John Tuttle

John (Hull) Tuttle. Organist, choirmaster, teacher, b Bryn Mawr, PA, 17 Jan 1946, naturalized Canadian 1975; B MUS (organ) (Curtis) 1969, honorary FRCO (London) 1987, honorary FRCCO 1988, honorary D LITT S (Toronto) 2004. John Tuttle began playing the piano at age five and the organ at age 15.

John Tuttle

John (Hull) Tuttle. Organist, choirmaster, teacher, b Bryn Mawr, PA, 17 Jan 1946, naturalized Canadian 1975; B MUS (organ) (Curtis) 1969, honorary FRCO (London) 1987, honorary FRCCO 1988, honorary D LITT S (Toronto) 2004. John Tuttle began playing the piano at age five and the organ at age 15. He studied organ and choral music with Alexander McCurdy and George Lynn at New Jersey's Westminster Choir College 1963-5, before enrolling at the Curtis Institute of Music in 1965. He made his solo organ debut in the US in 1964 and worked for several years as organist and choirmaster at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY, and at the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. After responding to a job ad in The American Organist in 1975, Tuttle moved to Toronto to become organist and choirmaster at St. Paul's Anglican Church, a post he held for 14 years. Since moving to Canada, Tuttle has earned a national reputation as a performer, choir director, and organ pedagogue.

Teaching and Conducting

In 1979 he was appointed organist at the University of Toronto, where he also began his longtime teaching career. In 1981 he founded the award-winning Exultate Chamber Singers and became the conductor of the University's Hart House Chorus, holding that position until 2006. From 1985 to 2000 Tuttle was the director of the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus (later renamed the Canadian Children's Opera Company), helping to commission numerous operas by Canadian composers. In 1989 Tuttle became organist at St. Thomas's Anglican Church and became the head of the choral program at the Royal Conservatory of Music. In 2006 he was named organist and choirmaster of University of Toronto's Trinity College Chapel, where he directed the Trinity Chapel Choir and served as mentor to the Bevan Organ Scholar.

Recordings

With the Exultate Chamber Singers Tuttle has completed a number of recordings, including A Choral Flourish (1991), featuring Ave verum corpus by Imant Raminsh; Make We Joy! (1994), a collection of Christmas music; The Present Time (2001), featuring modern settings of texts by William Shakespeare; and All Around the Circle (2005), a collection of Canadian folk songs.

He also made the following recordings with the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus: Derek Holman's Sir Christëmas (1989); Stephen Chatman's Dandelion Parachutes, with Ruth Watson Henderson's Songs of the Nativity and other works (1993); and Creatures Great and Small (1999).

Awards and Honours

John Tuttle is a fellow of the American Guild of Organists (1975) and an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Organists (1987) and the Royal Canadian College of Organists (1988); he was national president of the latter organization from 1986 to 1988.


Further Reading

  • "Tuttle heads choral programs," Music Magazine, vol 12, no 5, Nov/Dec 1989

    Pulker, Allan. "Musicians in our midst," WholeNote, vol 5, no 10, Jul-Sep 2000

    Armstrong, Julia. "Behind the music," U of T Magazine, Autumn 2005

    "Sixteenth notes: John Tuttle receives honorary doctorate from University of Toronto," Organ Canada, vol 18, no 4, Dec 2005