Equally at home conducting symphonic and choral repertoire, Ivars Taurins is the founding director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, now celebrating its 42st season. He was also founding member and violist of the Tafelmusik Orchestra for its first 23 years. Under his direction, the choir has been praised for its clarity, nuance, and brilliance.
Principal Baroque Conductor of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra from 2001 to 2011, Ivars appears as guest director with orchestras and choirs across Canada, including the Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Regina Symphony Orchestras, Victoria and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies, Calgary and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestras, Symphony Nova Scotia, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Pro Coro Canada, Halifax Camerata Singers, and at the Festival International de Musique Baroque de Lamèque. In 2011, Ivars 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.
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 Tawnie Olsen, Jeffrey Ryan, Imant Raminsh, James Rolfe, Christos Hatzis, and Ruth Watson Henderson.
Ivars was nominated for a 2011 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.
A passionate lecturer and teacher, Ivars teaches orchestral conducting at the University of Toronto. He is also on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School, where he has directed fully staged productions of Handel’s Alcina and Rinaldo, collaborating with veteran stage directors Leon Major and Tom Diamond. Ivars has been a guest teacher/conductor at universities across Canada. He was director of the 2012 National Youth Choir, and has directed the Ontario and Nova Scotia Youth Choirs, and the London, Calgary and Nova Scotia Youth Orchestras. Ivars Taurins is director of the vocal/choral program at the annual Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute.