Performers

Denis Bédard

Denis Bédard, who was born in Quebec City in 1950, first studied music at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec, graduating with first class honours in organ, harpsichord, chamber music, counterpoint and fugue.  He continued his studies in Paris and Montreal, as well as in Amsterdam with Gustav Leonhardt, and was laureate of the “Prix d’Europe” in 1975 and of the CBC Radio Talent Competition in 1978. A professor at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec from 1981 until 1989 and organ professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver from 2001 until 2004, Denis Bédard was organist at St-Coeur-de-Marie church in Quebec City for 19 years and then became organist at St-Roch church, also in Quebec City, in September 1997. Since September 2001 Denis Bédard has been organist and music director at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver. As a concert artist he has given recitals across Canada, in the United States, in France and in Brazil. Denis Bédard’s compositions include more than twenty chamber music works as well as orchestral and vocal music and many organ works. He has received commissions from Radio-Canada, the CBC, the RCCO, the Québec Symphony Orchestra and various professional musicians in Canada, England, France, Switzerland and the U.S. Many of his works have been performed internationally (U.S.A., France, Monaco, England, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, South Africa, Namibia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Brazil, Ecuador, Israel, Russia), particularly at international organ and saxophone conventions, and several have been recorded on CD. His music, essentially tonal and melodic, is characterized by a concern for formal clarity and immediate communication with as vast a public as possible.

Stephen Candow

Stephen Candow holds a MMus from the University of Toronto (2001), and the conjoint BMus/BMusEd (1998) from Memorial University. Further abroad, he has studied choral conducting and organ in Dublin, Ireland; at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England; and at the International Summer Academy in Göteborg, Sweden.

In Ottawa, Stephen was the Director of Music and conductor for the prestigious Choir of Gentlemen & Boys at St. Matthew’s Church, and the Choral Instructor at Ashbury College. Other previous posts include Guinness Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland; and Assistant Director of Music in Canada’s “Methodist Cathedral,” Metropolitan United, Toronto.

A well-known choral accompanist, Stephen has been the accompanist for the Anglican Chorale of Ottawa, the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir (Shallaway), Toronto’s Voices, and Ottawa’s Seventeen Voyces. Stephen enjoys working with singers both as a vocal coach and accompanist and has worked with various choirs in Ireland, England and Canada.

In 2011, Stephen returned to Newfoundland, where he now serves as the Artistic Director of the St. John’s Choir, the Philharmonic Choir of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, the Director of Music & Organist at St. Michael and All Angels Church, and as a member of the Artistic Faculty for Atlantic BoyChoir.

Fred Graham

A native of Southern Ontario, Graham is Associate Professor Emeritus of Emmanuel College in the University of Toronto, where he designed and instituted Canada’s only Master of Sacred Music program. Previously, he was national Officer for Worship and Music for the United Church, where had roles in publishing the hymnal Voices United (1996) and the book of prayers, Celebrate God’s Presence (2000). He conducted liturgy and music workshops for the denomination monthly for 14 years from Atlantic to Pacific.

As a student in the Bachelor of Music program at University of Toronto, Fred completed the Associateship of the Royal Conservatory, Toronto under Dr. Charles Peaker. On scholarship in Germany, he studied organ with Karl Hochreither and Michael Schneider, 1967–70. A decade later, he was mentored by Russell Saunders, Eastman School of Music, during the Master’s program in Organ Performance. From 1985–91 he was enrolled in the PhD (Liturgical Studies) at Drew University, Madison, NJ. His doctoral thesis on Methodist hymns of the 19th century was published in 2005. More recently, he edited the authorized version of the Revised Common Lectionary, 2012 after he had served two terms as convener of the ecumenical Consultation on Common Texts. Active since 1961 as a pastoral musician, his career took place in Anglican and United churches in Ottawa, Halifax, and the Greater Toronto Area.

Honours include the Davidson Trust prize for excellence in theological teaching, and the Fellowship of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada (FHS) for distinguished leadership in congregational song. His hymn tunes and arrangements appear in Voices United, More Voices, Common Praise, and Glory to God (PCUSA). A member of the National Council of the RCCO, he acts as Convener of the Professional Support Committee. He is a Licensed Lay Worship Leader in the United Church, and preaches regularly as needed. An inveterate traveller, he currently resides in Guelph, Ontario.

