Claude Gingras, La Presse
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.
Founded in 1974 by the late Christopher Jackson, and today conducted by Artistic Director Andrew McAnerney, SMAM has brought more than 900 Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces before the public. Budding from Montréal’s fertile early music scene in the early 1970s, the Studio was a pioneer ensemble in the North American period music movement. SMAM’s concert series is a highlight of Montréal’s artistic landscape and an integral part of the city’s lively Baroque scene.
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.