Born in Toronto, Jurgen Petrenko has Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Organ (Performance) from the University of Toronto. After 15 years as an organist and freelance musician, Jurgen joined the CBC, where he served for 18 years as producer and executive producer, and on-air presentor. After CBC priorities shifted away from classical music, he became the general manager of the prestigious Elora Festival, where he remained for four years.
Leaving a desk-centered existence behind him, Jurgen is once again enjoying the life of a freelance musician. He continues to conduct the Toronto Classical Singers, which he founded 28 years ago, as well as the Centre Wellington Singers. He serves as the Organist of St. Johns Anglican Church, Elora, where he also conducts the volunteer choir. He often plays harpsichord with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and teaches oratorio performance to the undergraduate and graduate voice majors of the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. Jurgen is a member of the Royal Conservatory’s College of Examiners, where he examines piano, organ, and voice. He can be heard on numerous recordings on the Naxos and independent labels, accompanying St. John’s Parish Choir, and the Elora Festival Singers.
Jurgen lives an idyllic life on a farm just outside of Elora with his darling wife Emily, and their three horses, about twenty chickens, several million bees, and two adorable but bouncy Bouviers. He is an accomplished sailor, and is proud to have earned his black belt in karate.