image of an open hand

The Elora Singers Present A Canadian Premiere: To the Hands

The Elora Singers are pleased to announce the opening concert of their 2019/2020 Winter Season: To the Hands featuring Caroline Shaw’s To the Hands and Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Ad Genua. The Crossing, a Philadelphia-based choir, commissioned these two pieces, along with five others, as a modern response to Danish composer Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri. This is the first time these modern responses are being performed in Canada.

When asked why he chose these specific pieces Mark Vuorinen, The Elora Singer’s artistic director, said “they drew me in both for their historical connection to the early-baroque German master, Dietrich Buxtehude, and for their contemporary relevance in the 20th century. The works by Caroline Shaw and Anna Thorvaldsdottir are contemporary responses to Buxtehude’s passion cantatas, Membra Jesu nostri. This work contemplates Christ’s limbs on the cross as a meditation of his passion. Shaw and Thorvaldsdottir respond to Buxtehude with reflections of their own, contemporary and immediate. Hearing these 300-year-old works next to present-day reflections magnifies their impact.”

This impact is the call to question what it means to be a neighbour in a world where increasing nationalism is juxtaposed with media that bridges oceans and continents, vividly turning protestors, disaster victims, and refugees into our neighbours. Confronted by such images of violence and sorrow, we all ask ourselves: “How can we respond to an image of another person’s pain?” “How can we still find beauty in the world while giving space for grief?” On November 17th, join The Elora Singers as they explore these very issues in To the Hands.

Tickets for TO THE HANDS are available online at or by calling 519-846-0331.

About the Elora Singers
The Elora Singers, an all-professional Grammy- and JUNO-nominated chamber choir was founded in 1980 and is the ensemble-in-residence of the Elora Festival for three weeks each summer. Through regular concert series, recordings, and touring, the Elora Singers has established a reputation as one of the finest chamber choirs in Canada. With twelve releases on the NAXOS label, the Elora Singers is known for its rich, warm sound and clarity of texture. The choir is renowned for its diverse styles, for its commitment to Canadian repertoire, and for its diverse collaborations with other Canadian and international artists.  Recent and upcoming collaborations include the State Choir LATVIJA, Festival of the Sound, Swiss Piano Trio, Natalie MacMaster and Steven Page.  A new recording featuring new works by Barbara Croall (Giishkaapkag) and Reena Esmail (This Love between Us) will be released in 2020.

For interview arrangements, media passes, and photographs, please contact:
Julian Houston
Phone: 905-699-4145

Dan Lovero
Phone: 905-749-2594

The Elora Singers is a registered non-profit. Charity number 13580 7824 RR0001

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