"...you immediately heard the choir's chief assets: a bright, clear and transparent sound; a springy feel for rhythm; beautifully shaded dynamics; and exemplary diction..."
- Steve Smith, NY Times
“What a choir! They deliver tight, chiselled sound, deliciously pure tone, exemplary balance,squeaky-clean vocal counterpoint, flawless German diction, and utterly convincing spirituality.”
- Lindsay Koob, American Record Guide
"The sound was ravishing, possessing all the technical and expressive virtues that a choir should have."
- Richard Todd, The Ottawa Citizen
"Ottawa's best choral ensemble...the OBC continues to impress and even amaze...."
- Richard Todd, the Ottawa Citizen
The Ottawa Bach Choir (OBC), founded in 2002 by Dr. Lisette Canton, offers audiences a wide range of choral music of the finest quality, performing music from all historical periods while keeping Bach's choral œuvre as the focus of its repertoire. Through a combination of both a scholarly and emotional approach to choral music, the ensemble expands all aspects of the artistic spectrum. Joining some of Canada's most accomplished artists and top choristers from the National Capital region and beyond, the professional choir has received national and international recognition.
Now in its twelfth season, the Ottawa Bach Choir performs a large subscription concert series in Ottawa and travels extensively in Canada and abroad. Performances this season include an invitation to perform in the prestigious international festival, Bachfest Leipzig 2014. The choir will also perform other concerts in Lübeck, Amsterdam, Venice, Florence and Rome. In 2012, the choir sang a 10th anniversary performance of Bach's Matthäus-Passion (the very work with which the OBC began in 2002) and also received an invitation to perform at Podium 2012, the biennial conference of the Association of Canadian Choral Communities (ACCC). In 2010-11, performances included a tour to New York City, highlighting debut performances at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Arts at the Park concert series and the Consul-Général de la France in New York. In addition, the Choir received its third invitation to sing at Roy Thomson Hall in the Choir and Organ Series, at Redpath Hall in Montreal, and in the Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa. In 2008-09, performances included the Festival Música Santa Fe concert series in Mexico City, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and a third tour to Europe, performing for the third time at Bach's church, the Thomaskirche, in Leipzig, as well as at St. Paul's Cathedral and the Foundling Museum in London, Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Église de la Madeleine and The American Church in Paris. Past appearances have included concerts at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Podium 2008 – the biannual conference of the Association of Canadian Choral Communities (ACCC) in New Brunswick, the Montreal Bach Festival, Montreal Chamber Music Festival and Festival de musique classique des Hautes-Laurentides in Quebec and Musique Saint-Bernard in Nova Scotia. It is the first Canadian choir that was invited to perform and take over the duties of the Thomanerchor in May 2005 at the Thomaskirche, in Leipzig, and again in 2007. The choir has also performed in Bayreuth, Prague, Salzburg, Stuttgart and Vienna.
In addition to its successful performances of all of Bach's major works, the Choir has sung several works from the Baroque period by Buxtehude, Charpentier, Handel, Monteverdi, Purcell, Schütz, Telemann and others, as well as motets of the Renaissance, Romantic and Contemporary periods and French choral music.
The OBC has been broadcast nationwide on CBC Radio 1 and Radio 2, as well as on Radio-Canada, and has recorded five compact discs. Its most recent, Cantate Domino, released for the 10th anniversary, includes some of the choir's most beloved repertoire from the past ten years, including music by Bach, Buxtehude, Monteverdi, Purcell, Saint-Saëns, Messiaen, Whitacre and Nystedt. Jesu, meine Freude, recorded in 2008, includes music by Bach with Canadian soloists Daniel Taylor, Agnes Zsigovics, Benjamin Butterfield and Daniel Lichti, and has received critical acclaim. In 2005, Festival Baroque, and A Christmas Story received four-star reviews in the Ottawa Citizen and were listed among the top recordings in 2005. The choir's most recent broadcasts have been heard across the nation on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) Choral Concert and Tempo, and on Soirées Classiques on Radio-Canada's Espace musique.