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Elisa Citterio: Music Director

The brilliant violinist Elisa Citterio joins Tafelmusik as Music Director this season. She has moved to Toronto from her native Italy, where she divided her artistic life between orchestral work and an intense schedule as a chamber musician. She has recorded and toured, often as leader or concertmaster, with such ensembles as Dolce & Tempesta, Europa Galante, Accademia Bizantina, Accordone, Zefiro, la Venexiana, La Risonanza, Ensemble 415, Concerto Italiano, Orquestra del Monsalvat, Il Giardino Armonico, and Orchestra Academia 1750. Since 2004 she was a member of the Orchestra del Teatro della Scala di Milano.
Elisa was born in Brescia, Italy, and grew up in a musical family: her mother and brother are composers, and her two sisters are professional musicians. Elisa began playing piano and violin as a pre-schooler, and as a teenager played baroque sonatas with her mother and sister.  At sixteen she began formal studies in violin and viola at the L. Marenzio Conservatory in Brescia, winning many prizes in national competitions and graduating with highest honours. She continued her post-graduate studies with Franco Gulli, Corrado Romano, Dora Schwarzberg, Matis Vaitsner, Ilya Grubert, and Dejan Bogdanovich.

In 2000, Elisa was selected as concertmaster and soloist with the orchestra of the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, where she received intensive professional training in orchestral and chamber music repertoire, as well as violin technique. Soon after graduating, she began studying baroque violin, taking part in masterclasses with Enrico Onofri, and studying with Chiara Banchini at the Schola Cantorum Basilensis, and with Luigi Mangiocavallo in Rome. 

Elisa Citterio’s discography includes more than 35 recordings with Accademia I Filarmonici (Vivaldi), Europa Galante (Vivaldi and Bach), Zefiro (Handel), Accordone (Storie di Napoli), Brixia Musicalis (Vivaldi Four Seasons), Accademia Bizantina (Handel and Corelli), Il Giardino Armonico (Handel and Haydn), La Venexiana (Monteverdi), Joachim Quartet (Schuster), Helianthus Ensemble (C.P.E. Bach trios), 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.

Letter from the Music Director Search Committee
We are thrilled to announce that, following the extraordinary tenure of Jeanne Lamon, we have appointed Elisa Citterio to be Tafelmusik's new Music Director.
Elisa was the unanimous choice of both the orchestra and the search committee and immediately becomes Music Director Designate, assuming her role in July 2017. Elisa will take up full-time residence in Toronto with her family this summer and will open the 2017/18 season with a celebratory program at Koerner Hall.
Renowned for stunning virtuoso performances on baroque violin and for her innovative approach to period performance, Elisa has recorded and toured, often as concertmaster, with many renowned ensembles. These include Europa Galante, Accademia Bizantina, and Il Giardino Armonico, and she has collaborated with some of the foremost period instrumentalists of our time. Since 2000 she has been  concertmaster of the Accademia della Scala, and since 2004 has been a member of the orchestra of La Scala, Milan, working with conductors such as Daniele Gatti and Riccardo Muti. You can read more about her in the press release linked above.
Elisa comments on her appointment:
"It is with deep joy and excitement that I accept the position of Music Director of the extraordinary Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. I am incredibly honoured to take on this role, which gives me the privilege of working with such brilliant musicians. I look forward to meeting Tafelmusik's audiences in Toronto and on tour."
We'd like to thank you, as part of the Tafelmusik family, for your patience during what has been an exhaustive search process. The search has seen us working with musicians from Canada and across the globe and has been necessarily wide-ranging as we sought to find only the second-ever Music Director in Tafelmusik's 38-year history.
Elisa's next appearance with us will be from May 4th to 7th, when she will direct performances of Haydn Symphony No. 98, as part of a program which will culminate in Mozart's Mass in C Minor, directed by Ivars Taurins.
Elisa will then return to open the 2017/18 season, details of which will be announced on February 14th.
Thank you again for your support of Tafelmusik and for your keen interest in the Music Director search process. At the top of the this page you will find links to the full Media Release with further comments from Elisa, musicians, and members of the Search Committee, and you can also read a personal account on our blog from violinist Julia Wedman, looking at the process which has led to Elisa's appointment.

Helen Polatajko
Board Chair
William Norris
Managing Director

Andy Kenins
Chair, Music Director Search Committee
John Abberger
Musician Member, Music Director Search Committee

Elisa Citterio, Music Director. Photography: Monica Cordiviola