St. Lawrence Choir
Recognized across North America as one of Canada’s best choral ensembles, the 80-strong, mixed-voice St. Lawrence Choir performs music from the classical choral repertoire as well as contemporary works by Canadian and other composers. 2011-2012 marks the 40th anniversary season of the St. Lawrence Choir.
St. Lawrence Choir was formed in 1972 by Iwan Edwards and a group of singers residing in the West Island of Montreal. Concerts were presented in Lachine until 1983 when the Choir relocated to downtown Montreal. Since 1986, the Choir has regularly appeared with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra as the largest component of the MSO chorus, and has made numerous recordings with the symphony. With the MSO, the Choir has appeared in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, New York, Philadelphia, Saratoga Springs and at the Lanaudière International Music Festival.
In 1992, the Choir was involved in two concerts to mark the 350th anniversary of the founding of Montreal.
On November 1, 1998, the Choir performed with a gala philharmonic orchestra and a number of children’s choirs to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the State of Israel, with proceeds going to the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation.
In 1999 and 2000, St. Lawrence Choir performed with the MSO and Charles Dutoit at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center to critical acclaim, presenting works by Faure, Dallapiccola, Szymanowski, Orff, de Falla, and Theodorakis.
Since 2008 the St. Lawrence Choir has been under the direction of Michael Zaugg. The Swiss-born musician has distinguished himself as an innovative and versatile conductor on the Canadian choral scene. Active as artistic director, guest conductor, pedagogue and clinician, Michael Zaugg brings a wealth of experience and creativity to his work.
Since its inception, the St. Lawrence Choir has broadcast numerous concerts across Quebec, the rest of Canada and Europe, over the French and English channels of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and via Euroradio.
Soloists and Orchestras
The St. Lawrence Choir has worked with excellent soloists and orchestras including:
- the McGill Chamber Orchestra
- the Ensemble Amati
- Victoria de los Ángeles
- John Avey, Theodore Baerg
- Colette Boky
- Benjamin Butterfield
- Ben Heppner
- Gaëtan Laperierre
- Daniel Lichti
- Richard Margison
- Kevin McMillan
- Peter Pears
- Gary Relyea
- Henriette Schellenberg
- Daniel Taylor
- Nathaniel Watson.
Notable performances by conductor
The Choir has worked alongside the Montreal Symphony Orchestra to perform classic pieces under their conductors such as:
- Franz-Paul Decker conducting Handel’s Messiah
- Charles Dutoit conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Berlioz’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem, and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater
- Iwan Edwards conducting Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Bach’s B minor Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah
- Grossman conducting Handel’s Messiah
- Nicholas McGegan conducting Handel’s Messiah
- Zubin Mehta conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 2
- Penderecki conducting Penderecki’s Polish Requiem
- Shaw conducting Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis
- Leonard Slatkin conducting Mahler’s Symphony No. 3
Works by Canadian Composers
The St. Lawrence Choir is proud to have presented works by Canadian composers such as:
- Victor Davies
- Ruth Watson Henderson
- Jacques Hétu
- Jean Laplante
- Donald Patriquin
- Imant Raminsh
- Bruce Ruddell
- Patrick Wedd
- Gilles Tremblay for the premiere of ‘Avec’
- Alain Gagnon for the Canadian premiere of ‘Chansons d’Orient’ in 2011
- Ivo Antognini for the world premiere of ‘Brink of Eternity’ in 2011