rowat, The Globe and Mail, October 14, 2015
  4. ^ a b Hélène Panneton. "Christopher Jackson". The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  5. ^ "Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal; Christopher Jackson: Heavenly Spheres". Juno Awards database.
  6. ^ "Monteverdi Helps Musicians Honor Late Conductor". Classical Voice North America, Arthur Kaptainis
  7. ^ Christopher Jackson / Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal: Musica Vaticana". AllMusic review by Stephen Eddins
  8. ^ "Early music pioneer has died, aged 67". Slippedisk, September 2015.
  9. ^ Huss, Christophe. "Décès du pilier de la musique ancienne au Canada". Le Devoir. Retrieved 27 September 2015.

External links[edit]