Canadian Matthew Otto is an award-winning conductor, educator, and collaborator. With unparalleled dedication to choral music education, Matthew strives to develop artistic excellence, vocal integrity, and empowerment in singers of all ages.
For 13 seasons, Matthew served on staff of the renowned Toronto Children’s Chorus (TCC), including as Director of Education and Interim Artistic Director. In addition to conducting several ensembles, he oversaw the choral curriculum, educational outreach programs, and conductor apprentice program. Matthew conducted the TCC on tour to Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, USA, Bahamas, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as at the 2017 World Choral Symposium in Barcelona. In 2013, he co-founded the Toronto Youth Choir (TYC) to offer a space for innovation, inclusion, and musical excellence to youth and young adults. During his tenure, the TYC performed with The King’s Singers, Irish Youth Choir, Choir of Trinity College Melbourne, musica intima, Missouri State University Chorale, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In 2018, Matthew led the TYC on its first international tour to sing in Carnegie Hall.
As a strong advocate for the choral arts in Canada, Matthew was President of Choirs Ontario, a provincial representative on the board of Choral Canada, and a founding member of Bridge Choral Collective. He has worked across Canada as a guest conductor, lecturer, clinician, and adjudicator. In 2016, Matthew co-organized Chorus America’s Choral Management Institute in Toronto and served on its faculty. Equally at home in the symphonic chorus realm, Matthew has led performances of Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Mass in C Minor and Coronation Mass, Bach’s St. John & St. Matthew Passions and Schubert’s Mass in Ab Major, and has prepared choruses for Helmuth Rilling, Peter Oundjian, Masaaki Suzuki, Donald Runnicles, Nicholas McGegan, Tania Miller, Bramwell Tovey and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. Passionate about music’s role in Western liturgy, Matthew has served as music director at several Toronto churches, most recently Christ Church Deer Park. From 2021-23, he was also a lecturer in Choral Music Education at the University of Toronto and directed their Soprano-Alto Chamber Choir in 2022.
Matthew holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition, Master of Music in Conducting, and Ph.D. in Music Education. His doctoral dissertation is entitled “Let the Music Win!” Towards a Re-imagined Choral Pedagogy: A Phenomenological Case Study of Chorister Experience at the Toronto Children’s Chorus, which traces the impact of high-level choral singing on youth. Matthew has presented at the International Symposium on Singing and Song, Podium 2018, and was interviewed for the Asian Choral Association’s Spotlight magazine.