Equally at home conducting symphonic and choral repertoire, Ivars Taurins is the founding director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir. He was also founding member and violist of the Tafelmusik Orchestra for its first 23 years. Under his direction, the choir has been praised for its clarity, nuance, and brilliance.
Ivars Taurins appears regularly with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he was Principal Baroque Conductor from 2001–2011. He also appears as guest director with orchestras and choirs across Canada, including the Edmonton, Victoria, Winnipeg, Windsor, and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies, Orchestra London, Hamilton Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Thirteen Strings (Ottawa), Vancouver Chamber Choir, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Pro Coro Canada, Winnipeg Singers, and Elora Festival Orchestra & Singers, and recently at the fortieth anniversary of the Festival International de Musique Baroque de Lamèque. In September 2011, Ivars Taurins was guest choir director for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, preparing a combined chorus of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and members of the OSM Chorus for performances and a recording (Analekta) of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, directed by Kent Nagano at the gala opening of the new Maison symphonique in Montreal.
A passionate lecturer and teacher, Ivars Taurins teaches orchestral conducting and directs the Collegium Musicum at the University of Toronto. He is also on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School, where in 2016 he directed a fully staged production of Handel’s Alcina, collaborating with veteran stage director Leon Major. He also teaches at the Glenn Gould School. Ivars has been a guest teacher/conductor at the Université de Sherbrooke, Queen’s University (Kingston), Western University (London), and at the Universities of Alberta and Windsor. He was director of the 2012 National Youth Choir, the 2000 and 2009 Ontario Youth Choirs, the 2003 Nova Scotia Youth Choir, the 2004 Alberta University & College Choir, and guest director of the London, Calgary, and Nova Scotia Youth Orchestras. Ivars Taurins is director of the vocal/choral programme at the annual Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute.
Ivars was nominated for a 2011 Gemini Award for his performance as George Frideric Handel in Sing-Along Messiah, filmed by 90th Parallel Productions for Bravo! Television and released on DVD by Tafelmusik Media.
Photo credit: Sian Richards