The Cantata Singers of Ottawa (CSO) is well known regionally and across Canada. Founded in 1964, this choir of approximately 40 voices has distinguished itself in performance of music of many styles and musical periods, from early music to minimalism, both a capella and with orchestras and small ensembles.
The choir aspires to perform choral music to the highest standards, promotes choral music in Ottawa, and supports Canadian musical talent by commissioning Canadian composers, engaging Canadian musicians, and offering scholarships to young Canadian singers. Under Artistic Director Andrew McAnerney, CSO presents an annual concert series, with programs spanning a wide-ranging repertoire both in time and style. In every season, the choir includes works composed by women and Canadians.
CSO has been an invited guest artist almost since its formation. With the exception of the COVID period, it has performed annually with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) and under the baton of every NACO artistic director since the opening of the NAC in 1969. In addition, the choir has sung NACO concerts led by other internationally renowned guest conductors. CSO performed on NACO’s 2019 JUNO-nominated recording New Worlds, singing Ana Sokolović’s composition Golden slumbers kiss your eyes.
CSO has sung in major Canadian music festivals such as Festival de Lanaudière and Festival of the Sound and has partnered with well-known Canadian choirs, such as Pro Coro Canada of Edmonton, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and St. Lawrence Choir to present joint concerts. Thanks to numerous CBC and Radio Canada broadcasts, the choir is well known across Canada.