in collaboration with the University of Toronto Schola Cantorum present
An Ode to James Bowman
Featuring Soprano Dame Emma Kirkby, Tenor Charles Daniels
Conducted by Countertenor Daniel Taylor
Trinity St-Paul’s, 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Sunday, March 3rd, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
Soprano Dame Emma Kirkby
Tenor Charles Daniels
Countertenor /Conductor Daniel Taylor
Bass-Baritone Joel Allison
A musical tribute to the life and legacy of James Bowman, one of this century’s leading countertenors, will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the iconic singers’ passing. An Ode to James Bowman, is curated by internationally renowned countertenor and conductor Daniel Taylor and presented by the Theatre of Early Music in collaboration with the University of Toronto, features performances by Soprano Dame Emma Kirkby, Tenor Charles Daniels, Bass-Baritone Joel Allison with Taylor conducting the Schola Cantorum and musicians of the Theatre of Early Music. The performance takes place on Sunday, March 3, 2024 at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church, 427 Bloor Street West. Admission for the performance is free, with donations dedicated to the TEM-University of Toronto’s dedicated Historical Performance and Scholarship Fund.
“James Bowman was a trailblazer who set new standards which helped to define the role of the countertenor voice,” says Daniel Taylor. “His work in both early and contemporary repertoire was a great inspiration and he was also excellent company - daring and hilarious. We are delighted to present an evening of music that celebrates his enduring legacy”.
For more than three decades James Bowman was a figurehead of the thunder of interest in Baroque and Early Music. With a discography that spans a broad repertoire, he collaborated with the era’s most prominent conductors and left a trove of over 180 recordings. His musical journey began as a boy chorister at Ely Cathedral before he joined the choirs of Oxford New College and Christ Church. He succeeded Alfred Deller as Oberon in Benjamin Britten’s opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream, became the first countertenor to perform at Glyndebourne, and was the soloist in Purcell’s Celebration Ode during the opening concert of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1967. His career spanned opera, oratorio, contemporary music and solo recitals and performances at esteemed venues such as the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Paris Opera, and La Scala. In one of his last interviews, Bowman simply said “I love Daniel Taylor.” with the genuine affection between Bowman and Taylor as teacher and student leading to many sold-out tours and two famous recordings: the eloquent “Here Let My Life” and the collaboration with Hollywood Actor Ralph Fiennes “Love Bade Me Welcome”. Bowman passed away in Redhill, Surrey on March 27, 2023, at the age of 81.
Daniel Taylor, weeks ago, led a moving musical tribute at the State Funeral in memory of the Honourable Ed Broadbent. This historic event, televised and broadcast on radio to millions of listeners, marked Taylor as the first musician in Canadian history to both sing and conduct. The Toronto Star described Taylor as “An unwavering spirit carried aloft above the tumult of earthly existence.” Taylor has selected a fitting program from Bowman’s cannon that includes one of Britten’s most popular and performed works, Rejoice in the Lamb as well as Purcell’s Ode for Queen Mary, Come Ye Sons of Art. Long-time collaborators, iconic English vocalists Emma Kirkby and Charles Daniels will perform and speak alongside Taylor who will conduct Schola Cantorum and musicians of the Theatre of Early Music
Recognized worldwide for her elegant and intelligent musicianship soprano Dame Emma Kirkby’s is considered a pioneer of Early Music performance. With a career that spans nearly 40 years, Gramophone Magazine named her as one of the top 10 sopranos in the world and wrote, “Her pure, direct, intensely eloquent singing on recordings over recent decades can truly be said to have changed the sound of music in our time”.
The acclaimed tenor Charles Daniels’ repertoire extends 1150 years from the ninth century to the present day. Concert engagements have included regular appearances at the BBC Promenade Concerts, the Edinburgh International Festival, London Handel Festival, Spitalfields Festival and appearances with The Sixteen, Academy of Ancient Music, The King’s Consort, English Concert and Gabrieli Consort.
Daniel Taylor. is praised by the critics and audience alike as “Canada’s most prolific recording artist” and “Canada’s star countertenor”. The Guardian, UK calls Taylor “He is part angel, part man.” He has been heard in recital at the BBC Proms and at Wigmore Hall in London; at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Zürich’s Tonhalle; in China’s Forbidden City; at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; and at Carnegie Hall.
About Daniel Taylor
Daniel John Taylor’s, O.C. prolific performance career includes performances include a world tour with the Monteverdi Choir for the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage (for DG Archive); soundtracks with the Cirque du Soleil as well as with actors Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Irons, Megan Follows and the late Martha Henry; and the late Ryuichi Sakamoto’s opera Life, which was narrated by the Dalai Lama. Daniel has appeared at the request of Prime Ministers of Canada, Presidents of the United States, on German television for the Prime Minister of Germany, on Spanish television for the Queen of Spain, in a recital for the King and Queen of Sweden, for the Queen of England and at a first nations pow-wow. He has appeared on television and radio in live events on many occasions for estimated audiences of more than 10 million listeners. With a Canadian delegation, Daniel travelled on a trade, education, health and culture mission across Africa. Daniel Taylor is the recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the National Medal for Music and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Taylor is Founder and Artistic Director of two ensembles: The Theatre of Early Music and The Trinity Choir. A gifted choral conductor and sought-after teacher, in recent years Taylor traveled to South America, Cuba and China to offer workshops, masterclasses and recitals. He has won the Grammy, Juno, Adisq, BBC, Opus, Diapason and Gramophone Awards. Daniel Taylor is Director of the Historical Performance Area of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.
Broadway.com praised Taylor as “the beloved singer, leading figure in the field of opera and early music and perhaps Canada's most popular voice teacher.” Wholenote Magazine praised Taylor for his clarity in instruction, his deep dedication to his students and his “shepherding of the elite voices of today.” while Opera Canada recognized Taylor’s leadership in his teaching role: “Daniel Taylor has created one of Canada’s leading early music programs by marrying tradition and history with artistic freedom. Freedom of exploration, and more crucially freedom from judgement, has been a central pillar of Daniel Taylor’s educational philosophy.”
About the Theatre of Early Music
Founded by Artistic Director and Conductor Daniel Taylor, the Theatre of Early Music (TEM) are sought-after interpreters of magnificent yet neglected choral repertoire from four centuries. Their appearances include stunning a cappella programs, with practices and aesthetics of former ages informing thought-provoking, passionate and committed reconstructions of music for historical events and major works from the oratorio tradition. Through their concert performances and recordings, the 10 - 18 solo singers offer a purity and clarity in their sound which has resulted in invitations from an ever-widening circle of the world’s leading stages. With Daniel Taylor, the Choir and Orchestra of the TEM are new visitors to the most renowned concert halls and festivals and are building an exciting discography in partnership with Sony Classical Masterworks and BIS/Apple.
Historical Performance at the University of Toronto
The University of Toronto Historical Performance training program offers study in an Artist Certificate, Masters or Doctoral degree. With an average of 20 students, U of T Historical Performance is closely associated with the finest ensembles and soloists from all over the world including the Tallis Scholars, Voces8 and Dame Emma Kirkby. Limited enrolment ensures that every student benefits from the exceptional training offered by our honoured faculty and guest instructors. The intensive curriculum includes lessons, musical coaching, repertoire preparation, audition techniques, stagecraft, workshops and masterclasses. The Historical Performance Area welcomes students from all backgrounds and is committed to providing the best opportunities for learning and career development.
427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1X7, Canada