Grossmann came to Canada in 1981 as guest professor at the University of Ottawa, where she conducted the choir and orchestra, and set up an ear training program. She was artistic director of the Wiener Singakademie Choir in Vienna (1983-6) and of the Chamber Players of Toronto (1984-90), with which she toured Europe (Berlin, Prague, Vienna and other cities) in 1990. From 1986 to 1995, she was artistic director of the Orchestre métropolitain de Montréal and choir, which she founded in 1987. She was also artistic director of the Orford Arts Centre (1989-95, 1999-2004); principal guest conductor of Edmonton's Pro Coro Canada (1995-97); and artistic director of the Vienna Boys' Choir (1996-98) at the time of that institution's 500th anniversary. This event was celebrated with a concert with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and Chorus Viennensis in the Musikvereinsaal in Vienna. Grossmann also took the Vienna Boys' Choir on a tour of North America. Before she relinquished her position as artistic director after differences with the board of directors on financing and goals, she introduced widespread educational reforms that included the acceptance of girls in the kindergarten of the choir school, and launched the Children's Opera Series of the Vienna State Opera.
Additional Canadian Conducting Positions
In Canada, in addition to the Chamber Players of Toronto, Agnes Grossmann has conducted the Toronto Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Vancouver Symphony, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, and the Jeunesses Musicales World Youth Orchestra. She has also been on the podium of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, as well as the Arcadia Orchestra and Choir in Osaka, Japan; the Tokyo New City Orchestra; and the Contemporary Chamber Orchestra and Choir of Taipei.
In 2001, she founded Ensemble Montreal, whose debut performance of Haydn's Creation, marking the Orford Arts Centre's 50th jubilee, was nominated for a Prix Opus of the Quebec Music Council. In 2003, she conducted Haydn's Seasons and Stabat Mater with Ensemble Montreal for the CBC.
Agnes Grossmann married conductor Raffi Armenian in 1984.
In 1987, she was named Woman of the Year, in the arts category, at the Salon de la femme in Montreal. She has also been awarded the Silver Cross for outstanding achievement in the arts from the Austrian government in 1992, and the Golden Cross of the City of Vienna in 1995. In 2003, she received the Chevalier de la Pléiade award from the Quebec government.
Author Sophie Galaise, Shirley Gueller
Prokofiev: Summer Day, Peter and the Wolf, Winter Camp Fire, 7th Symphony "Youth". Metropolitan Orchestra of Montreal. CBC Records SM5117 or 5118
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Overture and incidental music A Midsummer Night's Dream, Symphony No. 4 "Italian". Metropolitan Orchestra of Montreal. OMCD-002
500th Anniversary Vienna Boys' Choir. Haydn, Schubert, Salieri, Mozart. Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Chorus Viennensis, Terence Wey (soprano), Stefan Ehrenhöfer (alto), Mark DuBois (tenor), Andreas Jankowitsch (bass). Koch International 3-6563-2
Kaptainis, Arthur. 'Orchestre métropolitain gets a new music director,' Montreal The Gazette, 17 May 1986
'Agnes Grossmann au doigt et à l'oeil' (interview by Fortin, Marie-Claude), Voir, 21-27 Feb 1991
Laurier, Marie. 'Agnès Grossmann: la musique par amour, la patrie par choix,' Montreal Le Devoir (13 May 1991)
Perlez, Jane. "Boys choir gets female director," Toronto Globe and Mail, 17 Oct 1996
Bagnall, Janet. "Agnes Grossmann and Raffi Armenian," Montreal Gazette, 30 March 1997
"Conductor quits amid discord at famed choir," Toronto Star, 22 Dec 1998
Links to Other Sites
This site features animated conducting gestures and related notes about conducting patterns in the Saito Method. Multimedia created by the Department of Media and Technology, University of Saskatchewan. From ConductorSchool.com.
Agnes Grossmann talks about her career as an orchestra conductor and opportunities for women in music. From a speech delivered to spring convocation at the University of Ottawa.
History of the Austrian Migration to Canada
Read excerpts from the book "History of the Austrian Migration to Canada." Scroll down to Chapter 7 for brief notes about prominent Canadian artists and performers of Austrian descent. From Google Books.
Toronto Summer Music Festiva
The website for the Toronto Summer Music Festival,an annual international summer festival that features chamber music concerts with world-renowned artists and an academy for emerging musicians.