In Canada, classical music includes a range of musical styles rooted in the traditions of Western or European classical music that European settlers brought to the country from the 1600s and onwards. As well, it includes musical styles brought by other ethnic communities from the 1800s and onwards, such as Indian classical music (Hindustani and Carnatic music) and Chinese classical music. Since Canada's emergence as a nation in 1867, the country has produced its own composers, musicians and ensembles. As well, it has developed a music infrastructure that includes training institutions, conservatories, performance halls, and a public radio broadcaster, CBC, which programs a great deal of Classical music. There is a high level of public interest in classical music and education.
Canada has produced a number of respected ensembles, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, as well as a number of well-known Baroque orchestras and chamber ensembles, such as the I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Major Canadian opera companies such as the Canadian Opera Company have nurtured the talents of Canadian opera singers such as Maureen Forrester, Ben Heppner, and Jon Vickers. Well-known Canadian musicians include pianist Glenn Gould; violinist James Ehnes; flautist Timothy Hutchins; and composers R. Murray Schafer and Harry Somers. Well-known music schools include the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada) in Toronto and the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montréal.
Baroque orchestras and chamber ensembles:
Louis Quilico (1925 - 2000) was a Canadian baritone, known as "Mr Rigoletto." In Canada, Quilico performed regularly with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, and throughout the 1970s he performed in opera comanies in the United States. Quilico's contemporary Jon Vickers (born 1926) is a tenor born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, who joined the Metropolitan Opera in 1960. A powerful "heldentenor", he became known for his German- and Italian-language roles. Maureen Forrester (born 1930) is a Canadian operatic contralto known for her performances of Mahler and for her great stamina onstage. Victor Braun (1935–2001) was a Canadian-born operatic baritone who performaed at major opera houses from Europe and North America. His contemporary Teresa Stratas (born 1938) is a soprano who had a 36-year career at the Metropolitan Opera. Judith Forst (born 1943) is a Canadian mezzo-soprano who was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991.
Richard Margison (born 1953) is an operatic tenor who was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001 and lives in Toronto, Canada. Gino Quilico (born 1955) is a lyric baritone of Italian descent and the son of Canadian baritone Louis Quilico and Lina Pizzolongo. Ben Heppner (born 1956) is a tenor, specializing in opera and classical symphonic works for voice. performs frequently with major opera companies in the United States and Europe, as well as concert appearances with major symphony orchestras. Gerald Finley (born 1960) is a bass-baritone opera singer. renowned for his interpretations of Mozart roles Michael Schade (born 1965) is a Canadian operatic tenor, who was born in Geneva and raised in Germany and Canada; he is known as a "Mozart tenor". Russell Braun (born 1965) is an operatic lyric baritone, who is the son of baritone Victor Braun. Isabel Bayrakdarian (born 1974) is an Armenian-Canadian opera singer who moved to Canada as a teenager. Measha Brueggergosman (born 1977 in Fredericton, New Brunswick) is a soprano who performs both as a concert artist and opera singer.
Non-Canadian violinists within the Canadian music community:
There are three commercial radio stations in Canada offering a classical music format:
The community CKUA radio network in Alberta also airs some classical music programming, as do some campus radio and community radio stations. All radio stations in Canada are required by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to meet Canadian content targets. For classical music stations, the requirement is 20% Canadian content.
The Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada) in Toronto offers a comprehensive teaching method encompassing strict guidelines for ten grade levels. The ARCT diploma for Teachers or Performers is the culmination of all the grades which is also recognized worldwide. Comprehensive theory and history co-requisites are required to obtain a certificate. Many Canadian provinces recognize completion of higher levels of the curriculum, awarding students high school credits upon successful completion. The Royal Conservatory operates The Glenn Gould School, a centre for professional training in classical music performance, a Community School, an educational initiative for public school teachers, a Young Artists Performance Academy, and it offers RCM Examinations. Some of Canada's most famous musicians studied at the Conservatory. Glenn Gould studied theory, organ and piano, graduating at age 12 in 1946 with an ARCT diploma, with highest honours. Teresa Stratas, Lois Marshall and Jon Vickers were also Conservatory students.
The Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montréal offers performance programs at McGill provide students with private lessons and performing opportunities in university ensembles, in addition to studies in the history and theory of music. The school also offers a three-year diploma of Licentiate in Music, an Artist Diploma program, and an Orchestral Training Program. McGill's Music Research Department offers B.Mus. programs in Composition, Theory, History, Music Education, Sound Recording, and Music Technology. The school has been ranked by The Princeton Review as among the top ten music schools in the world.