Ottawa Bach Choir Wraps up its Season with Spring Serenade and releases New Recording!

Founded in 2002 by conductor, early music specialist and vocal coach, Dr. Lisette Canton, the JUNO award-winning Ottawa Bach Choir (OBC) performs choral music from a wide range of historical periods. Using a scholarly approach, the choir’s singing has true emotive power.

The OBC has received many prestigious honours and was the first Canadian choir to perform at the world-renowned Bachfest Leipzig in 2014, the most prestigious celebration of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. This remarkable achievement is even more significant considering the festival has been held annually for close to 120 years. In 2022, organizers, impressed by the choir’s initial performance, invited OBC to return to the German city to join the festival.

Recognized for their talents in Canada, the OBC won a JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year in the Vocal or Choral Category in 2020 for their album Handel: Dixit Dominus; Bach & Schütz: Motets.

The choir has performed as far away as Beijing and Shanghai at “Meet in Beijing,” Asia’s famous arts festival in 2016; they have also toured extensively in Europe, Mexico, Canada, at Carnegie Hall in New York, and more, but their final performance of their 21st season will be right here in Ottawa.

On May 6th at 8 p.m., the OBC invites you to “immerse yourself in the beauty of the season with the magnificent music” of their Spring Serenade concert at Knox Presbyterian Church.

Headlining the show will be Haydn’s exquisite Mehrstimmige Gesänge (13 Partsongs) which Dr. Canton describes as “rarely heard gems,” as well as works by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Clara Schumann, and “exquisite chansons” by Ottawa native Nicholas Piper, as well as by Renaissance composers Clément Janequin, Claude Le Jeune, and more. Pianist Elaine Keillor will join the choir for this performance.

A wonderful evening of music in their hometown — the OBC’s upcoming performance is a fitting end to a successful year.

If you are unable to attend the May 6th concert, or if you are a fan who simply wants to hear more from the choir, you are in luck because the group has released its latest album, Johann Sebastian Bach: Six Motets, on the ATMA Classique label.

Dr. Canton describes the Six Motets as “among the greatest achievements of choral polyphony that form the pinnacle of the genre.” Written for four to eight voices, “the texts, formal construction, and textures are drawn from the German motet tradition and brilliantly display the magnificent sound of the choir in this fantastic recording.”

The album features Bach’s stunning motets, including Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225; Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227; Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226; Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229; Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228; and Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230. An expanded baroque continuo of some of Canada’s top artists accompanies the choir, featuring Jonathan Oldengarm on the organ; Jean-Christophe Lizotte on the cello; Reuven Rothman on the double bass; Matthew Larkin playing the harpsichord; and Lucas Harris on the theobro.

The album is available on all streaming services, or a physical copy can be purchased from the OBC’s website.

Tickets for the May 6th show are available online at or by calling 613-270-1015.

Tickets are priced at $50 for reserved seating, while general admission is $40 for adults, $35 for seniors, $20 for students, and free for children under 12. A celebratory reception also follows the performance where guests can meet choir members and enjoy light refreshments.

Make sure to catch this wonderful season finale of Ottawa’s finest choir.

What: Spring Serenade choral concert
When: May 6, 2023
What time: 8 p.m.
Where: Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar Street
Admission: From $20 • Click here to purchase a ticket or call 613-270-1015