Peter-Anthony’s music is spiritually rooted and contemplative. It ranges from the ethereally quiet to the explosive outer limits of contemplation. Togni has been heard everywhere from Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall and the Moscow Conservatory, to the Oriental Arts Centre in Shanghai and the Vatican in Rome for His Holiness Pope John Paul II. His music is broadcast regularly in Canada on CBC, as well as internationally, including on the BBC, Classic FM, Deutsche Wella and Radio France.
Togni’s works have been released on XXI Records, CBC Records, Hänssler Classics, and Warner Classics UK. In 2010 his Lamentatio Jeremiah Prophetae, a concerto for bass clarinet and choir, was recorded by bass clarinettist Jeff Reilly and the Elmer Iseler Singers and released on the ECM label, produced by Manfred Eicher. In 2013 Peter-Anthony’s latest solo CD Piano Alone was released. The Sanctuary Trio’s newest CD Estuary came out in the Fall of 2015, along with a recording of Responsio on ATMA Classique. Hymns of Heaven and Earth was released by Centrediscs in 2016, a disc of entirely Togni music and in July 2020 Luminous Voices released Sea Dreams, another entirely Togni disc, on Leaf Music and distributed by Naxos. In September 2021 Blackwood, Peter-Anthony’s duo with bass clarinettist Jeff Reilly, will release their debut recording of original music Lost and Found.
In 2006, Togni’s Illuminations (a concerto for bass clarinet and string orchestra) was nominated for a Juno award in the category Classical Composition of the Year. 2011 brought two nominations for Peter-Anthony’s Lamentations of Jeremiah, for an East Coast Music Award in the Classical Music category, and for a Juno award in the category Classical Composition of the Year. The work was also a finalist in 2010 for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, celebrating outstanding works of contemporary art that inspire and promote the development of artistic endeavour in Nova Scotia. In 2012, Togni’s Missa Liberationis, the result of a project with the Latvian Youth Choir BALSIS, was published by Musica Baltica, and was premiered in Canada by Pro Coro Canada. Also in 2012, Peter-Anthony was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
The Responsio project for bass clarinettist Jeff Reilly and vocal quartet premiered in July of 2013 and the recording was released in 2015 on ATMA classique. The work is the grand prize winner for the 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award. Responsio was also nominated for a 2016 Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance. Warrior Songs, a work for percussionist Jerry Granelli and choir premiered in Bolder Colorado in 2014, with its Canadian premiere in March 2015 with the Elmer Iseler Singers in Toronto. In 2016 Peter’s opera Isis and Osiris, based on the libretto of Sharon Singer and in collaboration with Opera in Concert, premiered to critical acclaim in Toronto.
Sea Dreams premiered in Calgary in February of 2018 with Luminous Voices and flutists Sara Hahn-Scinocco and Sara Geick; the work is part of their CD Sea Dreams released in 2020 which was nominated for a Juno award in the category Best Classical Recording Vocal or Choral. Sea Dreams is the winner of the 2021 ECMA for Classical Composition of the Year. Togni’s Living Flame of Love premiered in 2019 with Edmonton’s Pro Coro Canada and accordionist Joseph Petric, and two commissions for the RCCO premiered during the RCCO’s July 2019 National Competition. 2020 brings the work Magnificat for the Calgary Renaissance Singers and Players.
Togni’s newest endeavour Voice of the Weaver is a composition commissioned by Jeff Reilly for bass clarinet and choir, with texts by Mi’kmaq poet Mary Louise Martin, and will premiere in Canada in 2022 with the Elora Singers and in 2023 in Riga with the Latvian Radio Choir.
Peter-Anthony is also a pianist, improviser and organist. He has given many solo recitals across Canada and in Europe. He also worked extensively in Canada as a church musician. In July of 2015, Peter-Anthony took part in the 53rd Magadino International Organ Festival in Switzerland, which was co-founded by his late father, Victor Togni. He has also worked extensively in Canada as a church musician. He was music director at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Calgary, an organist at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto and organist and choir master at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica in Halifax. He was the organist in the internationally accliamed trio Sanctuary alongside bass clarinettist Jeff Reilly and cellist Christoph Both. Sanctuary, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, formed in 1999 and performed across Canada and around the world, at venues such as St. John’s, Smith Square in London, Saint- Séverin in Paris and the Dom Cathedral in Riga, Latvia. In 2008 they were the first Canadians since Glenn Gould to play at Philharmonic Hall, in St. Petersburg Russia. They have also made several recordings including their acclaimed CD The heart has its reasons for Warner Classics UK. The Togni Trio, a jazz ensemble with drummer Malcolm Gould and bassist George Koller, performs throughout Canada and the United States, and has two released recordings. Peter-Anthony also regularly collaborates with artists such as jazz saxophonist Mike Murley and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler.
