Matthew Otto is an innovative leader, educator, and collaborator. As the Assistant Artistic Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, Matthew conducts the Toronto Youth Choir, Chorealis, and co-conducts Chorale. He has been privileged to conduct the TCC’s Chamber Choir on tour to Russia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, USA, as well as at the 2017 World Choral Symposium in Barcelona. In April 2018, Matthew led the Toronto Youth Choir on its first international tour, travelling to New York City to sing with The King’s Singers in Carnegie Hall. The TCC has also premiered his treble arrangements of works by Bach, Mendelssohn and Vaughan Williams. In December 2015, the TCC premiered his arrangement of Fantasia on Christmas Carols for treble voices with baritone, Russell Braun, and members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall. A recording of this is set to be released on the TCC's upcoming Christmas album.
Committed to choral excellence, Matthew is founder/artistic director of Incontra Vocal Ensemble, a project-based, professional-level chamber choir. Now in its sixth season, Incontra provides high-calibre performance opportunities for emerging singers and conductors. Passionate about music’s role in liturgy, Matthew has served as music director at a number of Toronto churches, including St. Anne’s Anglican Church, Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Parish, and the Newman Centre, University of Toronto. While at Blessed Trinity, he toured with the choir to Italy, performing in St. Peter's Basilica, the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, and other historic venues. In 2014, he was appointed Choir Director & Organist at Christ Church Deer Park where he oversees a vibrant music program.
From 2011-2013, he served as Associate Conductor of Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, where he conducted the ensemble and orchestra. He has prepared both the TMC and TCC for appearances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Peter Oundjian, Nicholas McGegan, Bramwell Tovey, Sir Andrew Davis, and the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. In June 2019, the Toronto Youth Choir will perform Orff's Carmina Burana with the TSO alongside the TMC and TCC, all led by Donald Runnicles.
As a strong advocate for the choral arts in Canada, Matthew served as President of Choirs Ontario from 2015-17 and was a board member of Choral Canada. He has actively contributed to many choral communities in Toronto. In addition to being in demand as a clinician and adjudicator, Matthew has guest conducted the Elora Festival Singers, Toronto Cantata Chorus, University of Auckland Chamber Choir, and Mississauga Summer Chorale. He has also adjudicated at the Kiwanis Music Festival of Guelph and Toronto Kiwanis Festival, in addition to serving on selection committees and juries.
Twice-recipient of the Elmer Iseler Fellowship in Choral Conducting, and finalist in both the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting (2014) and Sir Ernest MacMillan Foundation Fellowship Award in Orchestral Conducting (2010), Matthew holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition (2007) and a Master of Music in Conducting (2009). His conducting mentors include Doreen Rao, Helmuth Rilling, Karen Grylls, Simon Carrington and Maria Guinand. Currently, Matthew is pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of Toronto, where his research interests include belonging, collaboration, agency, and the role of vocal pedagogy in choral music education. He has presented papers at the International Symposium on Singing and Song II and Podium 2018.