Kunz, Alfred

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Kunz, Alfred

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Alfred Kunz (1929-2019 ) was a Canadian composer, conductor, arranger, choir master, vocal teacher, administrator, and music publisher based in the Kitchener-Waterloo region of Ontario. He was born in Neudorf, Saskatchewan on May 26, 1929 to German parents. From 1949-1955 Kunz studied composition and conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario. In 1964 he continued his studies in Europe, where he took the choral conducting exams in Mainz and was awarded “Staats Exam” papers.

In 1955 Alfred Kunz settled in Kitchener, Ontario and immediately began contributing the musical culture of the region. Some of his early accomplishments include organizing the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Orchestra in 1955, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Choir in 1959. From 1959 to 1964 he was the organist choirmaster at Mount Zion Lutheran Church. In 1965 he was appointed director of musical activities at the University of Waterloo, a position he held until 1979.

For more than 50 years Alfred Kunz was associated with the Concordia Club of Kitchener. In 1962 he joined Concordia Choirs as a singer, and by 1965 he founded the Concordia Children and Youth Choirs. From 1967 to 2013 he was the conductor of the Concordia Male Choir and the Concordia Mixed Choir. Over the years Kunz led the Concordia Choirs on several European and Canadian tours.

In 1985 Alfred Kunz founded the Nith Valley Singers of New Hamburg, a community choir of singers from New Hamburg, Baden, and the surrounding area. In 1989 he founded the Music Alive Choral Organization for singers from the Kitchener-Waterloo area. In 2005, Kunz merged these two choirs as the Millennium Choral Organization, performing annual Christmas and Spring concerts. Under Kunz’s direction, these choirs toured Canada and Europe. Kunz remained the conductor and musical director of these choirs until 2015.

Alfred Kunz also held long-term positions with other choral groups, including the German Canadian Choir Association from 1965 to 1998; the Waterloo Regional Police Male Chorus from 1974 to 1984; and the German Canadian Choir Association. He was a member of the Building Committee for Kitchener’s Centre in the Square, and composed music and directed 500 singers during the Center’s opening concert. During the 1970s he was a host, composer, conductor, and producer for television programs on CKCO and GRC TV.

Kunz is a prolific composer. His major focus is choral music, but his work covers all genres. In 1982 he established Alfred Kunz Music Publications.

In 2001 the University of Waterloo awarded Albert Kunz an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his “creative and organizational energies to the musical culture of the German Canadian community, in general, and to the Kitchener-Waterloo community, in particular, since 1955.”

In the fall of 2015, Alfred Kunz became the artistic director and conductor for the new Forest Heights Community Association Mixed Choir in Kitchener, Ontario. Their first concert was held on November 29, 2015.


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