David Arnot-Johnston

Conductor / Singer / Arranger


DAVID ARNOT-JOHNSTON, conductor, has directed many vocal and instrumental groups, including at Canada’s National Ballet School and Tafelmusik’s Baroque Summer Institute at the University of Toronto. He completed the graduate program in early music at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, The Netherlands, and holds a Masters degree in music history and performance from the University of Toronto.

As a tenor soloist, David has performed with several early and contemporary ensembles, including Tafelmusik, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Opera Atelier, Dancemakers, Utrecht Barok Consort, La Capriola of Amsterdam, Utrecht Bach Society, Ottawa Choral Society, and The Toronto Consort. He has sung as a soloist under Sigiswald Kuijken, Andrew Parrott, William Christie, and with Emma Kirkby in works by Mozart, Handel, Bach, Lully, and Monteverdi. David has recorded as an ensemble soloist on the Naxos, CBC, Marquis, and RCA/BMG labels with Aradia Ensemble, Tafelmusik, Canadian Brass, and Toronto Consort. A dedicated instructor of music, David directed the music education program at the National Ballet School for ten years. He has been conductor of the Hart House Singers since 2003.




Hart House Singers, University of Toronto, September 2003 – present

Hart House Singers webpage

Repertoire Highlights:

    Kyrie (Mozart Requiem)
    Dies irae (Mozart Requiem)
    Celebrons (trad. French)


Highlights - Tenor soloist with:

Tafelmusik, Toronto Consort, Utrecht Barok Consort, Opera Atelier, Aradia Ensemble, Utrecht Bach Society, Haarlems Bach Ensemble, Amsterdams Begeleidings Orkest, Niagara Symphony, Ottawa Choral Society, Bach-Elgar Choir, Hamilton Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Te Deum Concerts, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, Pierrot Ensemble, Dancemakers, Danse Baroque of Toronto


Listen as David performs the aria: Giustitia vuol ch'io pera from Caldara's Christmas Cantata:


(As tenor soloist “David Arnot” – my ACTRA name)

  • The singing verged on the divine. Tenor David Arnot performed frequently throughout the concert and was the standout of the evening.
    The Globe and Mail , Deidre Kelley (Britten: Canticle I, Monteverdi: Nigra Sum, etc; with Dancemakers)
  • Tenor David Arnot’s spirited, stylish performance brought energy and focus to this celebratory work, which inspired the most engaging performance of the evening.
    The Globe and Mail , Tamara Bernstein (Mondonville: Jubilate Deo)
  • Tenor David Arnot’s light sound and facile voice are perfectly suited to Handel. His performance was full of life and drama, while remaining clean and accurate.
    The Hamilton Spectator , Elaine Schmidt (Handel: Messiah, with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • Another pleasure was tenor David Arnot’s singing of the French air…an excellent tenor…
    The Globe and Mail , Ken Winters (The Worlds of Salamone Rossi, with Emma Kirkby and Tafelmusik)
  • David Arnot’s wonderfully facile and rich voice was the highlight of the evening…his marvellous use of dynamics and exquisite art of decoration made gorgeous music of every phrase.
    The Hamilton Spectator , Hugh Fraser (Grandi: O Quam Tu Pulchra Es)
  • Versatile tenor David Arnot was good in several roles and best in his last, as a bright Jupiter, king of the gods.
    The Globe and Mail , Ken Winters (L. Rossi: Orfeo, with Toronto Consort)
  • Clean and precise, with a good line-up of soloists, especially David Arnot. Classic CD Magazine (England), Graham Dixon Canadian tenor David Arnot was a strong partner in the duets…the florid, virtuoso passages were beautifully shaped.
    The Globe and Mail , Tamara Bernstein (Monteverdi: 1610 Vespers, with The Toronto Chamber Choir)
  • The dancers were sometimes accompanied by the remarkable David Arnot.
    Toronto Star , Susan Walker


Arrangements and Compositions for Choir:

  • Pavane (Gabriel Fauré), arr. for SATB voices, piano, violin, cello
  • L’Ange du ciel (anonymous, French), in baroque style, arr. for SATB voices, recorder, violin, cello, organ
  • What Passing Bell, for SSSAAATTBB voices
  • Sing Me At Dawn, for SATB voices, piano, 2 clarinets or 2 flutes
  • He Could Not See The Stars, for SATB voices, piano
  • In Flanders Fields, for SSA and piano
Sing Me At Dawn - composed by David:

Arrangements for Jazz Band or Jazz Ensemble:

  • Hora Decubitis (Charles Mingus), for jazz band
  • The Shadow of Your Smile (Johnny Mandel), for jazz band
  • You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To (Cole Porter), for jazz ensemble
  • Funky Miracle (The Meters), for jazz band
  • 25 or 6 to 4 (Robert Lamm), for jazz band


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