Philharmonic choir announces Vuorinen will be artistic director, conductor

The Grand Philharmonic Choir here has announced the appointment of Mark Vuorinen as its new artistic director and conductor as of the 2010-11 season.


Vuorinen is a rising star in the Toronto choral music world, where he directs the ac­claimed Toronto Chamber Choir. He is earning his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from University of Toronto. He is also the George Black Fellow in Sacred Music at Church of the Redeemer in Toronto.

Vuorinen has strong ties to Waterloo Region. He grew up here and earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. He has con­ducted choirs at WLU and Uni­versity of Waterloo, and was director of music at St. John’s–Kilmarnock School in Bres­lau for five years.

“It is a tremendous honour to be asked to become the next artistic director and conductor of this wonderful organiza­tion,” Vuorinen said. “The Grand Philharmonic Choir has played an important part in my own musical formation. Hav­ing grown up in Kitchener-Wat­er­loo, I regularly attended performances with the choir, particularly those on Good Friday. At that time, I was hear­ing many of these masterworks for the first time; they had a profound effect on me then, as now.”

Vuorinen succeeds Howard Dyck, who is retiring this sum­mer after an illustrious 38-year career of building the choir into a musical force that regularly showcases the world’s top solo­ists and performs the most chal­lenging repertoire.

“I am delighted to be hand­ing the reins of this proud orga­nization to a dynamic young conductor,” Dyck said. “I want to encourage the community to support Mark Vuorinen in the same positive way that it sup­ported me.”

John Cripton, the Grand Phil­harmonic Choir board member who led the search for a new artistic director, said Vuorinen is the ideal candidate to continue Dyck’s legacy.

“Mark’s training and experience and his artistic sen­sitivity are a perfect match for this unique music ensemble,” said Cripton. "I have been associated with the Grand Philharmonic for almost five years now and I continue to mar­vel at the high standards of repertoire selection and per­formance of this choir. Water­loo Region surely must know what an artistic gem it has thanks to the steadfast work of Howard Dyck."

Vuorinen praised Dyck for building the choir into “one of the finest symphony choruses in the country.

“He has brought the great masterworks to the Waterloo Region and introduced some of Canada’s finest soloists to this community. “I am excited to return to Waterloo Region to lead the Grand Philharmonic Choir into its next chapter.”

The search for Dyck’s replacement began last summer and reached across North Am­erica.

The search committee included outside experts from the academic and music com­mu­nity as well as choir and board members.

The choir is preparing for its performance of the Verdi Requiem on May 8 at 7:30 pm. at Centre in the Square. That will be its final concert under Dyck’s leadership, with a cast of renowned soloists and the Kitchener-Waterloo Sym­pho­ny.

Following the performance, there will be a gala reception on stage to say farewell to Dyck.