Musical Journalism

Brian Chang has been involved with choral music as a singer, administrator, and conductor for over a decade. In 2015 he started writing for the Wholenote Magazine as its resident Choral Scene columnist; providing news and insight on choral music to a 30,000-print circulation. In 2016 he became a regular contributor with Ludwig Van Toronto, formerly Musical Toronto. Capable of writing blog-style quick reads, in-depth interviews, editorials, and features, Brian's work always seeks to illuminate the reader with new angles, authoritative voice, and a creative edge. 

*Ludwig van Toronto is a member of the National Newsmedia Council   

CONCERT REPORT | High-Intensity Warmth from Ladysmith Black Mambazo

February 15, 2017

There are nine microphones and six monitors on the stage, that’s it. It’s Spartan with all of the wires neatly wound, lined up and bound. The nine men of Ladysmith Black Mambazo come onto the stage like a football team to cheers, applause and with an energy that leads straight into song...

PREVIEW | Power Up! The Toronto Gospel Music Festival

February 14, 2017

Humility is a beautiful Christian tradition. It’s also an important one in choral music. Gospel music provides an unparallelled media for the connection of soloists, ensemble and audience. It is a balance of humility and important parts that come into equilibrium to make exciting, transformative, and healing music...

FEATURE | Musical Tributes: Stories We Ignore At Our Peril

February 11, 2017

The first in our series exploring choral works, small and large, created to fight against conflict, war, destruction, murder, and loss. This week, Benjamin Britten’s anti-war masterpiece War Requiem...

SCRUTINY | Historical Conversations, Necessary Conversations With The Toronto Consort

February 04, 2017

The 150th “Birthday” celebrations for Canada’s Sesquicentennial make me uncomfortable. I think the occasion makes a lot of people uncomfortable. To celebrate 150 years of the country sort of eliminates and denigrates the complex and detailed history of the peoples that have inhabited this part of the Earth for millennia before Confederation in 1867. Colonization is a complex process that continues to affect and shape the Canada we know, and not all of it is fanfare for the Monarchy...

CONCERT REPORT | The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Powerfully in Command

February 03, 2017

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir displayed the most unusual strength and control, in a commanding performance February 2 at St. Paul’s Basilica under conductor Kaspars Putniņš. As part of the Soundstreams mainstage series, this marks the fifth time the choir has made an appearance in Toronto...

PREVIEW | A Rehearsal “Ride Along” With Fauré’s Requiem At The TSO

January 30, 2017

Brian Chang offers an inside look at the rehearsal process with The Amadeus Choir, Elmer Iseler Singers, and Toronto Symphony for Fauré's Requiem...

CHORAL SCENE | Tiptoeing into 2017

January 25, 2017

South Africa has very strong choral traditions, among them the call-and-answer style known as isicathamiya; a strong male tenor-lead melody contrasted against repeating chord progressions shapes this music...

CLASSICAL 101 | Your Voice-type And How To Find It

January 25, 2017

Angelic soprano? Heroic Tenor? Boomy Alto? Earth-shattering Bass? Your voice-type and how to find it...

BLOG | From the Podium: A Who’s Who of the TMC Choral Conductors’ Symposium

January 24, 2017

Twenty years ago, Noel Edison took the reins of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (in which I sing). Even then he knew it as “one of Canada’s great cultural institutions.” Predating every other major symphony orchestra and major arts organization in Canada, the choir has operated continuously since 1894 – and since 2010, it has hosted one of the preeminent training symposiums for emerging conductors in North America...

CONCERT REPORT | Opus 8 Makes a Convincing Plea for Peace

January 24, 2017

Last Saturday – in a world still reeling after the inauguration of now-president Donald Trump – Opus 8 provided a well-needed program of music centered on the theme of peace. Titled “Dona Nobis Pacem,” the concert was full of liturgical settings of the Agnus Dei. The choir was masterful in sound, warm and balanced in the church, and provided an uplifting power that filled and satiated the soul...