Choeur St-Laurent | St. lawrence choir
The St. Lawrence Choir is a large, mixed-voice ensemble that performs music from the classical choral repertoire as well as contemporary works by Canadian and other composers. In addition to its subscription season concerts, the Choir is regularly invited to appear at the International Music Festival of Lanaudière; it has also worked on collaborative projects with the Cantata Singers Ottawa, the Montreal Choral Institute, Vanier College and the Chœur du Musée d’Arts de Joliette.
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. For almost 25 years the choir appeared regularly with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra as the largest component of the MSO chorus, and made numerous recordings with the symphony. In 1992, the Choir was involved in two concerts to mark the 350th anniversary of the founding of Montreal. 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.
The St. Lawrence Choir has had the privilege of working with excellent soloists and orchestras, collaborating with the McGill Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Amati as well as with renowned soloists such as Victoria de los Angeles, 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 and Nathaniel Watson.
With the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Choir appeared in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, New York, Philadelphia, Saratoga Springs and at the Lanaudière International Music Festival in such works as Handel’s Messiah (conducted by McGegan, Edwards, Grossman), Brahms’ German Requiem (Decker), Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 2, 3 and 8 (Mehta, Slatkin, Dutoit), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Shaw, Edwards), Bach’s B minor Mass (Edwards), Penderecki’s Polish Requiem (Penderecki), Berlioz’s Requiem (Dutoit), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Dutoit), Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Edwards), Verdi’s Requiem (Dutoit) and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater (Dutoit).
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. The St. Lawrence Choir is proud to have presented works by Canadian composers such as Victor Davies, Ruth Watson Henderson, Jacques Hetu, Jean Laplante, Donald Patriquin, Imant Raminsh, Bruce Ruddell, Patrick Wedd, GillesTremblay (premiere of ‘Avec’), Alain Gagnon (Canadian premiere of ‘Chansons d’Orient’ 2011) and Ivo Antognini (world premiere of ‘Brink of Eternity’ 2011).
Philippe Bourque, choir master and conductor, pianist, pedagogue and music director.
A versatile and passionate musician of choral music, he was appointed Artistic Director of St. Lawrence Choir in March 2014. He is already hard at work on new concert projects and the planning of unique choral collaborations.
An unwavering pedagogue, Philippe is convinced of the necessity to invest in the future generations. He has been teaching at Vanier College since 2010 where he is active as choir master and aural training instructor. He has also worked with the choir of the Vincent-d’Indy music school and the F.A.C.E. Young Singers. He also gives private lessons in conducting and is regularly invited as a jury member or clinician to countless festivals both here and abroad.
Since 2006, Philippe Bourque has directed the choir and small ensemble of the Protestant Church of Terrebonne-Mascouche and ensured the musical and liturgical programming for the church’s Sunday Celebrations. He was also Artistic Director of the Chœur du Musée d’art de Joliette (2008-2014), the Petits Chanteurs de la Cathédrale (2005-2007), the Chœur en Jazz vocalists (2006-2009) and McGill’s Simply Sweetly (now Les Muses Chorale, 2007-2011).
Philippe Bourque studied choral and orchestral conducting under Julian Wachner, Robert Ingari, Alexis Hauser and Ivars Taurins and graduated from McGill with distinction. He is the recipient of a Lieutenant-Governor’s Award while studying at the Vincent-d’Indy music school and received McGill’s Constance-Willney Music Scholarship and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Fellowship (SSHRC).