Philip Sarabura 2017-01-20T13:42:59+00:00

Philip Sarabura | Conductor/Artistic Director

Image of Music Director Philip Sarabura in a tuxedo

Philip Sarabura is a highly accomplished musician with a great variety of interests. He is a conductor, violinist, and organist of distinguished stature, well experienced in all three areas.

Philip Sarabura Growing up in Toronto, Philip was fortunate to attend, and graduate from, the renowned St. Michael’s Choir School. Being immersed in music every day for ten years laid the foundation for a life devoted to a highly successful career as a classical musician. Upon graduation from the Choir School, Philip had to decide whether to focus his attention on playing the organ, or the violin. He chose the latter, and enrolled in the University of Western Ontario’s undergraduate music program.

At the same time, Philip’s professional violin career was forming. In addition to becoming a regular fixture in Orchestra London’s violin sections, he was accepting numerous freelance engagements all around southern Ontario. He was soon to continue with more intensive training and practical study, as well as maintaining a busy freelance schedule. Throughout the nineteen eighties, he participated in professional training orchestras and master class programs, and in particular, spent a great deal of time at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Thus he was able to study and work with many of the world’s leading musicians, from which he emerged not only a highly regarded violinist, but a complete musician of deep knowledge and keen instincts.

In the later eighties, Philip made Hamilton, Ontario his home. His trio of performance skills was soon to become fully established.
Philip’s career as a violinist continued. In 1989 he became a full-time member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he still holds.

He began his return to the organ, filling in occasionally at his parish church, St. Ann’s in Ancaster. A few years later, a formal position of Organist and Music Coordinator was created for him. Soon thereafter, a full three manual concert organ was installed, and Philip was able to pick up his organ performance from where he left off some twenty years earlier. He has become known throughout the Hamilton area as an organist of great ability and distinction. Philip has received the highest professional certification available for organists in Canada, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (FRCCO).

Philip’s distinguished career as a Conductor began with a return to his love of singing, becoming involved with the McMaster University Choir. Two years later, he was named the Choir’s Conductor and Music Director. In the sixteen years that followed, the Choir became an organization of great artistic distinction, singing a vast array of repertoire, with an ongoing relationship with Hamilton’s professional orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic. Accolades from music critics, professional musicians, and the general public constantly grew with the Choir’s artistic development under Philip’s direction, becoming known as the Choir that could “do it all”, and do it on a professional-quality level.

During his tenure with the McMaster Choir, Philip began to expand his conducting interest in the orchestral field. He has conducted a number of Canadian orchestras, including the Hamilton Philharmonic, Orchestra London, Saskatoon Symphony, and the Canada Pops Orchestra. Soloists or groups he has conducted orchestras for are a diverse group, such as operatic bass Robert Pomakov, soprano Monica Whicher, big-band Sinatra-style crooner Matt Dusk, piano virtuoso Stewart Goodyear, the Bare-Naked Ladies, and the Jeans ‘n Classics Band.

In 2008, Philip was named the Music Director and Conductor of the Brantford Symphony Orchestra. He was becoming part of an organization with a long history, but which had experienced some organizational and financial difficulty in recent times. He has helped stabilize the situation, and plans are well underway for an exciting and productive future for the BSO.

Philip’s interests and abilities aren’t restricted to musical areas. In 1974, while still living in Toronto, Philip’s family purchased a large apple orchard in Ancaster, and after several years they moved to the farm. Through all its twenty productive years thereafter, Philip spent most of his spare time working there, primarily responsible for the operation and maintenance of the various machines and vehicles. He could, if you wished, break down your tractor and do a complete engine overhaul. Or, he could just as easily talk about apple production or fresh market field tomato growing. His interests also include fine beer and scotch, camping, and the NHL.

Today, Philip lives beside the family farm. His wife Angeline founded and operates a small private school for children with communication and learning difficulties. They have two boys, Benedict and Peter Tobit (Toby).

Image of Brantford Symphony Orchestra Musical Director Philip Sarabura wearing a cowboy hat and laughing