Mar 23, 2021

Bach, Joseph Bologne & Buffy Sainte-Marie: Tafelmusik Unveils Spring Digital Season

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Toronto, March 23, 2021 … As the days grow longer and warmer, Tafelmusik is pleased to announce its spring digital season of online performances and discussions. Part of an innovative process of reinvention and adaptation led by Music Director Elisa Citterio and Executive Director Carol Kehoe, Tafelmusik’s latest digital offerings invite audiences to stay connected and inspired. 

Retaining the essence of Elisa Citterio’s artistic vision, Tafelmusik’s spring digital season includes a new program, Spotlight 15, and a filmed version of the 2019 hit,Café Counterculture. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos will be streamed in digital format on a new date. One spring concert requiring a larger ensemble and international guests has been cancelled: Vivaldi’s Choral Colours with Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and guest director Rinaldo Alessandrini.

“With the arrival of spring, our thoughts turn to growth and new beginnings,” said Music Director Elisa Citterio. “Though we deeply miss our live audiences, we are excited to share our latest digital programs with viewers around the world. Tafelmusik’s spring digital season offers a range of concerts and events — from timeless classics by Bach to reworkings of iconic songs that defined the mood of 1960s Yorkville, and a thought-provoking conversation with conductor Marlon Daniel about the influential 18th-century Black composer, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.”

Detailed descriptions of Tafelmusik’s late April to June concerts can be found below. High resolution images are available in Tafelmusik’s Media Room. Single tickets will be announced via email approximately three weeks before each event.


April 29, 2021 premieres 8pm EDT
with special guests,
Alex Samaras, vocalist
Andrew Downing, double bass/arranger

Program curated by Andrew Downing, Marco Cera and Elisa Citterio

Celebrate spring with this trip down memory lane, pairing Tafelmusik’s baroque flair with folk favourites by Joni Mitchell and Simon and Garfunkel from Yorkville’s colourful past. Suitable for all ages.

It’s 1730s Leipzig, Germany. J.S. Bach and his colleagues gather at Zimmerman’s coffee house for weekly concerts featuring the new music of the day. Fast forward to Toronto in the 1960s. Yorkville (now known as the ‘Mink Mile’) is a hub of subversion and anti-establishment activism. Undiscovered artists are making their breaks and international acts have come to sling it in underground dives and coffee houses. Legends of this counterculture scene pepper music collections across the world. 

First performed live for a sold-out crowd in fall 2019, Café Counterculture returns as a stunning new filmed concert, complete with two brand new arrangements by co-creator Andrew Downing. Sonatas by Bach and friends are interspersed with arrangements of iconic songs by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, and others.

Tickets $10, on sale April 1, 2021.
Marketing Partner: TD Toronto Jazz Festival

Tafel Talks Online panel discussion — NEW
Date to be announced

A conversation about the influential 18th-century Black composer, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, moderated by Marlon Daniel, conductor and leading scholar on Bologne’s music and Artistic and Music Director for the Festival International de Musique Saint-Georges. 

Panelists TBC

Brandenburg Concertos
June 10, 2021 at 8 pm EDT online
Elisa Citterio, director

Revisit four of the six shimmering concertos that helped establish Tafelmusik’s international reputation as a creative force in baroque music.

One of the most recognized and popular works in baroque music, the Brandenburg Concertos encapsulate all of the qualities that affirm Bach’s brilliance as a composer. Creativity, originality, and boldness are on display in these ground-breaking concertos that feature novel combinations of solo instruments and an unprecedented solo cadenza for harpsichord — unheard of at the time. 

Tafelmusik’s JUNO Award-winning 1995 recording of the Brandenburgs helped establish the orchestra’s international profile. A quarter century later, we invite you to revisit four of these seminal works with newfound curiosity.


Spotlight 15 — NEW
June 24, 2021 at 8 pm EDT online
Elisa Citterio, director

Experience the artistry of each Tafelmusik musician in this playful showcase of sounds and styles, from baroque to galant. 

Fifteen soloists and fourteen concertos are featured in this playful mix-and-match showcase of Tafelmusik’s artistry. Music Director Elisa Citterio conceived this concert as a challenge to each musician, inviting them to flex their musical muscles as soloists and leaders. The program pairs movements from different concertos — occasionally even by different composers — creating a kaleidoscope of sounds and styles, from baroque to galant.  

Think the violin is the only star in the galaxy? Spotlight 15 proves otherwise, as the viola, cello, double bass, oboe, bassoon, and harpsichord take turns at centre stage. Collaboratively designed with input from the orchestra, you will learn something new and deeply personal about each of the featured soloists.



Subscriber lecture (for Premium subscribers):

All Together Now
May 2021
Kate Helsen, Tafelmusik Chamber Choir member and Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario, shares her lecture on the history and legacy of the baroque chorale.

Subscriber Q&A (for Premium subscribers):

Citterio & Szabó in conversation
May 2021
Music Director Elisa Citterio in conversation with Krisztina Szabó, famed Canadian mezzo soprano and frequent Tafelmusik collaborator. The two musicians will discuss the evolution of their relationships with Tafelmusik and the ways in which they balance contemporary repertoire with their beloved baroque.

Those who subscribed to the 2020/21 season before August 19, 2020 will be contacted by the Box Office to confirm spring status. Subscribers who have questions or who have not heard from the Box Office may call 1 (833) 964-6337. Standard and Standard+ subscriptions are available now online and through our Box Office, starting at just $88.

Social Media: Join the conversation on FacebookInstagramYouTubeSpotify


Led by Music Director Elisa Citterio and Executive Director Carol Kehoe, Tafelmusik is an orchestra, choir, and experience that celebrates beauty through music of the past.

Founded over 40 years ago on the pillars of passion, learning, and artistic excellence, Tafelmusik continues to bring new energy to baroque music and beyond. Historically informed performances of 17th- to 19th-century instrumental and choral music (led by Chamber Choir Director Ivars Taurins) share the stage with vibrant, insightful multimedia programs, and bold new music written just for the group. Each piece is played on period instruments, underscored and illuminated by scholarship.

Through dynamic performances, international touring, award-winning recordings, and comprehensive education programs, Tafelmusik invites audiences to engage with beauty and experience the breadth of emotion music can inspire.

Tafelmusik is a Canadian charitable organization whose resources are used entirely to advance the education of music of the past. We rely on donations from our community to make our activities possible.

Media contact: Luisa Trisi, Big Picture Communications, (416) 456-0499 | 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7