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Andrew's Recommendations

This is a list of resources mentioned by Andrew Balfour during his interview with Hillary Chu. The resources are listed alphabetically.


The score for the piece "Ambe" can be found in the Music Library's performance collection.

In Fall 2019, the Hart House Chorus performed Balfour's "Ambe" as part of the Fall concert (listen below).

On October 21, 2018, the Faculty of Music hosted the concert “Voices of the land and sea" with special guest Jenny Blackbird, which included performances of Balfour's "Ambe" and "Trapped in Stone". The program and recording of this concert can be found in the Faculty Events database.

The Music Library also has scores for "Ave Maria" and "Trapped in Stone".

A recording of Andrew Balfour's "Ambe", performed by the Hart House Chorus in the Fall of 2019.

A Tribe Called Red


The rough guide to music without frontiers, available at the Music Library.

A Tribe Called Red is a Canadian electronic music group, blending hip hop, reggae, moombahton, and dup-step with elements of First Nations music. They are based in Ottawa, Ontario, and their music is often described as "Indigenous EDM".

You can listen to their music on popular streaming sites such as SoundCloud.

One of their tracks is recorded on the CD The Rough Guide to Music without Frontiers (pictured).

Arvo Pärt


CD featuring compositions by Arvo Pärt, performed by Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi, available through UTL's Naxos subscription.

Arvo Pärt is an Estonian freelance composer, born in 1935. His early works called on serial composition techniques which brought him into political conflict with the Soviet government. Many years later he developed a new musical technique, known as tintinnabuli (from the Latin, meaning "little bell"), which is based on a two-part homophonic texture.

Learn more about Arvo Pärt on Grove Music.

You can also read about Pärt or listen to his works through the Music Library.


Johann Sebastian Bach was a composer and organist who lived from 1685 to 1750 in Germany. His compositional style was widely considered innovative and inspiring to future musicians.

Weihnachts Oratorium

Several audio version of this Oratorium, as well as critical analyses, are available through the Music Library.

Mass in B Minor

Many books and scores on the Mass in B Minor are available through the Music Library.

Banff Centre, Messiah/Complex

The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity was founded as a course in drama in 1933. Since then, it has become global leader in arts, culture, and creativity. The Banff Centre "aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus to unleash their creative potential".

The Banff Centre streamed the Messiah/Complex from December 13, 2020 to January 31, 2021. This interpretation of Handel's Messiah was presented by Against the Grain Theatre and co-directed by Joel Ivany and Reneltta Arluk. The performance featured multilingual translations and soloists and choirs from every province and territory across Canada. The performance was purposefully crafted to be a safe space for Indigenous artists to engage with music in meaningful and relevant ways.


Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer who lived from 1770 to 1827. Experiencing deafness later in his life, his musical style changed drastically and as a result he became a dominant musical figure of the 19th century.

Learn more about Beethoven and his works on Grove Music.

Black Lives Matter

"#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives."

Learn more at

Camerata Nova

Andrew is the founder and Artistic Director of the Winnipeg-based chamber choir Camerata Nova, which originated as a small vocal group that joined together due to their love of Renaissance music. Andrew specializes in creating “concept concerts”, many with Indigenous subject matters in mind. In November 2020, Camerata Nova was awarded with the Award of Distinction for Artistic Excellence by the Manitoba Choral Association (MCA).

A staple of Camerata Nova's programming is the series of Truth and Reconciliation concerts, each of which centres around a different theme and features music by Indigenous composers and performers. For more about Camerata Nova's programming, check out their website.

Chief Payepot Celebrations


Cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie's autobiography, available at the Music Library.

In 2010, Andrew conducted the Regina Symphony Orchestra in a performance of his composition Oscana for the 135th anniversary of the Piapot First Nation's signing of Treaty Four. The treaty, which covers the Piapot reserve in Saskatchewan, was signed by Chief Payepot on September 9, 1875. The anniversary celebrations also featured a performance by singer Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte Marie is a Canadian singer, songwriter, artist, and activist. Her first album, It's my way, was released in 1964. Since then she has been an outspoken advocate of Indigenous rights. You can find books, recordings, and articles by or about Buffy in the University of Toronto Libraries.

David Fallis

David Fallis is a Canadian conductor, music director and performer renowned for his work in both early and contemporary music. He is the Artistic Director of the Toronto Consort, the Music Director of Toronto's Opera Atelier, and the director of Choir 21. He has conducted performances at the Luminato Festival, as well as several world premieres of leading Canadian composers. He was also the historical music producer for two acclaimed TV series: The Tudors and The Borgias

David Fallis is also an instructor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music.

Duke Ellington's Band, 1958 concert

Duke (Edward Kennedy) Ellington was an American pianist who is often considered the greatest jazz composer and bandleader of his time. He was an originator of big-band jazz, and his career encompasses over 50 years, thousands of scores, and the founding of the renowned Duke Ellington Band.

Borrow the CD of Newport 1958: Revisité from the Music Library, as well as many others.

The Four Seasons Theater

The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is a theatre in the heart of Toronto. The building was completed in 2006, and is the home of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada.


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer who lived from 1869 to 1948. Throughout his life he became an anti-colonial nationalist and social activist, encouraging non-violent resistance that eventually lead to India's successful independence from British rule. He is often known by the honorific, Mahatma Gandhi.

