A dynamic conductor hailed for “awe-inspiring” (Holly Harris) performances with Polycoro, John Wiens (artistic director and co-founder of Polycoro) has appeared on stages across North America, Europe, and Africa. An innovative programmer with a vast repertoire, John specializes in music before 1750 and after 1890. An inquisitive and investigative musician, he regularly performs new music by current composers, or forgotten composers of the past.
Born into a musical family in small – town Manitoba, John aspired to be a musician from an early age. He holds degrees in Violin, Voice, and Conducting, while studying privately with Paul van Nevel, and his astonishing choral group – the Huelgas Ensemble. and in past years with Christopher Jackson, Andrew Megill, Konstantin Krechler, and Donna Grescoe. His conducting career has ranged from Belgium (University Chorus for L’Université Catholique de Louvain) to Morocco (Ensemble Voca Me) to Montreal (St. Matthias Anglican Church in Westmount) and Winnipeg (Polycoro, Camerata Nova).
John is well known for his vast repertoire, and is constantly expanding his knowledge of music ancient and modern. He has conducted the premiers of works by Andrew Balfour, Norbert Palej, T. Pat Carrabré, Neil Weisenthel, and Isaiah Ceccarelli, and regularly programs repertoire by many of Canada’s leading composers including Anna Sokolovic, Mychael Danna, Vivian Fung, Nicolas Gilbert, and Oleksa Lozowchuk.
When not conducting his many ensembles, John is in demand as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator.
Some recent reviews: