Ivars Taurins



Ivars Taurins



Equally at home conducting symphonic and choral repertoire, Ivars Taurins is the founding director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, now in its 39th season. 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.

Principal Baroque Conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra from 2001-2011, Ivars Taurins appears as guest director with orchestras and choirs across Canada, including the Edmonton, Victoria, Winnipeg, Regina, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Okanagan Symphonies, Calgary and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestras, Orchestra London, Symphony Nova Scotia, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Thirteen Strings (Ottawa), Vancouver Chamber Choir, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Pro Coro Canada, Winnipeg Singers, Halifax Camerata Singers, Early Music Vancouver, the Elora Festival Orchestra & Singers, and at 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. In 2017, he directed the Cuban choir Schola Cantorum Coralina in Havana in a special concert celebrating the 85th anniversary of Glenn Gould’s birth and Canada’s 150th birthday. Besides his appearances with Tafelmusik this season, Ivars Taurins looks forward to guest conducting engagements with Early Music Vancouver, conducting Handel’s Messiah, and the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra.

A dynamic conductor, Ivars Taurins has impressed audiences with his exuberant and compelling performances. His regular appearances conducting the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and Orchestra have received widespread critical acclaim and are frequently heard on CBC Radio. His recordings with Tafelmusik (CBC Records, Tafelmusik Media), have all received critical acclaim and Juno nominations. His most recent recording is a live-performance recording of Handel’s Messiah, released on the Tafelmusik Media label.

Mr. Taurins 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.

Ivars Taurins and the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir have premiered works by R. Murray Schafer, Omar Daniels, Chan Ka Nin, Brian Cherney and Paul Frehner with Soundstreams Canada. The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir has also commissioned and premiered works by Jeffrey Ryan, Imant Raminsh, James Rolfe, Christos Hatzis, and Ruth Watson Henderson.

Mr. Taurins was director of the 2012 National Youth Choir of Canada, touring Ontario and Quebec. He was also the director of the 2000 and 2009 Ontario Youth Choirs, the 2003 Nova Scotia Youth Choir, the 2004 Alberta University & College Choir, as well as guest director of the Taylor Academy Chamber Orchestra (RCM), and the London, Calgary, and Nova Scotia Youth Orchestras. In 2016, he directed a fully staged production of Handel’s Alcina, for the Glenn Gould School vocal programme and the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, collaborating with veteran stage director Leon Major.

A passionate lecturer and teacher, Ivars Taurins teaches orchestral conducting at the University of Toronto. He is also on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School, RCM in Toronto. He is in demand as a guest lecturer, adjudicator and clinician, and has been a guest teacher/conductor at the Université de Sherbrooke (Quebec), Queen’s University (Kingston), Western University (Ontario), and at the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, and Windsor. Ivars Taurins is director of the vocal/choral programme at the annual Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute.

