THE CARDINAL CONSORT OF VIOLS

Live performance of Holborne’s ‘In Peascod Time’  Ian Gammie, arr.

For well over a decade, the Cardinal Consort of Viols has been bringing exquisite music of the 16th and 17th centuries to Southern Ontario audiences, performing on the type of instrument for which this music was written, the viola da gamba. 

The consort has presented its own annual Thanksgiving Eve concerts and has been hosted by several concert series including Conrad Grebel’s (University of Waterloo), Music Mondays, Toronto Early Music Centre’s Musically Speaking, and the concert series of the Associates of the Toronto Symphony. Cardinal Consort has also performed with several choirs, among them the Grand Philharmonic Chamber Singers, Toronto Chamber Choir, and Tallis Choir. The consort has twice been the guest ensemble of the Toronto Continuo Collective and has also given many popular and engaging performances and demonstrations at the Toronto Early Music Fair. Recent Cardinal performances include last season’s multi-concert tour with the gifted and versatile countertenor Daniel Cabena featuring a plague-themed programme, To Our Great Joy.  

This season, the Consort will collaborate again with Daniel, in A Nest of Byrds, a new project in honour of the 400th anniversary of the 1623 death of composer William Byrd, with concerts in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, and on Hamilton’s Hammer Baroque series. In the Spring of 2024, Daniel and the Consort will perform with the vocal ensemble Dead of Winter in Winnipeg. 

“The Cardinal Consort of Viols is a delight to hear in concert!  Their programs are imaginative and beautifully played!  They engage their audience, with little known repertoire and with anecdotes and history of the instrument. The timbre of four viols together is a sweet and magical sound!”  ~Mark Vuorinen, Artistic Director and Conductor, Grand Philharmonic Choir, Elora Festival, and Elora Singers

“I finally had an opportunity to attend a concert by the Cardinal Consort of Viols.  What a wonderful experience it was to be in the presence of this extraordinary group of players as they called forth their passion and employed their art!  I came mainly for the viol music of John Jenkins – but was beguiled by several other offerings in their program.   We are fortunate indeed to have an ensemble of such high calibre devoted to keeping this music alive through public performance.”  ~With gratitude, Jim Parrott, Waterloo

“Sensitive & energetic playing by this group; varied & entertaining repertoire; a most civilized way to spend a wintry Sunday afternoon.”  ~M.S. (Toronto Friends of Classical Music)