The Ottawa Brahms Choir

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About the Choir

Founder: Dieter Kiesewalter

The Ottawa Brahms Choir 1980 - 2010

Kurt Ala Kantti and Dieter Kiesewalter at the 30th Singing Season Anniversary Concert, 30 April 2011


The Ottawa Brahms Choir

The Ottawa Brahms Choir was founded as the “Johannes Brahms Choir” in late 1980 by musical director Mr. Dieter Kiesewalter.

Over 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.

The 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.

Johannes Brahms Choir
First concert

1st concert of Johannes Brahms Choir with conductor Dieter Kiesewalter on June 5, 1981 at the Unitarian Church.



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