Founded in 1992 by bassist Timothy Dawson, soprano Monica Whicher and baritone Gordon MacLeod, the Bach Consort performs the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. For the past twenty years the group has performed music from Bach’s 200 - plus cantatas as well as the larger works like the St. John Passion, the St. Matthew Passion and the B Minor Mass. The group is comprised of some of Canada’s finest instrumentalists and singers who gather in Toronto with the central philosophy of giving back to the community. This has led to the vision statement “Giving Bach to the Community.” Many well-known conductors have also adopted this mantra and the Bach Consort has been blessed with their talents. These noted conductors have also donated their fees like all of the musicians involved. This list includes Bernard Labadie, Ivars Taurins, Nicholas McGegan, Dame Jane Glover, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Harry Bicket.
The Bach Consort has recorded two benefit CDs (The Bach Consort at Camphill and the Bach Consort at L’Arche) and has raised over $400,000 for various charities including Camphill Village Ontario, L’Arche Daybreak, Out of the Cold, Settlement House Music and Arts School, Music at St. John’s, Delisle Youth Services, Habitat for Humanity, On the Move (Addus), the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the United Church of Canada Beads of Hope Campaign, Project Work, Eva’s Initiatives, Pia Bouman School for Ballet and Creative Movement, the TSO Adopt-a-Player Programme and others.
This performance marks what we hope will be an annual performance of the Christmas Oratorio and brings together fine freelance musicians, members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and internationally renowned soloists. All musicians are donating their talents. Tonight we are delighted to welcome maestro Johannes Debus. Growing up in Germany he sang this work as a chorister many times but this will be his first time conducting the great Christmas Oratorio. Toi toi maestro.