Canadian composer and conductor Stephanie Martin is associate professor of music at York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design; director of Schola Magdalena (a women’s ensemble for chant, medieval and modern polyphony,) conductor emeritus of Pax Christi Chorale; and past director of music at the historic church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Toronto.
Martin’s current project with librettist Paul Ciufo is Llandovery Castle, an opera about the Canadian hospital ship torpedoed in the Atlantic in June 1918. Requiem for All Souls premiered in San Diego (Nov 2017, Ruben Valenzuela, conductor) and Missa Chicagoensis at St. John Cantius parish in Chicago (June 2017, Fr Scott Haynes, conductor). Her choral symphony Babel premièred at Wilfrid Laurier University in April 2016, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the WLU Faculty of Music. (Listen on Soundcloud)
Recently recorded CD Winter Nights includes the cantata of the same name, along with a new choral work commissioned by the British choir Ex Cathedra, The Portinari Nativity on a text by Cori Martin which received seven performances in England in December 2012, including a performance at St. John’s Smith Square, London. Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria B.C. commissioned The Legend of the Bird (Dec. 2012) and The Rock Dove (June 2014.) Martin’s string quartet From a distant island received its third performance by Skyros String Quartet, June 2014. Recent commissions include works for Voces Capituli, Antwerp; the Canadian Men’s Chorus; Toronto Diocesan Choir School for Girls; the Summer Institute of Church Music, Whitby; the Winnipeg Organ Festival; St. John’s Cathedral,Albuquerque; St. John’s Cantius, Chicago; and the Richard Eaton Singers of Edmonton, Alberta.
Artistic Director of Pax Christi Chorale since 1996, Martin has conducted many memorable oratorios, and has commissioned several new Canadian compositions. Performance highlights include Elgar’s The Apostles (2017),The Kingdom (2012), Dream of Gerontius (2001) and The Music Makers (2007); Britten’s Saint Nicolas; Bach’s Saint John Passion, Mass in B Minor, Christmas Oratorio; Mozart’s Requiem; Schubert’s German Mass; Handel’s Solomon, Messiah and Israel in Egypt; Brahms’ German Requiem; Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Saint Paul; Poulenc’s Gloria; and Vaughan Williams’ Hodie and Dona Nobis Pacem; and the North American premiere of C.H.H. Parry’s JUDITH at Koerner Hall(2015) (Judith on Youtube); a unique performance of Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ incorporated dancers from the York Dance Ensemble; and the Canadian premiere of Elgar’s The Apostles. ( The Apostles on Youtube)
An accomplished composer of works for both voices and instruments, Martin’s awards include first prize in the Exultate Chamber Singers’ competition (2009), and first prize in the Association of Anglican Musicians competition (2010). She became an associate of the Canadian Music Centre in 2011, and was named composer in residence for the Barrie Music Festival in 2012.
Producing in the booth, or performing for the mics, Stephanie has recorded with many ensembles on the Naxos, Marquis and Dorian labels, as well as several self-produced recordings on her ‘SJM’ label. Her love of historically informed performance was fostered over 15 years of activity with Arbor Oak Trio, who performed hundreds of chamber music concerts and several fully staged dramatic works, including Arne’s rarely heard Love in a Village, Locke’s Cupid and Death and Gay’s Beggar’s Opera.
Martin holds degrees from the University of Toronto and Wilfrid Laurier University, and is an Associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. In York University’s School of Arts,Media,Performance and Design she teaches music history, composition, harpsichord and organ, and coaches historical ensembles.