Craig Humber

Based in Vienna, Austria, the Canadian organist Craig Frederick Humber was born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and studied Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College of Memorial University of Newfoundland. He twice attained their top prize for excellence in Physics before transferring to Acadia University, from which he graduated in 1998. During his studies he was a student of Professor Clarence Ledbetter and Fernando Germani.

From October 1999 to January 2005, Craig trained under Professor Arvid Gast at the esteemed Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in the Bach city, Leipzig, Germany, graduating in organ performance (also majoring in piano and harpsichord) and obtaining the Hochschule’s title “Diplomorganist.” In addition, he studied choral conducting and improvisation under Martin Schmeding, and vocal technique. In 2007, he completed his terminal degree in performance in Europe, the Aufbaustudium at the Musikhochschule in Lübeck, Germany, and post-graduate studies in organ under Professor Michael Radulescu at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, and in harpsichord under Gordon Murray.

Mr Humber’s awards and distinctions include the Celanese Canada Internationalists Fellowship, the John Goss Memorial Scholarship from the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and five consecutive study grants from the Fulford Trust of the Anglican Foundation of Canada. He is a three-time recipient of the revered Canada Council for the Arts Grant. In 2002, he earned substantial assistance to investigate the Baroque organs of Gottfried Silbermann, Wagner, and Hildebrandt in Saxony. In 2004, he received another grant to study the Romantic organs of Wilhelm Sauer and Friedrich Ladegast, and won the J.B.C. Watkins special prize in music awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts. Craig Humber won the first Godfrey Hewitt Memorial Scholarship Competition, the largest scholarship awarded by the Royal Canadian College of Organists (Ottawa branch), and was laureate of the Thyll-Dürr Swiss scholarship performance competition at the University of Vienna two consecutive years.

Mr Humber has been featured on live broadcasts by the CBC and German radio including Deutschland Radio from Berlin, and has appeared twice in the Brandenburgische Sommerkonzerte series in Brandenburg, Germany. In 2003, he held an assistantship on the Hildebrandt organ (Bach organ from 1746) in Naumburg, Germany. He was three times coordinator for organ studies at the Leipzig-Julliard Summer Academy. Being the first North American prize-winner of the prestigious Gottfried Silbermann Organ Competition—held bi-annually in Freiberg, Germany—Craig Humber concertizes regularly on historic organs (Baroque and Romantic) in Germany, Austria, Holland and Canada.

From 2006 to 2010 Mr Humber lectured on Musical Form and Structural Analysis at the Franz Schubert Conservatory of Music in Vienna. In May 2010 his CD Johann Sebastian Bach: The Leipzig Chorales was released. This double-CD, recorded using SACD technique, shows the richness of sound of the Silbermann organ in St Petri Freiberg (Saxony/Germany). Since 2017 he has been director of music and organist at the Votivkirche Vienna, where he is responsible for one of the world’s best-preserved organs by E. F. Walcker.

Donald Hunt

Donald was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He studied music at McGill University in Montreal, where he received Bachelor and Master degrees in organ performance and composition, studying principally with John Grew. During his time in Montreal, he was assistant organist at Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal. He has also held organist posts in the UK, including at Truro Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral, and St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Donald is a first prize laureate of the Concours d’orgue de Québec and has been a finalist in the Concours Prix d’Europe and the RCCO National Organ Playing Competition. He recently took up the post of Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, where he plans the liturgical music for three Sunday services, and directs a number of choirs, including a newly-formed treble treble choir in partnership with the Cathedral School. He has broadcast live on BBC radios 3 and 4, including playing for the Scottish celebration of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

Donald is an Associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists and a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones was born in Ottawa, but has lived most of her life in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She received her early musical training from Jean Fraser at the Maritime Conservatory of Music and then continued with Philippe Djokic at Dalhousie University where she won the first University Medal in Music. Jennifer advanced her studies at Indiana University, under the direction of Josef Gingold, obtaining a Master of Music degree in Performance and Pedagogy. Two other influential teachers at Indiana were Rostislav Dubinsky (chamber music) and Mimi Zweig (pedagogy). Following her studies at Indiana, Jennifer travelled to France where she studied with Sylvie Gazeau of the Paris Conservatoire.

