My experience as a musician encompasses a wide range of musical styles and forms of expression. As a boy, I studied piano and pursued extensive studies in classical and jazz saxophone at the Conservatoire du Québec. As a teenager, I composed original music for the avant-garde bands with which I also performed. I then went on to pursue vocal studies at McGill University, followed by graduate studies in opera at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, Germany, with legendary mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender. I was also a student of renowned Baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who is acknowledged as the 20th century’s greatest master of lieder. As Fischer-Dieskau’s hand-picked private student at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, I was immersed in the historic continuum of Romantic art song interpretation.
I have enjoyed a successful career as a performer of opera, oratorio, art song, chamber music, jazz, new music and improvisational music in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France and the United States. I am also fully committed to being an educator, teaching as part of the voice faculties at Wilfrid Laurier University and York University. I also enjoy teaching masterclasses at various institutions (York University, Brandon University, the Glenn Gould School, Chadron State College in Nebraska, and Concordia University), as well as adjudicating and consulting for music schools and festivals. As a composer, I have written numerous settings of poems by living Canadian, German, French and Japanese poets, as well as chamber music and film music.
My PhD in Musicology, which was nominated for the York University Thesis Award, is an inquiry into the deep-ecological significance of the poetic settings of Franz Schubert. I am also co-founder, co-artistic director and music director of Long Reach Opera Workshop, a Toronto-based opera training program for singer-actors. Most recently (June 2016), the world premiere of my re-writing of Franz Schubert’s Die Winterreise, titled Schubertnow: The Journey Outward took place in Toronto.
For information on the Schubertnow project, visit www.schubertnow.ca.
It is an honor and pleasure to be able to work closely with the excellent staff and faculty at Laurier Music. The supportive and collaborative atmosphere is conducive to a healthy and dynamic place for learning. The vocal program, with its comprehensive scope on all aspects of the voice repertoire, is one in which I can fully contribute my insight, skills and experience.