Dan Rutzen – Musical Director
Our Musical Director, Dan Rutzen, is a conductor, accompanist, singer and vocal coach hailing from Marietta, Georgia. Formerly a high school music teacher, Dan is in the final stages of completing a doctorate in orchestral conducting from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music.
Since coming to Toronto, Dan has worked in several facets of the music industry. At the university, Dan conducted Candide with the Opera School and performed Maury Yeston’s song cycle, December Songs, with soloists Vicki St. Pierre and Sarah Farb. He was a master class conductor under Meastro Helmuth Rilling for 3 consecutive Toronto Bach Festivals and has sung in chorus with the MacMillan Singers and the Bach Festival Singers with the Toronto Symphony on numerous ccasions. Through his associations in choral music, Dan conducted John Rutter’s Gloria and several cantatas by Bach and Handel for Church of the Redeemer with John Campbell, music director.
In addition to directing the MegaCity Chorus, Dan has conducted the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto Choir at the International Conference of MCC Churches in Acapulco, the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay at Toronto City Hall, and Christmas Eve at Roy Thomson Hall. Dan also works as a guest conductor and clinician for several other Toronto choirs.
As a pianist, Dan has performed around Toronto in Napoleon for Talk is Free Theatre, Mimi at the Tarragon Theatre and Rufus Wainwright’s opera Prima Donna for the Toronto Luminato Festival. He is the musical director of Ecce Homo Theatre Company with writer/director Alistair Newton and has performed several new works in Toronto including The Pastor Phelps Project, The Ecstasy of Mother Theresa, and Loving the Stranger for the SummerWorks Theatre Festival and Leni Riefenstahl vs. the 20th Century for the Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
Prior to coming to Canada, Dan worked in the professional theatre scene in Houston, Texas music directing such shows as Floyd Collins and Into the Woods for Masquerade Theatre and She Loves Me and 70, Girls, 70 for Bayou City Concert Musicals. While in Texas, Dan played keyboard in the Houston Area Ballet Company’s production of Gypsy with Andrea McArdle. Dan spent a season onstage in Masquerade Theatre’s productions of Parade (Lt.Ivy), City of Angels (Munoz), and Sweeney Todd (Chorus). Some of his favorite community and collegiate theatre experiences include A Little Night Music, Bye Bye Birdie, The Rocky Horror Show, Suessical the Musical, Songs for a New World, Honk!, and Joseph…Dreamcoat.
Dan remains in demand as a musical director and vocal arranger but also as a soloist and choral vocal artist. In addition, he maintains a roster of voice students and coaches regularly at the University of Toronto, Randolph Academy and Ryerson University. Browse Dan’s video catalogue.