During many summer studies, Jennifer worked with such inspiring teachers and performers as Lorand Fenyves (Banff), David Cerone (Ohio), Sylvia Rosenberg (Banff),

Luis Grinhauz (NYO), Yehudi Menuhin, and Nigel Kennedy (Halifax).

Jennifer has performed as a soloist with Symphony Nova Scotia, NSYO, Dalhousie Chamber Orchestra, Chebucto Orchestra and Symphony New Brunswick.  Over the past three decades her work as a chamber musician has frequently been recorded by the CBC.  She has performed at the Gerhart Chamber Music Festival in Alabama, the Salisbury Summer Institute in England, the Arcadia Music Festival in Maine, the Scotia Festival of Music, the Fredericton Music Festival, and many years at the Indian River Music Festival in Prince Edward Island.

Jennifer has a passion for teaching and teaches privately in Halifax and Wolfville. Early in her career she spent time taking Suzuki teacher training in Kingston, Ontario where she worked with Helen Brunner-Spira. Throughout her career she has maintained a busy private studio and is also a faculty member of Acadia University’s department of Music. One of her greatest pleasures is coaching members of the NSYO. She has adjudicated exams and festivals and has been on the faculty of various summer institutes throughout the Maritimes.

Symphony Nova Scotia is where Jennifer devotes most of her energy as she enjoys   collaborating with so many fine musicians. Another of her musical endeavours is her widely varied work as first violinist with the “Blue Engine String Quartet.” The quartet has performed some of the most interesting chamber music performances on the East Coast. They have had many unforgettable experiences such as private performances for Philip Glass and Dudley Moore and performing with Michael Bublé.  In 2005 the quartet, along with singer Cliff Le Jeune released a CD entitled “If It Be Your Will…Songs of Leonard Cohen” and in 2007 the quartet released a CD of Christmas music. The quartet was the core ensemble of the Elizabeth Bishop Legacy Project, ‘I am in Need of Music” and was honoured to work with Canadian soprano, Suzie LeBlanc. The recording received the 2013 ECMA Classical Recording of the Year Award and the Quartet was thrilled to share the stage with Suzie in Toronto in 2016. In the summer of 2012 Jennifer joined the renowned Rhapsody Quintet, one of the Maritimes most popular musical ensembles, as a full time member of the group.

Alan Klaus

Born in London, Ontario, Alan Klaus is Associate Professor of Trumpet at Memorial University, and previously served on faculty at Montana State University and at Mount Allison University, where he was voted “Professor of the Year” in music. He recently completed a trumpet and organ recital tour of Newfoundland and Ontario with Stephen Candow.

Praised for his “exquisite tone”, Alan was selected as a Bach Trumpet Artist and is a founding member of the Tephra Collective. He has commissioned many works for trumpet in various settings and is currently working on a CD of new Canadian repertoire. A featured soloist with the PEI Symphony Orchestra and at the Atlantic Band Festival, Alan has also given recitals and masterclasses across North America. He is a member of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, toured China as Principal Trumpet of the American Festival Orchestra, and has performed with Opera on the Avalon, Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London (Canada), the World of Winds, the International Youth Wind Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. His ongoing pedagogical research includes the development of a smartphone app that will help musicians incorporate the benefits of contextual interference into their practice routines.

Rachel Laurin

Organist, composer and improviser, Rachel Laurin was born in 1961, in St-Benoît, Quebec, Canada. After her studies at the Montreal Conservatory, she became Associate Organist 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 throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, and has recorded more than twelve albums as soloist and with ensembles on Motette, Musicus, Musicus/Fidelio, Analekta, SRC (Radio-Canada), Riche Lieu, DJA, BND, and Raven labels.

In 2002, at the inauguration of the Edmonton Winspear Centre’s new Létourneau organ, she performed the Premiere of Jacques Hétu’s Organ Concerto with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mario Bernardi. She presented this same work at  the Ottawa National Arts Center in 2008, and in Toronto, at  the Metropolitan United Church, during the Centennial Convention of the RCCO in June, 2009. She also performed Raymond Daveluy’s Organ Concerto at the  RCCO National Convention in Hamilton in 1999.

