The Juno Award-winning 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 oeuvre as the focus of its repertoire. Through a combination of both a scholarly and emotional approach to choral music, the professional chamber 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 choir has received national and international recognition.
The Ottawa Bach Choir, now in its 21st season, performs a large subscription concert series in Ottawa and travels extensively in Canada and abroad. In 2022, the choir was invited to return to Bachfest Leipzig as one of a select number of ensembles worldwide (and the only Canadian ensemble) to present Bach’s entire chorale cantata cycle. In 2016, the OBC toured China, where it was invited to represent Canada at the festival Meet in Beijing, in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2014, the choir received an invitation to perform at the prestigious international festival Bachfest Leipzig, becoming the first Canadian choir to receive such an invitation. The choir made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2011, and has performed in London, Paris, Venice, Amsterdam, Bayreuth, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Prague, Vienna, and more. Past appearances have also included concerts at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and in numerous cities and festivals across Canada. The OBC was invited as the first Canadian choir to perform and take over the duties of the Thomanerchor in May 2005 at the St. Thomas Church, in Leipzig, and again in 2007 and 2009.
In addition to its successful performances of all of Bach’s major works, the OBC has sung sacred and secular works from all musical periods and collaborated with numerous national and international artists and ensembles. The choir also engages in an educational outreach program each season and has performed in over 55 schools in the Ottawa–Carleton region.
The OBC has been broadcast nationwide on CBC Radio 1 and Radio 2, Radio-Canada, and internationally. The choir has recorded seven previous compact discs to critical acclaim, including the Juno Award-winning album Handel: Dixit Dominus ; Bach & Schütz: Motets (Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance) on the ATMA Classique label (2019), exclaimed as “among the very best” (American Record Guide) and “staggering and movingly performed” (Gramophone magazine), ’Twas But Pure Love (2016), Cantate Domino (2011), Jesu, meine Freude (2008), A Christmas Story (2005) and Festival Baroque (2005).