The Canadian choral conductor, Lydia Adams, received her musical education at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, Canada and at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio, London, England. While in England, she worked and performed with many leading conductors, composers and arrangers including Sir David Willcocks, Sir Neville Marriner, John Rutter, Bob Chilcott, Tonϋ Kaluste among others.
In 1981, Lydia Adams became the pianist of the Elmer Iseler Singers, a fully professional chamber choir based in Toronto, and worked with its founder, the late Dr. Elmer Iseler, in that capacity for 17 years. She was appointed Conductor and Artistic Director of the Elmer Iseler Singers in 1998. Under her direction, the Choir has received rave reviews for their Toronto Concert Series and for their extensive touring performances through the USA and Canada.
Lydia Adams has worked with celebrated Canadian composers such as R. Murray Schafer, Harry Somers, Louis Applebaum, Harry Freedman, Eric Robertson, Bert Carrière, Srul Irving Glick, Christos Hatzis, Ruth Watson Henderson, Eleanor Daley and many others, premiering and promoting their work through concerts, recordings and broadcasts. Since becoming Artistic Director of The Elmer Iseler Singers 10 years ago, Lydia Adams has premiered well over 30 new works with the choir. The beauty of renaissance and excitement of the contemporary Canadian choral literature bring unique presentations and a rainbow of splendid choral colours to Canadian and international audiences.
Lydia Adams has a thorough knowledge of the choral repertoire and keeps in touch closely with new works from Canadian composers and composers from around the world. As conductor of the Elmer Iseler Singers and the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto, she has conducted on 3 Juno-nominated CD’s - "Everlasting Light" - choral music of Christos Hatzis, "Sing all ye joyful!" - works of Ontario composer, Ruth Watson Henderson, as well as "Puer Natus in Bethlehem, Alleluia!" – all on the CBC Recordings label. "The Maple Leaf Forever", the "People of Faith" (Opening Day Recordings 2006) and the retrospective CD of Harry Freedman’s Choral Music - The Tokaido (Centrediscs - CMC, 2006), all feature the Canadian composer The Canadian Music Centre has stated that “Lydia Adams is the new leading exponent of the Canadian choral composer.”
Lydia Adams has also conducted several Canadian Provincial Youth Choirs, the National Youth Choir of Canada and has served as a guest conductor with ACDA Honor Choirs in Michigan and Colorado. The recipient of many awards, she has been honoured by the City of Scarborough, the Women’s International Network, the Ontario Choral Federation and Mount Allison University. In 2003, she received an Honourary Doctorate from Mount Allison University for her service to music in Canada. Lydia Adams has toured extensively and conducted throughout Canada and the United States and is known as a great collaborator and colleague.
Lydia Adams is the vibrant and inspiring clinician/conductor of the Elmer Iseler Singers GET MUSIC! Educational Outreach Initiative in Memory of John C. Bird, a lifelong Elmer Iseler Singers Board Member dedicated to youth music education. This initiative includes the GET MUSIC! Educational Outreach Programme, a choral mentoring programme custom designed for secondary school students, community choirs and conductors including a state of the art audio/video recording mentorship by senior recording engineers as well as workshops/tours of the downtown Glenn Gould Studio and the Canadian Music Centre. It offers an advancement of skills, a richness of shared performances between professional artists and all participants with Dr. Lydia Adams and the Elmer Iseler Singers and focuses on developing the choral repertoire of Canadian composers and arrangers.