Dr. Ramona Luengen
Artistic Director of Phoenix 1995-2012
Dr. Ramona Luengen was appointed Artistic Director of the Phoenix Chamber Choir in 1995. Under her direction, the ensemble became the most celebrated choir in the history of the CBC National Choral Competition.
Known for its fearless and inspiring forays into contemporary music and its strong support of Canadian composers, the Phoenix Chamber Choir, under Luengen, carved out an important niche in Canada's rich and vibrant choral life. A respected composer herself, Luengen was instrumental in establishing the highly valued and instructive Phoenix Young Choral Composers Development Programme. Encouraging of colleagues and students, she also initiated many commissions and premières. Luengen has always believed that the appreciation of contemporary music is a matter of education and conducive presentation, and she continues to foster love and appreciation for the idiom in all aspects of her work. In May 2012, after 17 years at the helm, Luengen resigned as Artistic Director of the Phoenix Chamber Choir.
As a composer, Luengen has been commissioned and recorded by Canada's finest choirs and instrumentalists. Her works, published by Avondale Press, Classica, Cypress, Earthsongs and Gordon V. Thompson, have been performed in North America, Europe, Australia, Japan and New Zealand, and broadcast on CBC, BBC, WDR (Germany), WKRP (USA) as well as radio stations in Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Spain.
Luengen’s Piano Concerto was premièred by Jane Coop and the CBC Radio Orchestra under Alain Trudel in 2006 to critical acclaim. Her opera for young audiences, based on Joy Kogawa's novel Naomi’s Road, has received over 170 performances in communities and schools in both Canada and Washington State.
A former instructor at both the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University for over twelve years, Luengen taught a variety of courses in theory, choir, composition as well as contemporary music performance and appreciation.