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    Left: Astronaut Roberta Bondar | Centre: Composer Krzysztof Penderecki

Highlights

2012
March 31Mozart Requiem: Amabilis Singers, Shaughnessy Heights United Church Choir, West Coast Symphony
Shaughnessy Heights United Church, Vancouver
March 17Luminosity: James Whitbourne | West Coast Première
VISIONARIES Concert: Phoenix Chamber Choir | Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver
 
2011
April 17Carmina Burana: Amabilis Singers, 2 pianos and percussion
Shaughnessy Heights United Church, Vancouver
 
2010
October 30Missa Rigensis: Uģis Prauliņš; Requiem: Fauré
AMAZING GRACE Concert: Phoenix Chamber Choir, Shaughnessy Heights United Church Choir
Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver
May 8Music of Pawel Lukaszewski | Several Canadian and North American premières
ON THE THRESHOLD OF HEAVEN concert: Phoenix Chamber Choir
 
2009
September 16–
November 10
Sabbatical: Rehearsal observation of Stephen Layton (Trinity College, Cambridge) and
Fabio Luisi (Semperoper, Dresden), as well as James O'Donnell (Westminster Abbey),
John Eliot Gardiner (Monteverdi Choir, London), Stephen Darlington (Christ Church College, Oxford),
Edward Higginbottom (New College Oxford)
May 30Path of Miracles: Joby Talbot | Canadian Première
THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO concert: Phoenix Chamber Choir | A CBC Radio Two Broadcast Event
April 10Ein deutsches Requiem: Brahms | 1871 two-piano version
Amabilis Singers, Shaughnessy Heights United Church Choir
 
2007
OctoberPhoenix was entered as the only Canadian adult choir in the European Broadcasting Union’s
prestigious International Let the Peoples Sing competition, competing against 70 choirs from 24 countries.
In live-to-air finals heard by over one million European listeners, Phoenix ranked among the
four best amateur choirs in the world.
July 19–August 3 Germany-Prague Tour: Phoenix Chamber Choir (organized by Luengen)
Eltville, Kloster Eberbach, Trier Cathedral, Tries-Karden (Moselfestwochen), Bernkastel, Speyer,
Nürnberg, Prague, Dresden, Bayreuth, Frankfurt
 
2006
MayRecipient: BC Choral Federation Herbert Drost Award for Distinguished Service
MayNominated: Vancouver YWCA Woman of Distinction Award
Phoenix Chamber Choir: CBC National Choral Competition
Canada Council Healey Willan Grand Prize
1st Prize: Chamber Choir Category | 1st Prize: Contemporary Music Category
May 13Missa Tiburtina: Giles Swayne; Cantos Sagrados: James MacMillan
THE VOICE OF CONSCIENCE concert: Phoenix Chamber Choir
 
2004
May 15LOST IN THE STARS concert: Phoenix Chamber Choir with special guest
Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canadian Astronaut and Photographer
20th Anniversary concert | Queen's Ave. United Church, New Westminster
 
2002
Phoenix Chamber Choir: CBC National Choral Competition
1st Prize: Chamber Choir Category | 2nd Prize: Contemporary Music Category
August 6–22Germany-Luxemburg Tour: Phoenix Chamber Choir (organized by Luengen)
Rüdesheim, Bingen, Clervaux (Luxemburg), Trier, Heidelberg, Mainz,
Maria Laach Monastery, Leverkusen, Cologne, Essen
 
2000
Phoenix Chamber Choir: CBC National Choral Competition
1st Prize: Contemporary Music Category | 2nd Prize: Chamber Choir Category
SummerCredo by Krzysztof Penderecki | World Première
Banff Centre for the Performing Arts Millennium Festival
Phoenix Chamber Choir: Core Ensemble of regional massed choir
 
1999
Phoenix Chamber Choir: Canadian Adult Choir entry
European Broadcasting Union’s Let the Peoples Sing International Competition
 
1998
Phoenix Chamber Choir: CBC National Choral Competition
Canada Council Healey Willan Grand Prize
1st Prize: Chamber Choir Category | 2nd Prize: Contemporary Music Category
 
1996
Phoenix Chamber Choir: CBC National Choral Competition
2nd Prize Contemporary Music Category | Finalist: Chamber Choir Category
October 22–27
October 26
October 24
Phoenix Chamber Choir: Choir in Residence | Copenhagen Choir Festival
Concert: Holmens Kirke, Copenhagen
Concert: Radiohusets Koncertsal (Radio Copenhagen Concert Hall)

Composer Comments


“I have just re-listened to your recording of my Ave Verum. There are now quite a number of them and I’ve heard it sung by many choirs. Your performance is in a class by itself. It gets nearer to the essence of the piece than any other and your insight is wonderful. I was deeply moved by the beauty of your singing. Thanks and all the very best.”
Colin Mawby, British composer

“I congratulate you for the high quality of the performance of the entire programme. Above all, I appreciate the great sensitivity and the perfect understanding of the subject in my two pieces [Gondolar; Le jardin d’antan]. I can tell you that I have not often heard my vocal music sung with such results. Bravo and thank you!”
Jacques Hétu, Canadian composer

Dear Ramona:
Your CD arrived this morning. It’s wonderful – not just What Child is This? which is everything I hoped it would be – but the whole CD! I think everything you do is so beautifully musical. As a composer, you understand so well what is intended in the writing. Many congratulations to you on a very splendid job.
Jonathan Rathbone, British Composer


Concert Reviews


“Under the direction of Ramona Luengen, this diminutive choir weaves brilliant aural tapestries.”
— Georgia Straight

“The choir carried the audience into a magical, enthralling world.”
— Lüdenscheider Nachrichten, Germany

This program (On the Threshold of Heaven) of mainly 20th century sacred repertoire was typical of the vision of conductor Ramona Luengen, who brings a certain high-minded austerity to her best work. This is not to say that things are stuffy, dull, or redolent of either the musicology seminar or the new music seance. Her repertoire is fresh and well chosen, and she shows minimal interest in pieces whose primary objective is to flatter singers or pander to superficial audience expectations. At a Phoenix program you can expect to encounter music truly worth learning and hearing, arranged with a composer’s ear for logic and contrast.
— The Vancouver Sun

Singing continuously, with neither breaks for applause nor interval, was no mean feat for the choir. An extraordinarily demanding repertoire, and mercurial changes in mood and idiom, were guided by Luengen’s full-bodied approach to her materials, and her choir delivered consistently. The evening’s final juxtaposition had the mystic ecstasy of James Macmillan’s Christus vincit segueing, almost more by faith than reason, into the quiet but confident final chorale setting of Bach’s masterwork, Jesu meine Freude.
— The Vancouver Sun

“One of the most beautiful concerts of the entire Mosel Festwochen took place in the Stiftskirche St. Kastor in Treis-Karden. With its spectacular acoustic, the church was predestined for an extraordinary concert of a cappella music. And it was not disappointed. The concert with the Phoenix Chamber Choir, one of Canada’s finest vocal ensembles, was for the audience a Gesamtkunstwerk of crystal-clear voices, precise intonation and a stupendous cosmos of sounds…”
— Rhein-Zeitung, Germany