Stephen Ralls joined the Board of the Art Song Foundation of Canada in 2015.
Stephen Ralls began his musical career in England, following his degree at Merton College, Oxford, and further studies at the Royal Academy of Music. He was soon involved in frequent recitals throughout England and in regular broadcasts for the BBC. His work with the English Opera Group led to participation in the premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice, to recital appearances with tenor Peter Pears, and to Stephen’s appointment to the staff of the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme in Aldeburgh, England.
In 1978, Stephen immigrated to Canada to take up a post in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where he subsequently became Musical Director of the Opera School for more than a decade. He has also accompanied many of Canada’s finest singers in concerts and broadcasts and on recordings.
In 1982, Stephen and Bruce Ubukata created the Aldeburgh Connection, a concert series in Toronto with the aim of promoting young singers, the art of the song, and the particular musical inspiration that was rooted in the famous collaboration between the great English composer Benjamin Britten and his partner, tenor Peter Pears. The Aldeburgh Connection’s final concert took place in May 2013. The organisation is now focussed on a number of educational projects, including the ordering and preservation of its archives.
In October 2010, Stephen and Bruce Ubukata were joint recipients of an Opera Canada “Ruby” Award for their work in opera and with young Canadian singers. In the 2013 New Year’s Honours list, they were named Members of the Order of Canada.