September 2019

J.S. Bach Mass in B Minor
Lutheran Masses
Mass movements BWV 191, 233a, 237
Trauerode BWV 198
Cantatas 12, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 42, 51, 54, 93, 106, 131, 140, 150, 153, 170, 182, 202, 209, 210, 211, 212
Brandenburg Concertos 1-6
Orchestral Suites nos. 1-4
Concertos: BWV 1041, 1042, 1043, 1044, 1052, 1053, 1054, 1055, 1056, 1057, 1060, 1062, 1064, 1065
Sinfonias 29, 35, 42, 49, 156, 174, 182, 187, 196, 209, 1045, 1046a
Goldberg Variations (arr. Sitkovetsky)
W.F. Bach Sinfonias
C.P.E. Bach Orchestral & string symphonies
Flute concerto in A
Cello concerto in a
Klopstocks Morgengesang
J.C.F. Bach Motet: Wachet auf
String sinfonias
Beethoven Mass in C
Symphonies nos.1-9
Piano concerti nos. 1-5
Berlioz L’enfance du Christ (excerpts)
Bizet Symphony in C
L’Arlésienne Suite no. 1
Boccherini Symphonies – various
Brahms German Requiem
Missa Canonica
Variations on St. Antoni Chorale
Tragic Overture
Serenade no. 1
Britten Lachrymae
Simple Symphony
Burge, John Prelude Variations (2010)
Buxtehude Cantatas
Carissimi Jephte
Beatus vir
Chan Ka Nin The Weaving Maiden (WP) (2006)
Charpentier Missa Assumpta est Maria, H.11
Messe a huit voix, H. 3
Messe de minuit, H. 9
In Nativitatem Domini Nostri, H. 414
In Nativitatem Domini Nostri, H. 416
Salve regina, H. 24
Motet: L’offertoire pour la messe rouge
Cherney, Brian An Unfinished Life (WP) (2007)
Chopin Piano Concerto no. 2
Fantasy on Polish Airs
Corelli Concerti grossi op. 3
Daniel, Omar The Passion of Lavinia Andronicus (WP) (2005)
Debussy Prélude d’apres-midi d’un Faune
A capella choral works
Delalande Motet: Super flumina Babilonis
Dvorak Symphony no. 6
Serenade for strings, op. 22
Serenade for winds, op. 44
Slavonic dances, op. 46, op. 72 – various
Elgar Serenade
Introduction and Allegro
Fasch Overture suites
Fauré Choral works
Fischer Concerti grossi
Frehner, Paul Seven Last Words of Christ (WP) (2008)
Geminiani Concerti grossi op. 2, op. 3, op. 5
Gubaidulina Sieben Worte for cello, bayan and strings
Handel Messiah
Israel in Egypt
Acis & Galatea
Apollo & Daphne
A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day
Coronation Anthems
Dixit Dominus
Laudate Pueri
Handel airs and choruses from his oratorios
Soprano airs from his operas
Water music
Music for the Royal Fireworks
Concerti grossi op. 3 and 6
Concerti a due cori
Suite from ‘Il Pastor Fido”
Organ concerti op. 4 nos. 2, 5, 6; op. 7 nos. 4, 7
Concerto for harp
Haydn Die Schöpfung
Die Jahreszeiten
In Angustiis (Nelson)
In Tempore Belli
Sanctae Caeciliae
Sancti Nicolai
Sancti Bernardi
Symphonies nos. 21, 26, 41-52, 60, 64, 65, 82-90, 104
Cello concerti
Harpsichord/piano concerto in D
Hatzis, Christos Farewell to Bach (WP) (1998)
From the Song of Songs (WP) (2008)
Psalm 91
Heinichen Concerti
Hindemith Mathis der Maler Symphony
Holst St. Paul’s Suite
Humphrey, Pelham Anthem: Oh Lord, my God
Ibert Paris: Suite symphonique
Lalo Symphonie Espagnole
Landi, Stefano Il Sant’Alessio
Locatelli Concerti op. 1, op. 3, op. 7
Lully Motet: De profundis
Suite from Phaeton
Suite from Acis et Galatée
Suite from Le bourgeois gentilhomme
Marais Suite from Alcione
