Originally from Victoria, BC, Japanese-Canadian soprano Ai Horton’s interest in historically informed performance practice led her to move to the Netherlands, where she is currently based. Her varied concert repertoire spans several centuries and includes English and Italian madrigals, music of the French-baroque, the works of J.S. Bach, and German Lieder. Ai regularly performs contemporary works and was a vocalist for the 2022 Young Composer’s Meeting in Apeldoorn (NL). Professional highlights include Handel’s Messiah with Bach on the Rock under the direction of the late Michael Jarvis (CAN), Rameau’s Quam Dilecta Tabernacula broadcast on Radio West (NL), Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien (NL), and a concert of Telemann’s solo cantatas with violinist Marc Destrubé, viola da gamba player Natalie Mackie, and organist Christina Hutten at Victoria’s Christ Church Cathedral (CAN).
An avid supporter of civic engagement initiatives, Ai aims to create community and belonging through shared musical experience as both a performer and an educator. Ai was a featured artist in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Opera Etc. Programs, performing in numerous “Pop-up Operas” (short performances in outdoor public spaces) and recording several virtual concerts that were distributed to senior care facilities. Ai also worked with Pacific Opera to produce “Tenebris”, a video presentation that used Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater to tell a personal story of struggles with mental health. Her current project, Laments for a Modern World, comprises a set of four songs she composed with influence from 17th-century Laments, featuring newly-commissioned texts that amplify modern-day stories of race relations, miscarriage, struggles with mental health, and displacement from one’s homeland.
Ai holds a Bachelor of Music in Secondary Music Education from the University of Victoria and is currently completing a Master of Music in Early Music Vocal Studies as an Excellence Scholar at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague. Ai has been awarded numerous scholarships for her excellence in music, including several BC Arts Council scholarships and the Johann Strauss Foundation Scholarship, which enabled a period of advanced vocal study in Salzburg at the Universität Mozarteum’s Summer Academy.