Lydia Adams, Conductor / Artistic Director
As an ambassador of the Canadian Music Centre and hailed by the CMC as “the new leading
exponent of the Canadian choral composer”, Lydia Adams has dedicated her career to the
growth of Canadian choral music. She is Artistic Director of both the Elmer Iseler Singers and the
Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto, national leaders in commissioning, premièring, performing
and recording Canadian choral works.
A native of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Ms. Adams received her musical education at Mount Allison
University, New Brunswick; the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio, London,
England. She has conducted choral works of Canadian composers including Somers, Freedman,
Applebaum, Watson Henderson, Hatzis, Daley and Togni. She has toured extensively and guest
conducted throughout Canada and the United States, and recently conducted a tour of the
world’s first Cree opera, Pimooteewin: The Journey, by Tomson Highway and Melissa Hui. An innovative programmer, Ms.
Adams has included over 50 new commissions in the past 13 years. Her own compositions are
In June 2009 Ms. Adams won the prestigious Ontario Premier’s Finalist Award for Excellence in the Arts
recognizing her outstanding achievement and contribution to arts and culture. Dr. Adams has also been
honoured by the City of Scarborough, the Women’s International Network, and the Ontario Choral
Federation. In 2003, she received an Honorary Doctorate from Mount Allison University for her service
to music in Canada. She is one of 74 featured stage artists in V. Tony Hauser’s national Stage Presence
2009 portrait exhibition and publication.
In May 2012 Lydia Adams was selected as one of 6 finalists in the Artist category for the Ontario
Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, with the following citation, "One of Canada’s most
distinguished conductors, Adams is also the Conductor and Artistic Director of two of Ontario’s finest
choirs, the Amadeus Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers."
In June 2012, Dr. Adams was announced as the winner of the Roy Thomson Hall Award of
Recognition, part of The 2012 Toronto Arts Foundation Arts Awards.
Roy Thomson Hall Award
Lydia Adams receiving the Roy
Thomson Hall Award at the 2012
Toronto Arts Foundation Mayor’s
Arts Awards Luncheon.
Gift of Music