Mendelssohn “Italian” Symphony
Hebrides Overture
Violin concerto in d (1821)
Violin concerto in e, op. 64
String symphonies nos. 7, 10
Mondonville Motet: Dominus Regnavit
Monteverdi Choral works from Selva morale e spirituale
Orfeo (excerpts)
Mozart Requiem
Mass in c minor
Coronation Mass, K. 317
Vesperae solemnes de confessore, K. 339
Choral works:
Ave verum corpus
Misericordias Domini
Venite populi
Sancta Maria, mater Dei
Regina coeli
Thamos, König in Ägypten
Exsultate, jubilate
Concert aria “Ah, Lo previdi” K. 272
“Nehmt meinen dank” K. 383
Symphonies nos. 25, 29, 34, 35 (Haffner), 31 (Paris), 36 (Linz), 39, 40, 41 (Jupiter)
Serenade symphonies K. 100, 185, 203, 320
Piano concerti: 19, 20, 21, 23, 27
Violin concerti: nos. 2 (K.211), 5 (K. 219)
Sinfonia Concertante K. 364
Horn concerto K. 495
Serenade (Eine kleine Nachtmusik) K. 525
Serenade “Gran partita” K. 361
Serenade K. 388 (384a)
Mozetich, Marjan Violin concerto “Affairs of the heart”
Pärt Miserere (CP-2005)
Nunc dimittis
Pergolesi Stabat Mater
Prevost, André Scherzo
Poulenc Concert Champêtre
Christmas Motets
Lenten Motets
and other a capella choral works
Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet Suite
Purcell Dido & Aeneas
King Arthur (complete and suites)
Fairy Queen (complete and suites)
Dioclesian (complete and suites)
St. Cecilia Odes:
Hail, bright Cecilia! 1692
Come ye Sons of Art, 1694
Welcome to all the pleasures, 1683
Raise, raise the voice, 1685
Anthems, welcome odes – various
Abdelazar (suite)
Other instrumental suites from theatrical music
Rameau Suites from:
    Les Boréades
    Les Paladins
    Hippolyte & Aricie
    Les Indes Galante
    Castor & Pollux
    Le Temple de Gloire
Ravel Tombeau de Couperin
Rebel Les Élémens – Suite Symphonique
Respighi La Belle Dormente nel Bosco
Ancient Airs & Dances, nos. 1 & 2
Rossini Overtures:
    L’italiana in Algieri
    Il turco in Italia
    La gazza ladra
    Guillaume Tell
Saint-Säens Introduction and Rondo capriccioso
Choral works op. 68
Scarlatti, Allesandro  Salve Regina
Scarlatti, Domenico Salve Regina
Te Deum
Schubert Mass no. 2 in G
Symphonies nos. 5, 6, 8
Schafer In Memoriam Alberto Guerrero
choral works
Smetana Die Moldau
Stravinsky Concerto Dumbarton Oaks
Pulcinella Suite
Telemann Overture suites:
    Burlesque de Don Quixotte
    Les Nations Anciennes et modernes
    La Bourse
Suite in F TWV 44/7
Suite in D TWV 55:D21
Suite in a minor
Tafelmusik, Bks. 1, 2 and 3
Tchaikovsky Symphony no. 5
Vasks Viatore
Vaughan Williams London Symphony
Variations on a theme by Thomas Tallis
Concerto grosso for string orchestra
Vitols Intermezzo op. 27
Vivaldi Gloria RV 589
Magnificat RV 610
Kyrie RV 587
Credo RV 591
Introduzone e Gloria RV 639/488
Solo motets and cantatas
Le Quattro Stagione (the four seasons) op. 8 nos. 1-4
Various concerti from op. 3, op 4
Concerti RV 114, 117, 127, 129, 134, 143, 149, 151, 152, 157, 158, 169, 202, 208, 433, 443, 484, 489, 501, 514, 531, 537, 564
Wagner Siegfried Idyll
Webern Bach: Ricercare from Musical Offering
Zelenka Missa dei filii
Missa Sanctae Caeciliae
Missa Votiva
In exitu Israel
Salve Regina
Haec dies
Overture Suite in F Major