Rachel Laurin has been an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre since 1989. 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. Four 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, and first prize in the Marilyn Mason New Organ Music Competition in 2009.

She is frequently invited to major organ festivals as organist and composer and was a recitalist at the AGO National Convention in 2008 (St.Paul/Minneapolis, MN), and a commissioned composer for the AGO National Convention  in 2010, in Washington, D.C. She also presented the opening gala recital of the RCCO Centenary National Convention in Toronto in 2009. Rachel Laurin is also well known as an improviser, and has had many opportunities to teach this art in many schools and academies in France, Canada and United States. As a “Distinguished Guest Artist,” she has performed recitals, conducted workshops, lectured and taught at many Canadian and American universities, including Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut), Baylor University (Waco, Texas), Syracuse University (New York, NY), Kansas City University (Missouri), St. Thomas University (Minneapolis, Minnesota), University of St. Lawrence (Canton, NY), Mount Royal College (Calgary, AB), and University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB).

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 has been a member of the “Comité d’Honneur de la Fédération Francophone des Amis de l’Orgue” (FFAO) since 2016.

For more information visit www.rachellaurin.com

Lorna MacDonald (Soprano)

Soprano Lorna MacDonald enjoys a career of distinction as a performer, Professor of Voice, and holder of the Lois Marshall Chair in Voice Studies at the University of Toronto. She is the recipient of two teaching awards, one from the Faculty of Music and Ontario’s OCUFA Award for “teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to university teaching”. In her early career, she received many national singing awards in the United States and she enjoyed numerous recordings with CBC Radio. Concert performances have taken her to Austria, Germany, France, Taiwan, the Republic of China, Russia, Africa, Wales, Ireland, England, Bermuda, and across North America. MacDonald premièred up to 40 new compositions, many written for her. She was named the 2018 Sir Ernest MacMillan Honorary Member in Music at the Toronto Arts and Letters Club in recognition of her contributions to the arts.

Among her students are Grammy-nominated musicians, singers on Broadway, teachers in the school and university systems, and professional opera singers in Europe and North America. An acknowledged expert in vocal health and pedagogy, Lorna created a multi-faceted graduate program in Voice Pedagogy in collaboration with medicine, speech-language pathology, and specialized voice and hearing practitioners at the University of Toronto. Doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students from across the country practice artful teaching based upon the biomechanics of the singing voice over the human life span.

Her research includes both performance and pedagogy. In collaboration with Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, she designed the curriculum for a Cochlear-Implanted Singing Study which aimed to increase vocal effectiveness for hearing impaired children and adolescents. A creative programmer, she created several performance projects including Marrying Mozart narrated by CBC’s Howard Dyck, Lois Marshall in Russia, and Woman in Love which toured to Taiwan. Lorna is the  creator of  the award-winning music-drama The Bells of Baddeck – the Alexander Graham and Mabel Bell Story which played at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck, NS for two summer seasons. With composer Dean Burry and the creative team, the show garnered Parks Canada CEO Award  in 2016 and was seen by over 5000 people. Her SSHRC Grant (2012) remains the largest single researcher grant in the 100-year history of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

A proud native of Port Morien, Cape Breton, Lorna performed many times with her brother, organist David MacDonald, and his influence remains strong in her life. Their recitals and especially performances of Bach and Messiah are among her treasured experiences with him. In his memory she began the David MacDonald Bach Scholarship at the Maritime School for the Performing Arts, continuing David’s generosity toward young musicians.

Stillman Matheson

A native of St Stephen, New Brunswick, Stillman Matheson has had an interesting and varied career as an organist, conductor, church musician, and teacher. He was educated at Mount Allison and McGill Universities, as well as at the University of Alberta, which granted him a Doctor of Music degree in 1997. He also completed a Certification Year in Music Education at Dalhousie University following his undergraduate study. 

