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MISSION, VISION & VALUES

musica intima strives to foster human connection through vocal music.

MISSION 

To connect, inspire, and profoundly move people through intimate and collaborative vocal experiences.

CORE VALUES

  • 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.

MISSION
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OUR HISTORY

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.

HISTORY
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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

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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, mi 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 - and most recently, Cree composer Andrew Balfour has re-occupied this music in his groundbreaking project, NAGAMO.  

 

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, Jocelyn Morlock, 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.

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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 twenty-seven 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. Collaboration is at the centre of our existence - and so we've recently begun collaborating with incredible artists from across Turtle Island, such as choreographer Olivia C. Davies, visual artist Sonny Assu, interdisciplinary artist T'uy't'tanat-Cease Wyss, mezzo-soprano Marion Newman, and composer Andrew Balfour, with whom we recorded the JUNO-nominated NAGAMO in 2022.  

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In its nearly thirty years, mi 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 three JUNO-nominations (for our debut musica intima, 2010’s all-Candian into light, and 2022's NAGAMO), as well as Western Canadian Music Award nominations and wins. Our most recent recordings are released on the composer- and artist-run Redshift label; thirst, a collaborative effort with Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble and NAGAMO, in collaboration with Andrew Balfour.

Over our history, we have had more than one hundred singers come through ranks. We've toured across Canada; Newfoundland, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta in 2022, Whitehorse in 2020, and plans to visit Quebec and Nova Scotia in 2024. Internationally, the ensemble frequently tours, with recent performances in the United States, Denmark, Ireland, France and Korea, and we regularly tour closer to home, across the Okanagan, on the Island, and up the Sunshine Coast.

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COMMISSIONS

As a champion of the Canadian choral canon, musica intima has commissioned nineteen choral compositions to date—each from a Canadian composer.

COMMISSIONS
STAFF

STAFF & BOARD

Staff

Jacob Gramit, Artistic Manager

Lucy Smith, Operations Manager

Join us!
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.

Board of Directors
2022/23

Don Brooks, President

Anne Louise Aboud, Director

Katherine Evans, Singers Representative

Dan McFaull, Treasurer

Brigid Lumholst-Smith, Director

Troy Topnik, Vice President 

Cathy Wong, Director

DONATE
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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. 

Thank you!

musica intima is a registered charitable organizaion #872525530RR0001

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