Home 9 Composers 9 NEIL WEISENSEL

Neil Weisensel is a composer and conductor based in Treaty One territory in Winnipeg, whose background is white settler from French-Canadian and German parents. Reconciliation Duets, a collaboration with Peguis First Nation powwow singer and composer Ray “Coco” Stevenson called for solo or choral voices and orchestra was commissioned by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and will soon be made available for choirs. With his wife Rachel Landrecht, Neil co-founded World Village Gospel Choir (WVGC), an auditioned semi-professional choir that sings Southern US-style gospel, world music of many different cultures from around the globe. Neil has arranged over  50 pieces for WVGC, who have appeared on APTN, Vision TV, with rock band Heart and also with both of Winnipeg’s professional orchestras, the Winnipeg Symphony and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Neil’s His choral works (including operas) have been performed by Vancouver New Music, Vancouver Opera, Saskatoon Opera, Manitoba Opera, the Regina, Winnipeg, Victoria and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras, and the Winnipet Singers, Polycoro and the CMU Singers. His most recent opera, Li Keur, Riel’s Heart of the North is based on the life of celebrated Manitoba Indigenous leader Louis Riel, with libretto by Métis scholar Dr. Suzanne Steele. Li Keur was the first Indigenous-led opera to be produced on a Canadian mainstage, and was presented to sold-out houses and popular and critical acclaim by Manitoba Opera in Nov. 2023, with the composer conducting the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and a stellar cast of Indigenous and settler performers. In total, his 8 operas have seen over 230 performances across Canada and in the US.   Website:


by Neil Weisensel

SATB a cappella – CP 2309 – duration 3:50

This piece was a commission from the Winnipeg Singers, one of Winnipeg’s other stellar professional choirs, brought forward by their director Yuri Klaz. Four composers were chosen to each set a specific part of the Mass, to be performed as one 4-movement piece. The text that was chosen for me was The Benedictus, which was rather ironic as I had just set that text a year earlier with Benedictus. I enlisted the help of my creative and life partner, Rachel Landrecht, a superb songrwiter and a gifted lyricist, to create this text. Her artistry inspired me greatly, and became the piece now called Blessed (pronounced in two syllables: Bless-ed).


by Neil Weisensel

SATB a cappella – CP 2327 – duration 6:00

This piece was a commission from Polycoro, one of Winnipeg’s stellar professional choirs, suggested by their director John Weins. I was on a break from the 7-year process of composing the grand opera Li Keur, and the cross cultural aspects of that work were very much on my mind, especially the injustices that the Métis people have endured (and continue to endure). I don’t ofter write my own texts, but the lyrics just kind of flowed with the help of a couple of bible verses. This piece is my prayer to have more humility, justice, and mercy in our world.