Dr. Matheson has been the recipient of many awards including a New Brunswick Arts Award and a University of Alberta PhD Dissertation Fellowship, and grants from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

A strong advocate of new music for the organ, Mr. Matheson has commissioned and premiered several new works for the instrument, and his collaboration with the Edmonton Composers’ Concert Society led to the release of a solo organ compact disc, Acclamations: Canadian Organ Music. William Zagorski wrote in Fanfare Magazine that this recording “makes my head swim in the most delightful of ways,” and that he found Dr. Matheson to be a “technically impeccable and enthusiastic player.”

At the present Dr. Matheson is the Director of Music at Port Nelson United Church in Burlington, Ontario and the conductor of the Haldimand Choralairs.

Organized Crime

Organized Crime is the organ duo that grew from the friendship between Rachel Mahon and Sarah Svendsen, who met at the University of Toronto. Their programmes include a combination of classic organ repertoire and popular music transcribed and arranged for the instrument.

The goal of this duo is to entertain audiences with their music and antics (which involve costume changes, dazzling shoes and hot tempers) and to promote the organ to a wider audience of all ages. With this purpose in mind, Organized Crime Duo’s shows are unlike any other organ concerts.

The performance must be seen as well as heard and appeals to everyone, from the organ aficionado to one completely unfamiliar with the pipes. The duo has appeared at Metropolitan United Church, Toronto; Casa Loma, Toronto; St Matthew’s United Church, Halifax and Truro Methodist Church, UK.

Peter-Anthony Togni

Peter-Anthony’s music is spiritually rooted and contemplative. It ranges from the ethereally quiet to the explosive outer limits of contemplation. Togni has been heard everywhere from Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, the Moscow Conservatory, the Oriental Arts Centre in Shanghai, to the Vatican in Rome for His Holiness Pope John Paul II. His music is broadcast regularly in Canada on CBC, as well as internationally, including on the BBC, Classic FM, Deutsche Wella and Radio France.

Togni’s works have been released on XXI Records, CBC Records, Hänssler Classics, Warner Classics UK. In 2010 his Lamentatio Jeremiah Prophetae, a concerto for bass clarinet and choir, was recorded by bass clarinettist Jeff Reilly and the Elmer Iseler Singers and released on the ECM label, produced by Manfred Eicher. In 2013 Peter-Anthony’s latest solo CD, Piano Alone was released. The Sanctuary Trio’s newest CD Estuary came out in the Fall of 2015, along with a recording of Responsio on ATMA Classique. Hymns of Heaven and Earth was released by Centrediscs in 2016, a disc of entirely Togni music. In 2019 Blackwood, Peter-Anthony’s duo with Jeff Reilly, will release a new recording of original music.

In 2006, Togni’s Illuminations (a concerto for bass clarinet and string orchestra) was nominated for a Juno award in the category Classical Composition of the Year. 2011 brought two nominations for Peter- Anthony’s Lamentations of Jeremiah, for an East Coast Music Award in the Classical Music category, and for a Juno award in the category Classical Composition of the Year. The work was also a finalist in 2010 for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, celebrating outstanding works of contemporary art that inspire and promote the development of artistic endeavour in Nova Scotia. In 2012, Togni’s Missa Liberationis, the result of a project with the Latvian Youth Choir BALSIS, was published by Musica Baltica, and was premiered in Canada by Pro Coro Canada. Also in 2012, Peter- Anthony was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

The Responsio project for bass clarinettist Jeff Reilly and vocal quartet premiered in July of 2013 and the recording was released in 2015 on ATMA classique. The work is the grand prize winner of the 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award. Responsio was also nominated for a 2016 Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance. Warrior Songs, a work for percussionist Jerry Granelli and choir premiered in Bolder Colorado in 2014, with its Canadian premiere taking place in March 2015 with the Elmer Iseler Singers in Toronto. In 2016 Peter’s opera Isis and Osiris, based on the libretto of Sharon Singer and in collaboration with Opera in Concert, premiered to critical acclaim in Toronto. Sea Dreams premiered in Calgary in February of 2018 with Luminous Voices and flutists Sarah Hahn and Sara Geick; the work will be on a recording of Togni choral works on Naxos Records in 2019. Togni’s new work, Living Flame of Love will premiere in January 2019 with Edmonton’s

Pro Coro Canada and accordionist Joseph Petric, and two commissions for the RCCO will be premiered during the RCCO’s July 2019 National Competition.

