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Noel Edison

Director

Noel Edison

Noel Edison is well established as one of the most versatile and charismatic conductors in the world today. As conductor and artistic director of two world-class Canadian ensembles, the large-scale Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC) and the chamber-sized Elora Festival Singers, Mr. Edison is widely recognized and appreciated for his skillful interpretive blending of rigorous musical purity together with warm emotional content. In addition to full seasons with the TMC and the Elora Festival Singers, he is in demand for guest engagements with such orchestras as the Winnipeg Symphony, Toronto Symphony and Symphony Nova Scotia. His recording on the Naxos label, featuring the choral music of Eric Whitacre, has just been nominated for a Grammy.

A native of Toronto, Mr. Edison aspired from boyhood to pursue a vocation in music with a special emphasis on conducting. During his youth he received a disciplined choral education at St. Simon's Church as a chorister in one of North America's leading boys' choirs. Further, a supportive family encouraged his efforts to organize and conduct his first choir, an all-girls chorus at Toronto's downtown Jarvis Collegiate. Mr. Edison completed his formal education with a music degree at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) in Kitchener-Waterloo in 1985 and in 2002 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music by the University of Guelph. As a singer and piano-organ player, Mr. Edison studied with a number of leading musicians including Victor Martins, Helmuth Rilling, Sir David Willcocks, Wayne Riddell and John Aldis as well as the late Ned Hanson and Robert Shaw.

Mr. Edison's greatest successes as conductor and musical impresario are linked strongly to the historic Ontario village of Elora. The Elora connection was forged in 1980 when Mr. Edison harnessed the resources of musically-inclined citizens and professors from nearby WLU to establish the Elora Festival, together with the Elora Festival Singers as the choir-in-residence. Every summer for three decades, the Elora Festival has attracted capacity crowds for three weeks of international vocal music, from large-scale classical works for choir and orchestra to intimate evenings of jazz and cabaret. For his artistic services to the Elora community, Mr. Edison received the Prime Minister's Young Canadian Achiever's Award in 1982. Since 1984, Mr. Edison has served both as Artistic Director of the Elora Festival as well as Organist and Choirmaster at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Elora, one of the few all-professional church choirs in Canada.

Mr. Edison's formal association with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir began in 1997, with the selection of his Elora Festival Singers as the professional core of the venerable Toronto institution. After serving two years as TMC Interim Conductor, Mr. Edison succeeded in winning one of Canada's greatest musical prizes with his appointment as permanent Conductor in 1999.

During his musical career, Mr. Edison has commissioned many new works from Canadian composers, including Eric Robertson, Gary Kulesha, John Beckwith, Srul Irving Glick, Timothy Sullivan, Glenn Buhr, and Imant Raminsh. In 1994, the Elora Festival's production of Sullivan's chamber opera, FLORENCE, THE LADY WITH THE LAMP (with libretto by Ann McPherson) won the Chalmers Award, Canada's leading award for the performing arts. Mr. Edison tours regularly with the Elora Festival Singers and is a favourite in concerts with the Elora Festival Singers or the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir on the CBC. A frequent guest conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Mr. Edison has twice performed the Berlioz REQUIEM, recording this work for the Naxos label during his inaugural season as TMC Conductor. Mr. Edison's other recordings include Arvo Part's Berliner Messe, Nine Lessons and Carols for Summer, Christmas in Elora, A Festival of Carols, A Celebration in Song, Willan: In the Heavenly Kingdom, Psalms for the Soul, Part - Music for Unaccompanied Choir and Songs of Folk and Love and most recently Requiems: Faure and Durufle and Eric Whitacre: Choral Music and selections from the choral works of Julian Wachner.

Mr. Edison serves as a regular juror for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Juno Awards. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Choral Conductors of Canada.

Discography

Displaying 1-3 of 3 items.


Elora Festival Singers : Arvo Part - Music for Unaccompanied Choir : 00  1 CD : Noel Edison : Arvo Part : 8.570239

Elora Festival Singers : Arvo Part - Music for Unaccompanied Choir

Review: During the past 20 years, Arvo Part has consolidated his reputation as one of the most significant contemporary composers with a sequence of magnificent sacred choral works. Dating from between 1990 and 2001, the works on this recording exemplify Part's mature idiom at its most harmonically expressive. If Triodion represents his music at its starkest and most unadorned, Kanon Pokajanen, the composer's largest work after the 1982 St John Passion (Naxos 8.555860), is music of a dark-hued and intensely felt contemplation. Part's emotionally-charged Bogorditse Djvo, is a vibrant tribute to the Virgin Mary.

Songlist: O Jesus Son of God, Have Mercy Upon Us, O Most Holy Birth-giver of God, Save Us, O Holy Saint Nicholas, Pray to God for Us, Tribute to Caesar, Nunc Dimittis, Ode VII, I am the True Vine, The Woman with the Alabaster Box, Dopo la Vittoria, Bogoroditse Djevo

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4226c 00 1 CD $9.95 Mixed Choirs CDs


Elora Festival Singers : Eric Whitacre Choral Music : 00  1 CD : Noel Edison : Eric Whitacre : 8.559677

Elora Festival Singers : Eric Whitacre Choral Music

Review: Eric Whitacre's dedication to the beauty of sound, paired with exquisite texts, results in a poetic combination that creates a unique sonic experience. These works are existential choral moments, beautifully crafted, and harmonised to express a compressed moment in time. Such sublime sonorities transcend descriptions such as 'warm', 'glistening' or 'shimmering', although these features of his choral works do suggest affinities with the sound worlds of Arvo Part or John Tavener, for instance. However, Whitacre's fluid lines and blossoming harmonies give his music its own highly personal and irresistible magic.

Songlist: Her Sacred Spirit Soars, A Boy and a Girl, Water Night, This Marriage, Luz Aurumque, Little Tree, When David Heard, Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine, I Thank You God for this Amazing Day, Sleep, Little Birds

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2319c 00 1 CD $9.95 Canadian Choral Recordings


Elora Festival Singers : Morton Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium O Natu Lux : 00  1 CD : Noel Edison : Morten Lauridsen : 8.559304

Elora Festival Singers : Morton Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium O Natu Lux

Review: Morten Lauridsen is America's preeminent composer of choral music. Characterized by long, arching and highly expressive lines, his works are enjoyed by performers and audiences worldwide. O nata lux, perhaps Lauridsen's most popular work, is a serene evocation of heavenly light, while the searingly intense and technically demanding Madrigali inhabit a more feverish and earthy realm. The refined Les Chansons des Roses employ a design reminiscent of the formal gardens, filled with roses, found in the grounds of the great French chateaux. The unforgettable final movement is the now-famous Dirait-on. The Mid-Winter Songs for chorus and piano are a stunning example of compositional virtuosity. O magnum mysterium, for a cappella chorus, is a setting of a Christmas text that has inspired composers from Victoria to Poulenc.

Songlist: O nata lux, Ov'e, lass', il bel viso, Quando son piu lontan, Amor, lo sento l'alma, Io piango, Luci serene e chiare, Se per havervi, oime, En une seul fleur, Contre qui, rose, De ton reve trop plein, La rose complete/ Dirait-on, Lament for Pasiphae, Like Snow, She Tells Her Love While Half Asleep, Mid-Winter Waking, Intercession in late October, O magnum mysterium

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4223c 00 1 CD $9.95 Canadian Choral Recordings

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