Founding & Artistic Director
The versatile, engaging, and spirited Canadian-American conductor and educator Maxine Thévenot is driven by a passion for vocal music in all its forms and styles. Equally at home with repertoire from the classical canon and more contemporary compositions,
Thévenot's direction invariably shapes the music with illuminating and often profound effect, sculpting each phrase with intelligence and understanding. - Albuquerque Journal
A frequent champion of the music of our own time, she has conducted regional, national, and world premieres of works including those by Judith Bingham, Abbie Bettinis, Jake Runestad, Ola Gjeilo, Judith Weir, Cecilia McDowall, Arvo Pärt, Tarik O’ Regan, James MacMillan, Joby Talbot, Philip Moore, Andrew Carter, Stephanie Martin, Andrew Ager, Falko Steinbach, Levi Brown, Sarah Quartel, Jenny Olivia Johnson, and Zachary Wadsworth. In June 2023 as part of the ensemble's SUMMER program, she will conduct the New Mexican premiere of Ave Regina Coelorum for SATB chorus and electric guitar by Gabriel Jackson in addition to several other composer's works.
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Thévenot is acknowledged as one who brings singers of all ages and abilities to artful performance through an understanding of the music and its context in the world around them. Her passionate artistry, combined with a pioneering desire to educate, unites music, art, and community and has led to her resurrecting and mounting large-scale choral works, including Thomas Tallis’ Spem in Alium, and creating the intergenerational, 45-minute performance project, A Children’s Messiah by G. F. Handel.
Through her work with so many wonderfully imaginative and creative children, adults, and professional musicians, Maxine has demonstrated that the power of music combined with the goals of education, highlighting the values of diversity and social responsibility, can build up our society. One particular such event raised over $10,000 in a benefit concert for local charity Barrett House.
Dr. Thévenot frequently collaborates with New Mexico’s finest orchestras offering moving and dynamic interpretations of standard large-scale choral repertoire. She has prepared choirs for the New Mexico Philharmonic (Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Beethoven Ninth Symphony, Holiday Pops); Performance Santa Fe (Beethoven Ninth Symphony); The Figueroa Project (Bach Magnificat); and Santa Fe Pro Musica (Haydn Creation), for conductors Dante Anzolini, Grant Cooper, Joe Illick, Guillermo Figueroa, and Thomas O’Connor.
In New Mexico, she has led the New Mexico Philharmonic, CHATTER orchestra, Friends of Cathedral Music orchestra, and the PVNM orchestra in fresh and inspired interpretations of major choral-orchestral works including Bach’s St. John’s Passion, James MacMillan’s setting of Miserere and Seven Last Words from the Cross, Henry Mollicone’s Beatitude Mass: Mass for the Homeless, the Requiem settings by both Fauré and Duruflé, and Enrique Granados' Canto de las Estrellas with pianist and Granados scholar Douglas Riva.
Internationally, Maxine has led her exceptional choirs in concerts and liturgical services in prestigious venues including Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral, London; Washington National Cathedral; and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC. Her career as a concert organist has afforded her the opportunity to perform throughout North America, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Austria.
Thévenot received her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music from the renowned Manhattan School of Music, NYC in organ performance, and was twice awarded the Bronson Ragan Award for most outstanding organ performance. While at MSM she was the founding director of Concentus women’s choir. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Music Education (with distinction) at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Maxine is an Associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists and of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. She was made an Honorary Fellow of the National College of Music, London, UK in 2006 for her ‘services to music’.
Recordings of choirs conducted by Maxine Thévenot may be heard on the RavenCD label. www.maxinethevenot.com