“Ivars Taurins, who portrays “Herr Handel” in the annual singalong, isn’t merely affecting a role… Taurins is every bit as invested in channeling the composer, in finding a pathway to the essence of this marvelous oratorio. Every time he seems to get deeper into the role, because he’s getting deeper into the work… I have to think that Taurins is the key, as he seems to be inviting his soloists to explore and probe, as each of them finds an intriguing place in their approach to the music and text, that is never an operatic portrayal but instead a kind of testimony or confession.” 
Barczablog – Leslie Barcza

“Ivars Taurins conducted a passionate and subtle reading of this sprawling oratorio, which changes character with a new musical number about every ten minutes in an almost three hour performance and his orchestra warmed to the occasion.”
Globe and Mail – Robert Harris [Handel’s Saul]

“Ivars Taurins leads his ample cohort of musicians and singers to the summit of Handel’s monumentally expressive score.”
Opera Going Toronto [Handel’s Saul]

“Ivars Taurins has honed his choir into an ensemble that not only has a beautiful blend of voices, but one that reflects his personal, dramatic approach to music. Aggressive attack, clear articulation, powerful sweep of line ….. balancing of drama and tonal colour that was quite beautiful and satisfying.”
Globe and Mail – Robert Harris, French Baroque Christmas

“In the final baroque concert of the season at St. Andrew’s United Church in Halifax, the players of Symphony Nova Scotia invented a vivid palette of timbres and sonorities that, with extraordinarily expressive physical gestures, Taurins drew from them like an artist squeezing pigment on canvas from a tube. Taurins feels the music so physically that, even in the audience, we can feel the energy flow through him like a mountain torrent. The musicians respond with every expressive device at their considerable command to his gestures”
Halifax Chronicle Herald – Stephen Pedersen

“Conductor Ivars Taurins led the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and four exceptional vocal soloists, with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, in Bach’s overwhelming summation of his art and testimony to his faith. The music of this supreme Mass and its performance were simply out of this world.”
Globe and Mail – Ken Winters, Bach B minor Mass

“Conductor Ivars Taurins, who last presented the B Minor Mass with Tafelmusik five years ago, did everything he could to highlight every colour and texture in the orchestration and choral parts. He also had an iron clad sense of pacing – from the slowly deliberate unfolding of the great choral fugue that begins the Kyrie to the closing “give us peace” of the Agnus Dei.”
Toronto Star – John Terauds, Bach B minor Mass

“On Thursday night, at Tafelmusik’s second performance of the year, the voices, music and mood at Koerner hall melded in an uncommon alchemy as Taurins matched every detail of Charles Jennen’ text with a corresponding musical gesture. Put simply, it’s impossible to imagine this quasi-operatic score getting a more appropriate performance than this.”
Toronto Star – John Terauds, Messiah

“Taurins always seems to find some fresh concept to bring to his annual performances of Handel’s evergreen masterpiece.”
Calgary Herald – Kenneth Delong, Messiah

“As on other occasions, conductor Ivars Taurins was the galvanizing force behind the excellence of the music-making, his grasp of the very speech of Baroque style evident at every turn.”
Calgary Herald

“Taurins’s reading is not merely lean and immaculate, which by now is no surprise to his many admirers, but is also sumptuous, vigorously articulate and profoundly thoughtful.”
The Globe and Mail

“The remarkable Ivars Taurins is both a highly disciplined musical thinker and an impassioned communicative artist, and both qualities found free rein in these vivid examples of Beethoven’s art.  Beethoven’s Second Symphony is very much a known quantity, through countless performances, but Taurins brought to it a fresh, neo-Toscaninian rhythmic propulsion, sculpting its dynamic and lyrical profiles with a sure hand, clarifying its textures and perspectives, and all without distorting its proportions.”
The Globe and Mail

 “Key to this most sparkling and dramatic rendition of the perennial favourite [Handel’s Messiah] was the leadership of Toronto conductor Ivars Taurins. More than any live performance I have heard, Taurins was able to give a palpable sense of the rush of ongoing events, that this really is a story with passion and a marked human emotional element. Finally conducted by someone who remembers that the orchestra actually exists in an oratorio performance, the CPO . . . gave the instrumental sparkle that was the hallmark of this most memorable of Messiahs. This is a Messiah not to be missed.”
Calgary Herald

