The Ottawa Brahms Choir
The Ottawa Brahms Choir was founded as the “Johannes Brahms Choir” in
late 1980 by musical director Mr. Dieter Kiesewalter.
the years since then, the choir’s repertoire has consisted primarily of German-language choral works from the renaissance
to the modern periods, including many by Hassler, Schütz, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms and Mendelssohn.
The choir has usually performed two major concerts a year and has been joined in concert
performances by guest choirs from both the Ottawa area and abroad and smaller vocal and instrumental groups and soloists.
In April 2005, the year of the choir’s 25th
anniversary, the choir performed the first of a series of three concerts with the following groups: Carleton University’s
Early Music Ensemble, the Croatian Folk Ensemble and the Alpentrio. Highlights of the program were Telemann’s Schulmeister
Kantate, with the choir’s conductor, Iain Phillips, as soloist, and a premiere performance of two songs written and
composed especially in recognition of the choir’s 25th anniversary by Ottawa composer and musician Helmut Seemann.
After the untimely death of Iain Phillips, Jiri Hlavacek became
the new director. Under his direction the choir performed Ryba's Czech Christmas Mass in December 2006.
Over the years the Ottawa Brahms Choir has evolved into a community choir with a classical
and contemporary repertoire, singing in German, English and French.
In the spring of 2011 the closing event of their 30th anniversary featured the
Brahms German Requiem, Opus 40, directed by Kurt Ala-Kantti.
2011-2012 season was closed with a sold out performance of Orff's Carmina Burana.
From 2012 to 2014 the choir was directed by Denise
Hawkins and accompanied by Ioulia Blinova, with Jenna Richards,
and continued to offer audiences a wide range of choral music, from classical to contemporary, while maintaining its
roots in the German repertoire.
In July 2014 Christopher Askwith was appointed new director. In 2015, the choir entered its 35th
season, and Svetlana Logigan became our new accompanist.