Iwan Edwards – founder & conductor emeritus
Iwan Edwards specialized in choral conducting since coming to Canada from his native Wales in September, 1965. He taught at Lachine High School from 1965-79 and at the Fine Arts Core Education School in Montreal from 1979-90. In 1991, he was appointed associate professor at the McGill Faculty of Music. In 1998 and 1999, he was guest conductor of the National Youth Choir of Canada. In May, 2000 he was a clinician on Children’s Choirs and Youth Choirs at the ACCC Convention in Edmonton. In July 1, 2000 he conducted Unisong 2000 in the Civic Centre in Ottawa. In August, 2000 he was an adjudicator at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Mr. Edwards founded the 110-voice St. Lawrence Choir, the FACE Treble Choir, Concerto Della Donna, and the Canadian Chamber Choir (a young national semi-professional mixed voice choir). He worked with several other prominent Canadian choirs, including the Ottawa Choral Society (1992-96) and the Lanaudière International Festival Chorus (1996- 98). His collaborations with these various choral organizations have resulted in performances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, the Lanaudière Festival Orchestra, the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra in the Czech Republic, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with such prominent conductors as Charles Dutoit, Franz-Paul Decker, Zubin Mehta, Bramwell Tovey, Trevor Pinnock, Helmut Rilling, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, and Roger Norrington, amongst others. His choirs and instrumental groups have traveled extensively in Canada, Europe and the USA.
For many years Iwan Edwards’ was Chorus Master for the Chorus of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Certain recordings which involved the chorus won Grammy Awards (Berlioz’s Les Troyens) and two Juno Awards (Berlioz’s Les Troyens and La Damnation de Faust). He conducted several of the annual Montreal Symphony Orchestra performances of Handel’s Messiah at Notre Dame Basilica, as well as numerous other MSO choral/orchestral concerts at the Basilica during the Easter season.
As an associate professor at McGill University, Mr. Edwards conducted the McGill Chamber Singers, the University Chorus and, on occasion, the McGill Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. He was also responsible for students who pursued graduate studies in choral conducting. He served as Chairman of the Performance Department of the Faculty of Music from 1992-96. He retired from McGill in June, 2001 in order to devote himself entirely to his many conducting activities. Iwan Edwards has been the recipient of several awards, the most notable being named a Member of the Order of Canada in May, 1995 for his outstanding achievements in the Arts.