“…one is tempted to say that if Bach, who never heard the B Minor Mass in his lifetime, could choose a performance to listen to, this one by Tafelmusik would have been worth his while. Every aspect of the work was polished to a rare perfection. Ivars Taurins, a man who deserves more praise for his orchestral as well as his choral conducting, shaped every phrase of the two-hour work superbly, controlling his forces, allowing the many internal voices to be heard clearly, letting the music loose when Bach’s spirit called for it.”
The Globe and Mail

“… with Taurins’ masterful shaping of the music … you have the best-possible kind of concert experience — one that is not likely to be bettered anywhere else. From the slow, almost brooding fugue of the first part of the “Kyrie,” Taurins recreated Bach’s fabulous architecture note by note in its full glory.
The conductor extended the dynamic and rhythmic range as far as it would go without ever reducing it to cheap effect. In short, Taurins simply let the music speak — with clarity, elegance and, when necessary, ferocious passion. The combined effect was so beautiful that it was proof, in itself, that there is a higher power out there.”
The Toronto Star

“Taurins is an inspirational leader, mixing exuberant and broad gesture with precision and attention to detail.”
The Toronto Star

“Like a master weaver, Taurins combined the disparate orchestral elements into a seamless fabric of rich textures . . . simply a knockout!”
Saskatoon Star Phoenix

“The music took life from a crisp, vividly coloured, strongly punctuated projection of the texts it accompanied . . . Players as well as singers seemed completely caught up in the ebullience of Taurins’ approach to the music . . . . Music pours out of him, and out of those with whom he keeps company.”
The Toronto Star

“Taurins was able to extract much ripe expressivity from his charges, with carefully delineated phrasing and abundant subtle detailing and the choristers delivered with splendid conviction, exceptional vigour and a panoply of richly-textured sound.”
The Toronto Star

“Ivars Taurins led a performance brimming with virtuosity. His choir maintained wonderful beauty of tone, clarity of diction, and intensity of inspiration throughout. What a standard of excellence they consistently achieve! The orchestra, too, participated in the performance’s cumulative heat.”
The Globe and Mail

“What this Messiah also offered, at the energetic insistence of its conductor, Ivars Taurins, was a consistently dramatic engagement with the text. . . . Filling phrases full of swells and dynamic contrasts, accenting rhythms at every opportunity and urging his colleagues to make the most of their expressive opportunities, he turned this into one of the most dramatically inflected Messiah’s in many a Toronto Christmas.”
The Toronto Star

“A superlative Messiah gives Handel lovers reason to rejoice… I cannot remember a Messiah presentation as uniformly “spot-on” as this year’s by Ivars Taurins’s Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and Baroque Orchestra…
In the first place, Taurins is a consummate Handelian, and he gives you the most of Handel’s supreme score you’ll ever hear in the time span of three hours. Most presentations take just as long, with great wads of music missing. Taurins’s dynamic, lickety-split reading literally wastes not a second and thus is able to include numbers usually conspicuous by their absence… an unaccustomed joy for Handel lovers… one of the best Messiahs I have ever heard.”
The Globe and Mail

“Ivars Taurins is a true Handel evangelist . . . . (He) had put together a rare and delectable seamless continuum of arias, duets, and choruses from the oratorios, and so dovetailed these brief and beautiful excerpts that not a moment of our nearly two-and-a-half hours was wasted. It was all music, in a subtly coherent kaleidoscope, full of melody, rhythm, glorious harmony, contrasting textures and near magical musical satisfactions. . . . What a gift of Handel conductor Taurins has here devised for our delight.
Ken Winters




At the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts joined by Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Early Music Vancouver, Ivars conducts Handel’s Messiah on November 30, 2019. earlymusic.bc.ca


“I consider this to be, for me, the overall best Messiah I’ve ever heard… a terrific Messiah… both singing and playing are highly detailed, lyrical, yet energetic when it counts… this performance combines splendid scholarship with a really great, rousing, atmosphere.…this is the performance of Messiah to own.”
Fanfare – Lynn Bayley


 And the Glory of the Lord