Equally at home conducting symphonic and choral repertoire, Ivars Taurins is founding director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, now in its 35th season. He was also founding member and principal violist of the Tafelmusik Orchestra for its first 23 years. Under his direction the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir has been widely praised for its clarity, nuance and brilliance.
Principal Baroque Conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra from 2001-2011, Ivars Taurins is also active as a guest conductor with orchestras and choirs across Canada. Guest appearances include the Edmonton, Victoria, Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg, Windsor Symphonies, Calgary and Hamilton Philharmonics, Orchestra London, Symphony Nova Scotia, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Thirteen Strings (Ottawa), Vancouver Chamber Choir, Pro Coro Canada, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Winnipeg Singers, the Elora Festival Orchestra and Singers, and most recently at the fortieth anniversary of 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.
Mr. Taurins was director of the 2012 National Youth Choir of Canada, touring Ontario and Quebec. He was also director of the 2000 and 2009 Ontario Youth Choirs, the 2003 Nova Scotia Youth Choir and the 2004 Alberta University and College Choir, as well as guest director of the Nova Scotia, Calgary and London Youth Orchestras. In 2016, he directed Handel’s Alcina for the Glenn Gould School vocal programme and the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, collaborating with veteran stage director Leon Major.
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 JUNO Award-nominated live-performance recording of Handel’s Messiah, released on the Tafelmusik Media label. In 2011,Mr. Taurins was nominated for a 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 choir has also commissioned and premiered works by Jeffrey Ryan, Imant Raminsh, James Rolfe, Christos Hatzis, and Ruth Watson Henderson.
A passionate lecturer and teacher, Mr. Taurins teaches orchestral conducting and directs the Baroque Ensemble of the Collegium Musicum at the University of Toronto. He is also on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. He is in demand as a guest lecturer, adjudicator and clinician and has been a guest teacher/conductor at the universities of Sherbrooke (Quebec), Queen’s, Western Ontario, Alberta, Calgary and Windsor, and at the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto. Mr. Taurins is director of the vocal/choral programme at the annual Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute.