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Oct 11, 2017

Tafelmusik Music Director Elisa Citterio Makes National Touring Debut

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November 21 to 26 in Québec, New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia

"The sheer enjoyment shown by Tafelmusik's players in performing Bach's music from memory - their eyes on each other rather than on the printed page — gave special zest to their playing"
American Record Guide.

October 11, 2017 … Newly appointed Music Director Elisa Citterio makes her Tafelmusik national touring debut November 21 to 26,with concerts in Québec, New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia. The “breathtakingly stunning” violinist (Toronto Concert Reviews) leads the orchestra for sixperformances of the “superb”(San Diego Tribune)J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation.

Tafelmusik’s Eastern Canada tour begins on November 21 with a performance in Montréal’s Salle Bourgie presented by Arte Musica Foundation, Montréal Museum of Fine Arts. On November 22, the orchestra heads to New Brunswick for a performance at Mount Allison University, presented by the Sackville Festival of Early Music. Tafelmusik appears at the Confederation Center of the Arts in Charlottetown on November 23; St. Francis Xavier University on November 24 as part of the Antigonish Performing Arts Series;and Acadia University in Wolfville on November 25 as part of the Acadia Performing Arts Series. The tour concludes in Halifax on November 26 with a performance presented by Symphony Nova Scotiaat the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. While on tour, Tafelmusik will engage in artist training activities, including masterclasses in Quebec, PEI, and Nova Scotia, and a mini-residency at Mount Allison University.

“I am truly excited to be embarking on my first Canadian tour with the orchestra, almost exactly two years after having made my Tafelmusik debut. I recently travelled to Ottawa for the first time to perform at the swearing-in of Her Excellency Julie Payette as Governor-General, and was struck by how attentive and receptive the audience was. I am very much looking forward to meeting new audiences in different regions of Canada that are completely new to me,” said Citterio.   

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation is a celebration of the genius of Bach created by Tafelmusik double bassist Alison Mackay, who has redefined the classical concert experience through her phenomenally successful productions that have been seen around the world. Directed by Citterio from the violin and performed by the musicians from memory, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation combines text, music, and stunning projected images and video to explore the world of the artisans — papermakers, violin carvers, string spinners, and performers — who helped J.S. Bach realize his musical ideas.

The all-Bach program includes the Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 in G Major; movements from the Orchestral Suites 1 and 3, and from the Sonata for two violins and continuo in G Major; solo works for violin, cello, and harpsichord; excerpts from the Goldberg Variations; and instrumental excerpts from five cantatas.

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s creative multidisciplinary performances have delighted audiences around the world, and J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation is no exception. Last season, Mandarin and Korean versions of J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation were presented at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre in China, as well as Daegu, Tongyeong, and Seoul in South Korea.

In February and March, 2017, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation also travelled stateside to eight cities in Ohio, Philadelphia, Puerto Rico, Florida, California, and Washington. Closer to home, the program played to a sold-out house in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene Festival last June, and Toronto audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy a remount of J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation at Jeanne Lamon Hall in March 2018.

Premiered in Toronto in May 2015, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation was conceived, programmed, and scripted by Alison Mackay, with stage direction by Marshall Pynkoski; production design by Glenn Davidson; projection design by Raha Javanfar; and film editing by Jane MacRae.

This tour has been made possible through generous grants provided by the Canada Council for the Arts. J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation was produced with support from the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship in Media and Production at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, in Banff, Alberta.


Elisa Citterio comes to Toronto from Milan, where she was a member of the prestigious Orchestra del Teatro della Scala. Equally at ease playing baroque and modern violin, she has performed and toured —often as leader or concertmaster — with some of the finest European period instrument groups including Europa Galante, Accademia Bizantina, Accordone, Zefiro, Concerto Italiano, and Il Giardino Armonico.

Citterio’s discography includes more than 35 recordings with Accademia I Filarmonici, Europa Galante, Zefiro, Accordone, Brixia Musicalis, Accademia Bizantina, Il Giardino Armonico, La Venexiana, Joachim Quartet, Helianthus Ensemble, and a number of opera recordings with the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala under such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Chailly, Edward Gardner, Daniele Gatti, Daniel Harding, Lorin Maazel, and Riccardo Muti.

From 2014–2016, together with Stefano Montanari, Elisa co-chaired the baroque violin studies program at the Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado in Milan.  


Led by Music Director Elisa Citterio, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir is one of the world’s leading period ensembles and Canada’s most-toured orchestra. Tafelmusik engages Toronto audiences with an annual season of more than 80 concerts in diverse venues across the city, as well as national and international audiences through an extensive schedule of tours and critically acclaimed recordings. The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, under the direction of Ivars Taurins, was formed in 1981 to complement the Orchestra. Tafelmusik also seeks to transport audiences to the baroque and classical periods through adventurous cross-cultural collaborations, on stage with Toronto's Opera Atelier, and underground at its new Haus Musik series. The orchestra’s musicians share their knowledge and experience through artist training initiatives such as the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer and Winter Institutes. Tafelmusik's catalogue of award-winning recordings on the SONY, CBC Records, Analekta, and Tafelmusik Media labels have garnered nine JUNO Awards and numerous other recording prizes. Jeanne Lamon continues her association with Tafelmusik as Music Director Emerita.


Tafelmusik wishes to thank the following for their generous support: BMO Financial Group, TD Bank Group, RBC Foundation, Hal Jackman Foundation, KPMG, Great West Life, London Life, Canada Life, McLean Foundation, Blakes LLP, iA Securities, Stikeman Elliott LLP, John and Margaret Catto, Margaret and Jim Fleck, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Classical 96.3 FM, and NOW Magazine. Tafelmusik is a proud partner of the Bloor St. Culture Corridor.

Media contact:
Luisa Trisi, Big Picture Communications, (416) 456-0499 |
427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7
High‐resolution photos of Elisa Citterio and Tafelmusik are available for download here.