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Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Celebrates 35th Anniversary: Let Us All Sing, November 2 to 6, 2016

Oct 6, 2016

Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Celebrates 35th Anniversary: Let Us All Sing, November 2 to 6, 2016

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Ivars Taurins, Director
Sherezade Panthaki soprano | Jonathan Woody bass-baritone | Philippe Gagné tenor

 “Tafelmusik Chamber Choir sang … with a spry, glowing homogeny that reached upward as if to pull the night stars into the hall.” Toronto Star

Toronto, Canada, October 6, 2016 … Described by The Globe and Mail as “the best period-performance choir anywhere in the world,” Tafelmusik Chamber Choir celebrates its 35th anniversary throughout the 2016/17 season, starting with Let Us All Sing, November 2 to 6, 2016, at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. Under the direction of Ivars Taurins, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir marks this milestone with joyful and spirited works by Handel, Zelenka, Lully, and Rameau, and introduces audiences to the music of the remarkable Italian composer Agostino Steffani.

Guest soloists for these concerts are soprano Sherezade Panthaki, an alumna of the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute; bass-baritone Jonathan Woody, a winner of the 2016 Tafelmusik Vocal Competition; and Montreal tenor Philippe Gagné, who makes his Tafelmusik debut.  

“This season we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir — a remarkable group of singers, not only because of their individual and combined talents, but also because of their collegiality, their willingness to try anything that I or the music might throw at them, and ultimately their desire to share their love for the repertoire we sing with our audience,” said Ivars Taurins, director of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir.

Let Us All Sing opens with Handel’s triumphant Laudate pueri featuring soloist Sherezade Panthaki, and includes two works that are new to the Tafelmusik stage: Steffani’s astonishingly beautiful Stabat Mater—a piece brought to light by Cecilia Bartoli in her ground-breaking, three-disc exploration of the composer’s music; and the Chaconne “Chantons tous” from Lully’s opera Amadis featuring the three guest soloists. Two of the choir’s signature pieces round out these celebratory concerts: In convertendo Dominus by Rameau, and the Gloria from Zelenka’s Missa dei filii.

Under the direction of Ivars Taurins since 1981, the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir has been described as “a consummate and perfectly balanced ensemble,” (The Globe and Mail). Over the years Taurins and the choir have developed a quality of sound, intonation, word painting, and colour that brings a freshness and directness to the music they perform. Music critics have acknowledged this in countless reviews, including one from 2014 performance: “I’m prepared to nominate the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir for a group Order of Canada... an ensemble… whose joy and beauty in performance often brought me… to tears.”  

Over the past 35 years, more than 200 individual singers have sung with the choir. While many are full-time singers, several are professionals in other fields who pursue their passion for choral music in their spare time. Teachers, architects, writers, a baker, a butler, a doctor, a drag queen, and even an astronaut—Julie Payette—have been members of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir. In 1999, Payette famously brought a copy of Tafelmusik’s Messiah recording with her on the space shuttle Discovery.

Equally at home conducting symphonic and choral repertoire, Ivars Taurins is the founding director of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir. He was also violist of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra for its first 23 years. Taurins works regularly with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and appears as guest director with orchestras and choirs across the country, including the National Youth Choir, the Ontario and Nova Scotia Youth Choirs, and London, Calgary, and Nova Scotia Youth Orchestras. A passionate educator, Taurins teaches conducting at the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School, and has been a guest teacher/conductor at universities across Canada. He directs the Collegium Musicum at the University of Toronto.

The celebration of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir’s 35th anniversary continues throughout the season with its annual performances of Handel’s Messiah and Sing-Along Messiah (Dec 14 to 18, 2016); A Bach Tapestry (Feb 9 to 14, 2017); and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor (May 4 to 7, 2017).

Let Us All Sing: Tafelmusik Chamber Choir at 35

Ivars Taurins, Director
Sherezade Panthaki, soprano | Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone | Philippe Gagné, tenor

Dates + Times:
Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
Wed Nov 2, 2016 at 7pm
Thu Nov 3, Fri Nov 4, Sat Nov 5 at 8pm
Sun Nov 6 at 3:30pm

Full program:
George Frideric Handel  Laudate pueri
Agostino Steffani  Stabat mater, excerpted
Jean-Baptiste Lully  Chaconne from Amadis “Chantons tous”
Jean-Philippe Rameau  In convertendo Dominus
Jan Dismas Zelenka  Gloria, from Missa dei Filii

Ticket Prices:
Regular: Start at $39 | 65+: Start at $31 | 35 & Under: Start at $15

Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
427 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Box Office: (416) 964-6337


Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, founded in 1979, is one of the world’s leading period performance ensembles. The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, under the direction of Ivars Taurins, was formed in 1981 to complement the Orchestra. The orchestra performs more than 50 concerts each year at home in Toronto, and travels extensively around the world. The choir and orchestra’s multi-platform recording label Tafelmusik Media was launched in January 2012, along with the Watch and Listen site. Tafelmusik’s discography of 80-plus CDs has been recorded on the Sony Classical, CBC Records, Analekta and Tafelmusik Media labels. Since 1991, Tafelmusik has received nine JUNO Awards and a Grammy Award nomination. Tafelmusik is the Baroque Orchestra-in-Residence at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and operates annual artist training programs, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and Tafelmusik Winter Institute. Tafelmusik has been led by Jeanne Lamon since 1981, with Managing Director William Norris joining the team in 2015. In June 2014, Ms. Lamon stepped down as Music Director and continues her association with Tafelmusik as Music Director Emerita.


Tafelmusik wishes to thank the following for their generous support: Tafelmusik wishes to thank the following for their generous support: BMO Financial Group, RBC Foundation, TD Bank Group, John and Margaret Catto, Margaret and Jim Fleck, Great West Life, Lonon Life, Canada Life, Hal Jackman Foundation, KPMG, 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

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