Art of Song ProgramArt of Song-162

July 9-21, 2018

Applications for the 2018 Academy are now closed.


This year’s Art of Song mentors include the great lyric tenor, Christoph Prégardien, as well as Julius Drake, one of the world’s finest collaborative pianists. The Art of Song Program is led by renowned Canadian pianist, Program Director, Steven Philcox.

Designed for a small cohort of eight singers and four pianists, this program is devoted to the study and performance of Art Song. During this two-week session, participants study with all faculty members, voice and piano, thus receiving advice from a variety of musical traditions and perspectives. The session will also offer detailed study of text, and diction. Our goal is to provide the selected Fellows the luxury of total immersion in Art Song in a community of artists from around the world.

Performance opportunities are paramount in the Art of Song Program, and Fellows will have the opportunity to perform in Private and Public Masterclasses as well as at ticketed Art Song reGeneration Concerts on the Toronto Summer Music Festival stage.

All accepted applicants will receive a full fellowship covering tuition. Housing will be provided for participants attending from outside of the Greater Toronto Area if necessary. Note: transportation is not included in the fellowship.

*Returning Participants: Please note that starting in 2018, participation in the Academy is limited to two summers. Applicants who have participated in the Academy prior to 2018 are invited to reapply for one more summer.


2018 Art of Song Mentors

Christoph Prégardien, tenor

“His lyric tenor voice had a youthful glow, yet he sang with plaintive beauty and piercing insight.”
The New York Times

Precise vocal control, clear diction, intelligent musicality and an ability to get to the heart of everything he sings ensures Christoph Prégardien’s place among the world’s foremost lyric tenors. Especially revered as a Lieder singer, he can be heard this season at the Wigmore Hall London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, in Madrid, Torino, New York, Washington, Chicago and Cleveland. He will also perform at renowned festivals such as the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg Hohenems, the Snape Proms Aldeburgh and the Schwetzingen Festival.

Christoph Prégardien appears regularly with renowned orchestras the world over, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonic de Radio France, and the Boston and San Francisco Symphonies.  His wide orchestral repertoire includes the great baroque, classical and romantic oratorios and passions, as well as works from the 17th and 20thcenturies. He has collaborated with conductors such as Barenboim, Chailly, Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Luisi, Metzmacher, Nagano and Thielemann. In opera his roles have included Tamino (The Magic Flute), Almaviva (Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Fenton (Verdi’s Falstaff), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and the title roles in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and Idomeneo as well as Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria.

Teaching remains a very important part of Christoph Prégardien’s musical life. From 2000 to 2004 he taught at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Zurich. Since 2004 he has been a professor at the Academy of Music in Cologne. As part of Schott’s “Master Class” series, he published an innovative multi-media DVD/book addressing vocal technique and musical interpretation.


Julius Drake, piano

The pianist Julius Drake lives in London and enjoys an international reputation as one of the finest instrumentalists in his field, collaborating with many of the world’s leading artists, both in recital and on disc.

He appears regularly at all the major music centres: the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich, Schubertiade, and Salzburg Music Festivals; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre New York; the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Philarmonie Berlin; the Châtalet and Musée de Louvre Paris; La Scala Milan and Teatro de la Zarzuela Madrid; Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna; and Wigmore Hall and BBC Proms London.

Director of the Perth International Chamber Music Festival in Australia from 2000 – 2003, Julius Drake was also musical director of Deborah Warner’s staging of Janáček’s Diary of One Who Vanished, touring to Munich, London, Dublin, Amsterdam and New York. Since 2009 he was been Artistic Director of the Machynlleth Festival in Wales.

Julius Drake’s passionate interest in song has led to invitations to devise song series for the Wigmore Hall, London, the BBC and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. A series of song recitals – Julius Drake and Friends – in the historic Middle Temple Hall in London, has featured recitals with many outstanding vocal artists including Sir Thomas Allen, Olaf Bär, Iestyn Davies, Veronique Gens, Sergei Leiferkus, Dame Felicity Lott, Simon Keenlyside and Sir Willard White.


StevenPhilcoxSteven Philcox, piano
Director of the Art of Song Program

Steven Philcox is regarded as one of Canada’s finest collaborators and is a frequent partner of Canada’s vocal elite performing in concert halls across North America where he continues to garner the reputation as one of this country’s most expressive and colorful interpreters.
From 1999-2010, Philcox was a celebrated member of the music staff of the Canadian Opera Company where he served as répétiteur and assistant conductor on more than 35 productions and was the pianist of choice for the continuo of Handel and Mozart. In 2006, Philcox distinguished himself in an auspicious debut conducting the final performance of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
Increasingly recognized for his teaching, Philcox has given masterclasses throughout Canada and is regularly invited to mentor young artists at many of Canada’s prestigious summer programs. Recent highlights include Opera on the Avalon, Toronto Summer Music, Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Centre for Operatic Studies in Italy.
In 2011, Philcox co-founded the Canadian Art Song Project with tenor Lawrence Wiliford. CASP’s mission is to foster the development of new song through an annual commission and its performance as well as providing opportunities for Canadian artists to program and, in doing so, reinvigorate the existing song literature. Since its inception, CASP has brought together composers, writers, and performing artists in the creation of ten new works for voice and piano. It has released four CDs dedicated to the music of Derek Holman, John Greer, and Norbert Palej, all of which have been received with great critical acclaim. For more information please visit:
Philcox is currently Associate Professor and head of Collaborative Piano studies at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.

“The Toronto Summer Music Academy is on par with the best song programs in the world, providing nearly unparalleled access to the art form’s leading performers and experts.  It is a program that allows the singer to reconnect with their art and fall in love with music and poetry all over again.  The strength of the Art of Song program is the amount of one-on-one time allocated for each singer and pianist with the visiting artists.  Hardly anywhere else do you truly get to work in depth with such high calibre musicians for that length of time.”

– Mireille Asselin, soprano (2012 TSM Academy Fellow)

How to Apply

Applications for the 2018 Academy are now closed.

Materials Required

  1. One‐page biography (If applying as a pre-formed ensemble, please also include short bios of each group member).
  2. Photograph (Colour)
  3. List of current repertoire
  4. List of works that the individual wishes to be coached on and/or perform at Toronto Summer Music (these works must be Art Song).
  5. Non-refundable application fee of $75 (plus HST) for individuals  or $100 (plus HST) for pre-formed duos/ensembles
  6. Digital Video Recordings should be 10-15 minutes long and include 3 Art Songs in contrasting style and character. (see Audition Recording Requirements below)

Audition Requirements

  1. Digitalvideo only, submitted as a youtube link. Please ensure your video is marked either public or unlisted (only available to those you share it with) so the audition panel is able to view it.
  2. The digital video recording should include a minimum of three works or excerpts from works in contrasting style and character
  3. The repertoire does not have to be the same as that to be proposed for performance in the Academy program
  4. The recording submitted by ensembles must be of the ensemble
  5. The recording submitted by individual artists must be a solo recording with piano accompaniment. Pianists should submit videos performing in a collaborative role with a singer.
  6. The applicant must list the name of the ensemble or individual, date and location of the recording, as well as works performed with timings
  7. Recordings are the primary adjudication tool and should be of the highest possible audio quality
  8. Each movement must be completed in one take with no editing


Please contact us at if you have any questions regarding the application process.


© Copyright 2017 Toronto Summer Music
All Rights Reserved.

Toronto Summer Music  506-2333 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6R 3A6
 tel: 647-430-5699; fax: 647-430-5698  e-mail: info(at)  Box Office:  416-408-0208