Art of Song ProgramArt of Song-162

July 9-23, 2017

Applications are open for the 2017 Academy.

Meet the Mentors, read the Application Requirements, and Apply Now!

This program, for a small cohort of eight singers and four pianists 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 also offers detailed study of text, diction, and action coaching.  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.

This year’s Mentors include the great Finnish Soprano, Soile Isokoski, Kammersängerin of the Vienna State Opera, as well as Martin Katz, one of the world’s most celebrated collaborative pianists. Steven Philcox will be coordinating and coaching the Fellows again this summer.

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

“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)

Art of Song-194




Soile Isokoski, soprano

She made her stage debut at the Finnish National Opera and from there she went on to capture audiences and critics worldwide. Working with the great conductors of our time and a regular guest of the most renowned opera houses, she has given numerous concerts as well as recitals. She earned especial renown for such recordings as Strauss’ Four Last Songs under Marek Janowski (Grammophone Editor’s Choice Award 2002) as well as two Sibelius-CDs under the baton of Leif Segerstam: Luonnotar and Orchestral songs (MIDEM classical award; ’Vocal award’ and ’Disc of the year’ at the BBC Music Magazine 2007), and Kullervo (Diapason d’or 2008). Pro Finlandia –Medal 2002, Sibelius-Medal 2007 and Austrian Kammersängerin 2008. Dr hc University Helsinki 2011.

Martin Katz, collaborative piano

Martin Katzrevised“The gold standard of accompanying.”   New York Times

As one of the world’s busiest collaborators, he has been in constant demand by the world’s  most celebrated vocal soloists  for four decades.  He has appeared and recorded regularly with Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, Samuel Ramey, Karita Mattila,, Jose Carreras, Cecilia Bartoli, Kiri Te Kanawa, Soile Isokoski, Kathleen Battle, and Lawrence Brownlee, just to name a few.  Season after season, the world’s musical capitals figure prominently in his schedule.

The professional profile of Martin Katz is completed with his commitment to teaching.  For three decades, the University of Michigan has been his home, where he has been chair for the School of Music’s program in collaborative piano, and has played an active part in operatic productions.  He has been a pivotal figure in the training of countless young artists, both singers and pianists, who are working all over the world.  The University has recognized this work, making him the first Arthur Schnabel Professor of Music.  In addition to his work there, he is a regular guest at Santa Fe Opera, Songfest Institute, San Francisco Opera, the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, Chicago College of Performing Arts, and the New National Theatre of Tokyo.

Steven Philcox, collaborative piano (Coach) July 9 – 23philcox_steven1

Pianist Steven Philcox has quickly established himself as one of Canada’s finest collaborators and has performed with many renowned singers including Richard Margison, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Shannon Mercer, and Measha Brueggergosman. His performances consistently receive high praise and critical acclaim prompting Toronto’s The Globe and Mail to write “a superb piano partner…gorgeously accompanied.”

Mr. Philcox’s recital appearances have taken him to many of North America’s greatest concert halls including his Carnegie Hall debut in association with the American Society for Contemporary Opera and Song as well as his Alice Tully Hall debut at Lincoln Center. He has also performed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in a live broadcast of Schubert’s Die Shöne Müllerin. In addition, Mr. Philcox has been heard under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, the Janacek Festival in Glens Falls, New York, and the National Arts Center, Ottawa. Mr. Philcox is often heard on the recital stages of Toronto and continues to garner the reputation as one of this city’s most expressive and colorful interpreters.

Mr. Philcox is extremely excited about his recent appointment to the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto where he will head the collaborative piano department. Mr. Philcox will also continue a relationship with the Canadian Opera Company as a member of its music staff for the final production of the season. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Mr. Philcox pursued his love of vocal literature for two summers at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, California. Subsequently, he went on to receive his Master of Music Degree in Vocal Accompanying from the Manhattan School of Music.

How to Apply

Applications for 2017 are now closed. Please check back in the fall of 2017 for details regarding applications to the 2018 Art of Song Program.

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. One-page list of current repertoire
  4. Listing 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. Digital video 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 two 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 include a document listing the name of the ensemble or individual, date and location of the recording, and 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

*Returning Participants: Please note that participation in the Art of Song program is limited to two (2) times. i.e.applicants who have participated as Fellows in two (2) sessions are not invited to reapply.

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


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