Peter-Anthony is also a pianist, improviser and organist. He has given many solo recitals across Canada and in Europe. In July of 2015, Peter-Anthony took part in the 53rd Magadino International Organ Festival in Switzerland, which was co-founded by his late father, Victor Togni. He has also worked extensively in Canada as a church musician. He was music director at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Calgary, an organist at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto and organist and choir master at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica in Halifax. He was the organist in the internationally acclaimed trio Sanctuary alongside bass clarinettist Jeff Reilly and cellist Christoph Both. Sanctuary, which was based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, was formed in 1999, and performed across Canada and around the world, at venues such as St. John’s, Smith Square in London, Saint- Séverin in Paris and the Dom Cathedral in Riga, Latvia. In 2008 they were the first Canadians since Glenn Gould to play at Philharmonic Hall, in St. Petersburg Russia. They have also made several recordings including their acclaimed CD The heart has its reasons for Warner Classics UK. The Togni Trio, a jazz ensemble with drummer Malcolm Gould and bassist George Koller, performs throughout Canada and the United States, and has two released recordings. Peter- Anthony also regularly collaborates with artists such as jazz saxophonist Mike Murley and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler.

Peter-Anthony was born in Pembroke, Ontario in 1959. He spent his early years in Toronto where he attended St. Michael’s Choir School. He later went on to study at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, studying organ with Frederick Geoghegan and composition with Stephen Chatman. He went on to study organ and improvisation in Paris France with the great French organist Jean Langlais. Togni also studied composition with Allain Gaussin at the Schola Cantorum in Paris where he was awarded first prize in composition.

For over twenty years, Peter-Anthony was also a broadcaster, hosting radio programs for CBC Radio 2, including That Time of the Night, the award winning Stereo Morning, Weekender and Choral Concert. Peter-Anthony also teaches at Acadia University’s School of Music in Wolfville, is the organist and choir master at St. Benedict Parish in Halifax, and a choir member at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Church. He currently resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

More information can be found at www.petertogni.com 2019

Shimon Walt

Shimon Walt is the Assistant Principal Cellist of Symphony Nova Scotia (SNS).  Since arriving in Nova Scotia in 1976, he’s been an integral part of this province’s musical life.  A founding member of Symphony Nova Scotia, Shimon was appointed by the provincial government to a steering committee entrusted with rebuilding symphonic life in Nova Scotia after the demise of the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. He was SNS’ first Personnel Manager, a position he held for six years.

Shimon was educated in Tel Aviv and Boston, where his teachers were Uzi Wiezel and George Neikrug. He has performed with major orchestras under noted conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta and Pablo Casals. Today he shares his time between Symphony Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University and Rhapsody Quintet, with whom he has performed extensively in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, most recently at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.  A dedicated teacher, many of his students have gone on to professional careers in music. Shimon has adjudicated for music festivals in Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and served on juries for FACTOR and the Canada Council for the Arts.  He is is the Artistic Advisor for the Mahone Bay Music at Three Churches Concert Series.

As a musician and contractor, Shimon has provided musical services to many artists including Michael Bublé, Kanye West, Anne Murray, Sarah Brightman and John Denver.   He’s made six recordings with Rhapsody Quintet and organized music for royal visits, the Prime Minister of Canada and other visiting heads of state.  As a collaborative musician playing chamber music, accompanying choirs and singers, or making a guest appearance on a jazz or pop recording, he is totally dedicated to the art of music. He was Artist in Residence for the Saint Cecilia Concert Series in 2012-13 and received an Established Artist Award from the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council in 2012.

Shimon enjoys giving lectures on music to university students and library patrons, and master classes to music students at Ottawa University. In 2017, he gave the premiere performances of a major new Canadian oratorio for cello, piano and choir, Crimson Stain by Vancouver composer, Larry Nickel, with the Halifax Camerata Singers. In 2019 is excited to be premiering Elegy for David, a new work for organ and cello by composer Peter-Anthony Togni, in remembrance of his musical friend, organist David MacDonald. This work and others will be performed at the opening concert of Changing Tides 2019, Canada’s national gathering of organists, in Halifax.