St Lawrence Choir/Choeur St-Laurent
St Lawrence Choir/Choeur Saint-Laurent. Mixed amateur choir of 80 voices, founded in Lachine in 1972 by the citizens of the West Island of Montreal, and conducted from the outset by Iwan Edwards. The St Lawrence Choir has an extensive repertoire, covering a variety of major and lesser-known choral works from the 16th to 20th centuries. Each season it presents its own series of two or three concerts (held at Montreal's Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Notre Dame Basilica, and Oscar Peterson Hall) in addition to regular performances at Place des Arts (PDA) with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO).
The St Lawrence Choir has collaborated with several orchestras and ensembles, notably the MSO, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Montreal, the McGill Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Amati, and Concerto Della Donna. Beginning in 1986 it formed the nucleus of the MSO Chorus, and has taken part in numerous MSO performances, including Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand (1984, 2002), Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 (1984), Mozart's Coronation Mass (1988), Fauré's Requiem (1987, 1999), Britten's War Requiem (1988), Penderecki's Polish Requiem (1998), Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (1993, 2002), Berlioz' The Damnation of Faust, and annual Christmas presentations of Handel's Messiah. With the MSO the choir also appeared at Avery Fisher Hall in 2000, and several times at the Festival international de Lanaudière and at Carnegie Hall, performing under guest conductors Charles Dutoit in 1999 and 2000, and Michel Plasson and Emanuel Villaume in 2002. In 1988 the choir joined the Orchestre philharmonique du monde to perform Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 at the PDA.
The choir has performed several works by Canadian composers, including Ruth Watson Henderson, Victor Davies, and Jacques Hétu. Premieres of Canadian compositions have included Donald Patriquin's Songs of Innocence in 1984, Gilles Tremblay's Avec, Wampum Symphonique in 1992, and Imant Raminsh's In Widening Circles in 2003. It has also performed for CBC radio, CFCF, and stations across Europe. The women's component of the ensemble, in conjunction with the F.A.C.E. Senior Treble Choir, has recorded works by Donald Patriquin (1985, SNE 522). The St Lawrence Choir can be heard on several MSO recordings, and on the 1996 recording of Haydn's Nelson Mass with Ensemble Amati (SNE-622-CD).