Swiss-native Michael Zaugg has distinguished himself as an innovative and versatile conductor, pedagogue and clinician. Currently in his 7th season as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the professional chamber choir Pro Coro Canada in Edmonton, Michael also previously led other notable Canadian choirs including, in Montreal, the St. Lawrence Choir (2008-2013), and voces boreales (2006- 2015), and the Cantata Singers Ottawa (2005-2014).
As Chorus Master of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (2006-2011), Michael successfully prepared groups of up to 1500 singers for OSM Artistic Director Kent Nagano, including the award- winning production Saint François d’Assise by Messiaen. Michael also prepared the Cantata Singers Ottawa for their appearances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra under conductors such as Franz- Paul Decker, David Lockington, Trevor Pinnock, Helmuth Rilling and Paul Goodwin.
Active as a Guest Conductor, Michael Zaugg has worked with notable groups including the Vancouver Chamber Choir, National Youth Choir of Canada, the BBC Singers, Vancouver's musica intima, the Nova Scotia and Ontario Youth Choirs, Thirteen Strings, as well as the Longueuil Symphony Orchestra. In Switzerland, he was Chorus Master of the Symphonic Chorus Regiochor, and he appears regularly as a guest conductor in his home country. Michael’s US debut was with the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street in New York. Over the last three years, he has led a 60-voice male choir, with singers selected from across Canada, the US and the Ukraine, to perform the Resurrection Liturgy by Fr. John Sembrat (Alberta) in tours from Edmonton to Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg and to Toronto, Philadelphia, Rochester and New York City.
Originally an accomplished tenor, Michael became the first Swiss conductor to be accepted to the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden in its prestigious post-graduate program for Professional Choir Conducting. Through this program, Michael worked weekly with singers of the world-renowned Swedish Radio Choir and had the opportunity to guest-conduct Sweden’s gems - the Adolf Fredrik’s GirlsChoir and the Mikaeli Chamber Choir. Mr. Zaugg also holds degrees in voice and music education from the University in Basel. In 2018 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music (Hon DMus) by Scotland’s King’s College, University of Aberdeen.
A passionate pedagogue, Michael Zaugg is strongly committed to his work not only with choirs but also with emerging artists. He created the educational component #connect with Pro Coro Canada, which has young composers, singers and conductors working with him and the professional choir several times over the season. Michael is also the Program Director of ‘CHORAL ART: for singers, composers and conductors’ at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. His work with and support of emerging Canadian composers is presented through Pro Coro Canada’s Choral Series, distributed by the Leading Note in Ottawa.