Matthew Otto, is an innovative conductor, educator, and collaborator. Committed to music education and choral excellence, Matthew is the Associate Artistic Director of the renowned Toronto Children’s Chorus (TCC) where he conducts the Toronto Youth Choir, Chorealis, and co-conducts Chorale and Training Choir III. He has been privileged to conduct the TCC’s Chamber Choir on tour in Russia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, USA, as well as at the 2017 World Choral Symposium in Barcelona, and most recently in Australia & New Zealand. The TCC has also premiered his treble arrangements and compositions.
In 2013, Matthew co-founded the Toronto Youth Choir (TYC) as part of the TCC. The ensemble offers a space for innovation, inclusion, and musical excellence to youth and young working professionals ages 14 to 30 in the city of Toronto. The TYC has performed with The King’s Singers, Irish Youth Choir, West Liberty University Singers, Choir of Trinity College Melbourne, Elmer Iseler Singers, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In April 2018, Matthew led the Toronto Youth Choir on its first international tour, travelling to New York City to sing in Carnegie Hall. In June 2019, the TYC made its debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, performing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana alongside the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir & TCC under the direction of Donald Runnicles. Next summer, the TYC will tour Italy and serve as ensemble-in-residence at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI) where Matthew will conduct Mozart’s Requiem.
Matthew is founder/artistic director of Incontra Vocal Ensemble, a project-based, professional-level chamber choir. Now in its sixth season, Incontra provides high-calibre performance opportunities for emerging singers and conductors. Passionate about music’s role in liturgy, Matthew has served as a pastoral musician since the age of 12. He has worked as music director at a number of Toronto churches and, in 2014, was appointed Director of Music at Christ Church Deer Park where he oversees a vibrant music program.
Equally at home with the symphonic chorus realm, Matthew has prepared choruses for maestros Peter Oundjian, Nicholas McGegan, Bramwell Tovey, the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and Donald Runnicles, all with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.Matthew has guest conducted the Elora Festival Singers, Toronto Cantata Chorus, University of Auckland Chamber Choir, and Mississauga Summer Chorale. He is also in demand as an adjudicator and clinician, recently adjudicating choirs at the Kiwanis Music Festival of Guelph and the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival.
As a strategic thinker, collaborator, and organizational architect, Matthew has a proven track-record of building, developing and leading sustainable choral organizations. Matthew served as President of Choirs Ontario from 2015-17 and was a board member of Choral Canada. He has actively contributed to many choral communities in the Greater Toronto area, including Pax Christi Chorale (Assistant Conductor, 2010-11), and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (Associate Conductor, 2011-13).
Twice-recipient of the Elmer Iseler Fellowship in Choral Conducting, and finalist in both the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting (2014) and Sir Ernest MacMillan Foundation Fellowship Award in Orchestral Conducting (2010), Matthew holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition (2007) and a Master of Music in Conducting (2009). His conducting mentors include Doreen Rao, Karen Grylls and Elise Bradley, and he has participated in masterclasses with numerous conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Maria Guinand and Simon Carrington. Currently, Matthew is pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of Toronto, where his research focuses on choral pedagogy, the role of vocal pedagogy in the choral classroom, and the re-imagined choral space. He has presented papers at the International Symposium on Singing and Song II and Podium 2018.
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