WHO WE ARE
MISSION, VISION & VALUES
musica intima strives to foster human connection through vocal music.
To connect, inspire, and profoundly move people through intimate and collaborative vocal experiences.
We are a professional vocal ensemble committed to artistic excellence.
We use vocal music to create, collaborate and connect.
We strive to ensure diversity and inclusion.
We replenish our community through education and outreach.
We are sustained by an artistic environment of trust, mutual respect and admiration.
In 1992, a group of friends wanted to sing together. They started gathering in one another’s homes to make music while they shared the artistic values that fed into what musica intima has become today: a collective that fosters human connection through vocal music.
Founder, Michael Murray, recalls: "I wanted to start a new choir in Vancouver. This was in 1992. I thought the chamber choir or vocal ensemble model would be the way to go. Easier to get a smaller group of people on the same rehearsal schedule. Rehearsals, at the beginning, were often held around my dining room table, where we’d enjoy a few bottles of Spanish wine as we’d sing, and refresh ourselves with the wine between pieces—or during rests in the music!"
"It was great fun! Everyone in the choral community was a little envious; we had such a great sound. Our first public performance was an Evensong service at Christ Church Cathedral. If I remember correctly we sang Thomas Tomkins."
- Michael Murray
Michael's new group took off, soon expanding to twelve singers, each of whom had a personal investment in the music, and their own ideas about how to make it. With the nurturing of this personal investment, the vocal ensemble quickly grew into Canada's first professional collaborative vocal group!
Throughout its history, musica intima has embraced music of all genres. From the works of renaissance composers like Palestrina, Josquin and Lasso to the baroque masterworks of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, early music has been a critical part of musica intima’s artistic output, collaborating with conductors and directors such as Ivars Taurins, Marc Destrubé, and Alexander Weimann.
Equally at home with contemporary classical music, musica intima has recorded music of minimalists Tavener, Pärt and Górecki, as well as groundbreaking composers, including Ana Sokolovic and Julia Wolfe. Of special note is our long-standing relationship with the music of influential Estonian composer Veljo Tormis— throughout the ensemble’s history we have continually returned to Tormis’ music, culminating in the release of Forgotten Peoples in 2006.
Our continual quest for artistic excellence is shared through high-profile collaborations with internationally-renowned artists, such as British cellist Steven Isserlis (2004); Pulitzer-Prize winning composers Julia Wolfe (2014) and Caroline Shaw (2016), with legendary conductors, including Paul Hillier (1999) and Hervé Niquet (2004), and with master improviser and vocalist Bobby McFerrin (2019) with whom we performed at the Chan Centre.
As a champion of Canadian choral music, we have commissioned nineteen choral compositions to date—every single one from a Canadian composer. These commissions continue to form the core of our repertoire, and frequently appear on our widely-acclaimed recordings. Our commissioning process is as unique as our ensemble—dialoguing with composers and creating truly collaborative works of art, which in turn find their way into the Canadian choral canon. musica intima views the advocacy of Canadian choral art as central to our mission—and the success of this is seen in our all-Canadian album into light garnering a ten-star review in BBC Music Magazine.
In its nearly thirty years, musica intima has released ten studio albums, five of which appeared on the ATMA label, with music ranging from the Renaissance to a cappella arrangements of folk songs. The recordings have garnered two JUNO-nominations (for our debut musica intima and 2010’s all-Candian into light), as well as Western Canadian Music Award nominations and wins. Released on the composer- and artist-run Redshift label, the most recent full-length album, thirst, is a collaborative effort between Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble and musica intima, featuring music of Ana Sokolovic and Julia Wolfe.
Over our history, the vocal ensemble has had twenty-four sopranos, twenty-two altos and tenors, and nineteen basses come through the ranks. The vocal ensemble has toured across Canada, with some of our most recent destinations being Whitehorse in 2020, Toronto in 2017, and an upcoming tour along the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island in the Fall of 2020. Internationally, the ensemble frequently tours, with recent performances in the United States, Denmark, Ireland, France and Korea.
As a champion of the Canadian choral canon, musica intima has commissioned nineteen choral compositions to date—each from a Canadian composer.
STAFF & BOARD
Originally from Treaty 6 territory, the traditional lands of First Nations and Métis peoples, Jacob Gramit is a Vancouver-based settler baritone, specialising in the music of the baroque and renaissance. After graduating from the University of British Columbia (BMus, 2012), Jacob studied Early Music at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, Netherlands (MMus, 2018). Highlights of his time abroad included studies with Pascal Bertin, Peter Kooij, Michael Chance, Dorothee Mields, Robin Blaze, and Lenie van den Heuvel, and projects with Ton Koopman, Charles Toet, Capella Amsterdam, and Holland Baroque.
Balancing performance with artistic curation, Jacob both sings with and serves as the Artistic Manager of musica intima, a fully collaborative ensemble. From 2010-2022 he sang at Christ Church Cathedral, and was Co-Artistic Director of the Summer Festival of Sacred Music from 2015 to 2021. Committed to the growth of the Early Music community in the Pacific Northwest, he has performed as a soloist with the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Program at UBC under Alexander Weimann, both in concerts at UBC and presented by Early Music Vancouver. As a chorister, he has performed under Weimann on several occasions, both in Canada and the Netherlands, and was selected to participate in a performance of Spem in Alium with the Tallis Scholars (under Peter Philips), presented by Carnegie Hall.
As Artistic Manager, Jacob is honoured to serve the Society and its legacy, and to facilitate the ensemble's growth, development, and boundary-breaking artistic mission. Highlights have included projects with Anishinaabe choreographer Olivia C. Davies and Cree composer Andrew Balfour.
Board of Directors
Don Brooks, President
Dan McFaull, Treasurer
Troy Topnik, Secretary
Anne Louise Aboud, Director
Cathy Wong, Director
Steve Maddock, Singers Representative
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
Are you interested in putting your skills to work in a volunteer position on our Board? In exchange for approximately ten hours of work a month, you’ll have the opportunity to support an established local arts organization that is growing while you build your leadership skills, network and expand your knowledge. Plus, you’ll get special insight into the inner workings of Vancouver’s arts community.
YOUR SUPPORT IS OUR LIFEBLOOD
musica intima exists to create incredible moments—to share the power of music with our audiences and invite them into our circle of sound. Your financial support of the ensemble’s professional performance, touring, recording, and community outreach initiatives remains invaluable.
As with most not-for-profit arts organizations, ticket revenue only accounts for a small portion of our total budget. If you have been touched by musica intima’s performances, please consider a tax-deductible gift to the musica intima society. Your continued support of one of Canada’s musical gems is vital, allowing us to continue presenting world-class performances at home and abroad, and supporting generations of professional musicians.
musica intima is a registered charitable organizaion #872525530RR0001