Gilbert and Sullivan


Vocal score for an early publication of The Mikado [190-?], available at the Music Library.

W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan were a dramatist and composer duo who collaborated on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896. 

The Mikado

The Mikado premiered in 1885 and, though set in Japan, was meant to be a satire of English bureaucracy. When the opera first premiered, trade between England and Japan had recently opened, meaning that Japanese culture and aesthetics were popular amongst British audiences.

Handel's Messiah


Sheet music for the Hallelujah chorus, part of the Music Library's digitized Sheet Music Collection.

Handel's Messiah is an English language oratorio, originally composed in 1741 and first performed in Dublin in April 1742. While not originally particularly popular, the work has since become one of the most frequently performed choral works in Western music. The oratorio recounts the Biblical story of the Christmas nativity.

Numerous audio, video, and written soruces on Handel's Messiah are available through the University of Toronto Libraries.

Jeremy Dutcher

Jeremy Dutcher is a performer, composer, activist, and musicologist based in Toronto, Ontario. Dutcher gained fame when he worked in the archives at the Canadian Museum of History to reclaim Wolastoq songs from wax cylinder recordings from 1907. These recordings, which Dutcher then incorporated into his album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwkaonawa, held the voices of members of the Tobique First Nation, Dutcher's home. His work with these recordings has helped revive the Wolatoq language, which is severely endangered.

Lori Dolloff

Lori Dolloff teaches undergraduate courses in elementary methods, and choral conducting at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. At the graduate level she teaches courses in "reflective practice", narrative research methodology, and music in higher education. An emerging composer/arranger, she has many choral pieces published with Boosey & Hawkes, and is frequently sought out as a guest conductor for choral festivals and workshops.

You can read articles and books by Lori Dolloff through the University of Toronto Libraries. You can also access audio recordings or scores of her works through the Music Library.

MacMillan Singers

"Founded by Doreen Rao in 1994, the University of Toronto MacMillan Singers were named to celebrate the legacy of Sir Ernest MacMillan, an inspired performer and devoted teacher who influenced every aspect of Canada's musical life."

Learn more on Choral Nation and listen to their recordings as part of the Music Library Collection of Faculty Events.

Madama Butterfly

MadamaButterfly_musi-F-3_78 (1).jpg

Composer's autograph in Madama Butterfly score at the Music Library, which previously belonged to Edward Johnson.

Madama Butterfly is an opera by Giacomo Puccini which premiered in 1904 in Milan. After a disastrous premiere, Puccini rewrote the opera and it re-premiered four months later to much greater success. After several more rewrites, the fifth version of the opera, dating from 1907, became the standard.

The opera tells the story of the marriage of an American naval officer to a young Japanese girl. It is set in 1904 Japan.

There are many scores, recordings, and analyses of this opera in the University of Toronto Libraries.

Martin Luther King Jr.


A catalog of music written in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. by Anthony McDonald, available at the Music Library.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an African American Baptist minister and activist, and the most prominent leader of the civil rights movmeent in American from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. King supported non-violent civil disobedience, encouraging protests against segregation and systemic racism. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35, and donated the prize money to the civil rights movement.

Learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. on the Nobel Peace Prize website.

Mishabooz's Realm (Balfour)

Mishabooz's Realm is an opera which Andrew Balfour composed in 2016. It premiered in Montreal and Haliburton in 2017 and was commissioned by LʼAtelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and Highlands Opera Workshop.

Learn more about Indigenous opera in this 2017 article by Catherine Kustanczy for Opera Canada.

National Arts Center

"The National Arts Centre (NAC) is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams—the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety—and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada."

Learn more at their website.

Porgy and Bess


Porgy and Bess, title page from one of scores available at the Music Library

Porgy and Bess is an English opera by American composer George Gershwin. The lyrics were written by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin. It premiered in 1935, and tells the story of Porgy, a disabled Black street beggar who is trying to rescue Bess from the men who are manipulating her.

There are several recordings, scores, and analyses of this opera available at the University of Toronto Libraries.

Roy Thompson Hall

Roy Thompson Hall is a premiere concert hall in the heart of Toronto. The Hall is operated by the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thompson Hall, a not-for-profit charity that focuses on supporting the Canadian cultural sector.

Tanya Tagaq


Going home star, one of CDs at Music Library featuring Tanya Tagaq

Tanya Tagaq is a throat singer, experimental vocalist and artist from Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay) in Nunavut. In 2014, her album Animism won the Polaris Prize for best Canadian album. Her music is characterized by aggressive and challenging political statements. You can listen to many of her performances on YouTube and SoundCloud. You can also find several books and recordings by Tagaq at the University of Toronto Libraries. 

Toronto Symphony Orchestra

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is a Canadian orchestra based in Toronto which runs multiple programs, including live performances, recordings and broadcasts, school concerts, and a youth orchestra. Its annual open call for Canadian orchestral scores supports new and upcoming artists. The current Music Director of the TSO is Gustavo Gimeno.

Listen to performances and recordings, and read about the history of TSO at the Music Library.


Richard Wagner was a German composer who lived from 1813 to 1883. His compositional style is credited with changing the course of musical trends in the 19th century.

You can read more about Wagner's life in Grove Online and explore the many scores, books about, and recordings of Wagner's compositions at the Music Library.

Andrew Balfour
Andrew's Recommendations