Peter-Anthony was born in Pembroke, Ontario in 1959. He spent his early years in Toronto where he attended St. Michael’s Choir School. He later went on to study at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, studying organ with Frederick Geoghegan and composition with Stephen Chatman. He furthered his studies in organ and improvisation in Paris France with the great French organist Jean Langlais. Togni also studied composition with Allain Gaussin at the Schola Cantorum in Paris where he was awarded first prize in composition.
For over twenty years, Peter-Anthony was also a broadcaster, hosting radio programs for CBC Radio 2, including That Time of the Night, the award-winning Stereo Morning, Weekender and Choral Concert. Peter-Anthony also teaches at Acadia University’s School of Music in Wolfville, is the organist and choir master at St. Benedict Parish in Halifax and sings tenor at St. Vladimir Orthodox Church. He currently resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Short Bio – Peter-Anthony Togni
Peter-Anthony’s music is spiritually rooted and contemplative, ranging from the ethereally quiet to the explosive outer limits of contemplation. One of Canada’s busiest contemporary composers, Juno nominated Togni has toured internationally and his music is regularly broadcast worldwide. His works have been released on XXI Records, CBC Records, Hänssler Classics, Warner Classics UK and ECM. He is also a well-known Canadian broadcaster. Recent recordings include Estuary (2015, ECMA nomination 2016) and Sea Dreams (2020, JUNO nomination 2021). The work Responsio won the 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, was released on ATMA classique and was nominated for a 2016 Juno Award. Peter-Anthony played at the 53rd Magadino International Organ Festival in Switzerland in 2015, a festival co-founded by his father the late Victor Togni. His opera Isis and Osiris, Gods of Egypt, premiered during Opera in Concert’s 2016 season. Sea Dreams, for choir and two flutes, premiered in Calgary in 2018 and won the 2021 ECMA for Classical Composition of the Year. Living Flame of Love premiered in Edmonton in 2019. In September 2021 Blackwood (a duo with Peter-Anthony and Jeff Reilly, bass clarinettist) will release their debut recording Lost and Found. Voice of the Weaver, a commission for Jeff Reilly and choir, with texts by Mi’kmaq poet Mary Louise Martin, will premiere in Canada in 2022 with the Elora Singers and in 2023 in Riga with the Latvian Radio Choir.
Originally from Pembroke, Ontario, he currently resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where he composes and teaches at Acadia University School of Music, is organist and choirmaster at St. Benedict Parish and sings tenor at St. Vladimir Orthodox Church.
3 thoughts on “Biography”
many years ago you gave a concert in the hall of the Pender Island School, close to Victoria, BC, remember ? Now I enjoy listening to your voice in “Choral Concert” each Sunday morning.
May I have a request ? I look back on decades of choral singing in Germany and I must say that I miss some of the music I used to sing there in choirs of 30 or 200. Sure in Canada I hear Bach and Mendelssohn, but never any works by Ernest Pepping (Das Lob der Traene, The Praise Of The Tear) or Hugo Distler (Motettes), just to name two of my favourites. The same holds for performers, namely Helmuth Rilling and his Gaechinger Kantorei and other choirs that he leads. He recorded all of Bach’s Cantatas, Die Winterreise and Die Schoene Muellerin. Also the Dresden Kreuzchor and the Leipzig choir of St.Thomas deserve to be heard. I realize that the CBC prefers to broadcast Canadian content, but they also want to be multicultural.
Could you consider my wish ? I look forward to your answer,
Ursula on beautiful Pender Island
Dear Mr Togni,
I’m glad you have Nikolai Kapustin’s music as your closing theme. Not enough broadcasters know of him. More Kapustin, please, especially the Opus 40 jazz etudes! Thank you.
I am very much enjoying your Choral Concert this morning – as usual.
But your naming (and mispronouncing the Bozen choral group this morning brought back memories of four years in Innsbruck in the late 50s. People there were still smarting about the splitting of Tyrol into two by the Treaty of Versailles. So Sudtirol became Alto Adige. And Bozen (with a long “o”) became Bolzano.
Mind you, I don’t think people should bring the quarrels and animosities of the old country (no matter which one) to Canada. But was interesting to hear that that choral group keeps the old name.
My very best to you,