Zimfira Poloz is globally recognized as an expert in choral artistry for young voices. She has been decorated with numerous professional awards during her career, including the Honoured Representative of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan Award, the city of Hamilton’s VIP Award, and the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting (Ontario Arts Council).
As an adjudicator and guest conductor, Zimfira is sought-after locally, nationally, and internationally. Recent highlights include: Europa Cantat (France, 2018), 1st International Choral Alberto Grau Composition Competition (Venezuela, 2017), America Cantat (Bahamas, 2016), World Choir Games (China 2010, Cincinnati 2012, Latvia 2014, Russia 2016), Philharmonic Paris Orchestra (France, 2016), and KODOMO 25th National Chorus Festival (Japan, 2011).
Zimfira first established her musical credentials in Kazakhstan, founding the country’s first choir school that grew to employ 35 music teachers with an enrollment of 450 children. In addition to her role as Principal, Zimfira was Artistic Director of the school’s Concert Choir, “Koktem,” which attained top international choral status and was a recurring prize-winner in choral competitions and festivals across Europe (Budapest International Choral Festival and Competition, European Choral Association).
Upon her arrival in Canada, Zimfira’s skill and passion for choral music found a home within Ontario’s thriving choral community. First with the artistic staff of Toronto Children’s Chorus, later at St. Michael’s Choir School, and eventually as Artistic Director of both Hamilton Children’s Choir and Young Voices Toronto, Zimfira would soon form an indelible impression on Canada’s choral scene.
Zimfira’s philosophy when working with young people is that ‘excellence has no age.’ By pairing uncompromising standards with boundless positive energy, she is able to unleash creative and musical potential unlike any other.
In 2018, Zimfira celebrates her 15th anniversary as the Artistic Director of Hamilton Children’s Choir (HCC). Under Zimfira’s direction, the choir has transformed into one of the most widely acclaimed youth choral music programs in the world. Juried achievements include Grand Prizes at the 1st Xinghai Prize International Choral Competition (China, 2013), “Let the People Sing” Euroradio Choral Competition (Norway, 2009), and Loto-Quebec World Choral Singing Competition (Montreal, 2009). Recent international invitations include ACDA National Conference (Minnesota, 2017), America Cantat 8 (Bahamas, 2016), Polyfollia (France, 2014), and IFCM World Symposium (South Korea, 2014). Canadian highlights include performing at Choral Canada’s National Conference, “Podium” (Newfoundland, 2018 and Ottawa, 2012), Pan Am Games opening ceremony performance (Toronto, 2015), and Luminato Festival’s presentation of R. Murray Schafer’s Apocolypsis (Toronto, 2015).
In addition to her performance season with HCC and her global travels as clinician and guest conductor, Zimfira continues to mentor future educators and conductors as a member of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. As of 2017, her curated Canadian choral collection can be found with Cypress Choral Music: The Zimfira Collection.