François Houde, Le Nouvelliste, 2012
Praised for its “rich-textured, vibrant sound” and “hypnotic beauty”, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal (SMAM) has established a reputation as Montréal’s finest early music vocal ensemble. Composed of 10 to 13 singers chosen for the remarkable clarity and purity of their voices, the choir is often accompanied by period instruments to perform Renaissance and Baroque choral masterpieces.
The mission of the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal is to perform sacred and secular early music, with a particular focus on choral works composed before 1750. Founded in 1974 by Christopher Jackson, Réjean Poirier et Hélène Dugal, and today conducted by Musical Director Andrew McAnerney, SMAM is composed of 12 to 18 singers chosen for the remarkable clarity and purity of their voices. For forty-five years, SMAM has maintained a high standard of excellence and established itself as one of Canada’s finest early music vocal ensembles.
Recent work outside Montréal has included three programmes touring Eastern Canada (Music of the Sistine Chapel, Earthquake Mass and Music of New France and Québec), and a video project with CBC/Radio-Canada exploring music of the Abenaki, an indigenous people whose land lies near Montréal. In 2016 and 2017, SMAM was nominated for the Prix Opus for Concert of the Year and CD of the Year respectively. The Studio’s most recent recording, Orlando di Lasso: Laudate Dominum, has received international acclaim for “impressive clarity of textures” and “glorious singing”.
In 2018 SMAM made its UK début performing music from New France with a live broadcast on BBC Radio and a concert at St John’s Smith Square, London. SMAM’s 2018-19 schedule is busier than ever before and includes collaborations with Arion Baroque Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.