"Performing the cantata’s first aria, an intimate reiteration of the larger prevailing theme, Gott ist unsre Sonn und Schild (God is our sun and shield), mezzo-soprano Gena Van Oosten brought exquisite warmth and vibrancy to the piece, qualities mirrored in Ruth Denton's lovely obbligato oboe partnering, singer and player in radiant conversation." - Opera Going Toronto

Canadian oboist Ruth Denton is passionate about early music, choral singing, and everything oboe. A native of St. Andrews, Manitoba, performance opportunities have taken her across Canada and the United States playing modern and baroque oboes. She now calls Toronto home and works for Tafelmusik as Office Coordinator and Development Assistant. Artistic Director and founder of Cor Unum Ensemble, an instrumental and vocal ensemble specializing in early music, Ruth leads a team of highly motivated, passionate young artists who work together on stage and behind the scenes. As General Manager of the annual Toronto Bach Festival, she is looking forward to the fourth festival directed by her mentor John Abberger May 24-26, 2019.

Upcoming performances in 2018/19 include concerts with Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, Georgetown Bach Chorale, Musicians on the Edge, Daniel Taylor’s Theatre of Early Music, and Cor Unum Ensemble's third season!

Ruth has performed on baroque oboes under the direction of Steven Devine, Jeanne Lamon, Daniel Taylor, Ivars Taurins, Kevin Mallon, Adrian Butterfield, Kenneth Slowik, Wouter Verschuren, among others. She has performed with Victoria Baroque Players, Musica Poetica, Toronto Masque Theatre, Grand River Chorus, Guelph Chamber Choir, and others. She returns to the Amherst Early Music Festival each summer to play baroque operas, now as a staff member, and has attended the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, and the Tafelmusik Summer and Winter Institutes as a student.

As a modern oboist, Ruth has performed with the National Youth Band of Canada, Manitoba Underground Opera, and enjoys freelancing for collaborative opportunities. In August 2017, she performed Mozart’s Serenade in C Minor under the direction of Chad Heltzel in the Music Monday series at Church of the Holy Trinity (Toronto). In June 2016, she premiered Trent Worthington’s Love Letters to the Street and Stephen Chatman's song cycle There is Sweet Music Here with the Accord Ensemble (Edmonton) under the direction of Stuart Sladden. In May 2015, she performed a solo recital in Denton Hall at Acadia University (Wolfville, NS) on both modern and baroque oboe in honour of her late great grandparents Evelyn & Harvey Denton.

A graduate of the University of Toronto (M.Mus 2016, ACP 2014) and the University of Manitoba (B.Mus 2013), Ruth is a student of John Abberger. Previous teachers and coaches include Robin MacMillan, Bede Hanley, Doug Bairstow, Geoffrey Burgess, Debra Nagy, and Meg Owens.


When not making music, Ruth can be found planning her next DIY project or making reeds for many different oboes.

November 2018 © Ruth Denton. No changes to be made without permission.

Photo: Emily Ding

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