Mar 28, 2017

Bernardini Father and Daughter Bring Family Dynamic to Bach Concerts April 5 to 9, 2017

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"Cecilia Bernardini, with her gorgeous, rounded, golden sound,
crafted long and beautiful lines out of her solos..." — The Herald

“Oboist Alfredo Bernardini plays with a range of color, wit, and sensuality." – Audiophile Audition

Toronto, March 28, 2017 …  The father/daughter team of oboist Alfredo Bernardini and violinist Cecilia Bernardini are guest soloists and directors for Tafelmusik’s Bach: Keeping it in the Family, April 5 to 9 at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. The program explores the family genius of J.S. Bach and his eldest sons Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, as well as the music of C.P.E.’s godfather and honorary member of the Bach family, Georg Philipp Telemann.

Returning to Tafelmusik following acclaimed appearances in recent seasons, Cecilia and Alfredo are featured as soloists in concertos by J.S. Bach and his son C.P.E. Bach, respectively. “Performing together is wonderful; because we know each other so well, there is a deep and natural musical understanding between us,” says Cecilia Bernardini. “The fact that we play two different instruments means that we can look at the same piece from slightly different angles.”

Exceptional musical talent was a trait that the Bach family shared. “By the turn of the seventeenth century, the name ‘Bach’ had come to be regarded as synonymous with ‘musician.’ From birth, it was assumed that virtually every male member of the family would become a musician, and the combination of inherited talent and training from the earliest age assured their success,” writes Tafelmusik harpsichordist Charlotte Nediger in her program notes for the concert.

Opening the program is J.S. Bach’s Overture in B-flat Major after BWV 194. Tafelmusik will play Alfredo Bernardini’s transcription of the overture to the cantata, which retains Bach’s original scoring for three oboes, bassoon, and strings but omits the choir.

Cecilia Bernardini is featured in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for violin in E Major, one of onlytwo surviving concertos for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bernardini père takes centre stage in C.P.E. Bach’s Concerto for oboe in E-flat Major, written in 1765 when the composer was employed at the Prussian court of Frederick the Great in Berlin. The Sinfonia in F Major by W.F. Bach is alive withunpredictable turns and musical wit, and offers a fascinating contrast to the work of his brother. Alfredo Bernardini’s participation in these concerts provides the perfect opportunity to perform Telemann’s Orchestral suite in D Minor, scored for three oboes, and which concludes the program.   


Italian-born Alfredo Bernardini studied early music in the Netherlands, where he graduated in 1987. He has since performed all over the world as a member of ensembles such as Hesperion XX, Le Concert des Nations, La Petite Bande, The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, The English Concert, Bach Collegium Japan, and others. He has played in more than 100 recordings. In 1989, he founded the Ensemble Zefiro, which has been awarded important international prizes. He has been guest director of baroque orchestras all over Europe, in Canada, Australia, Venezuela, Cuba, Israel, and with the European Union Baroque Orchestra. He is currently a professor at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg.

Dutch–Italian Cecilia Bernardini is widely considered one of the most versatile violinists of her generation, performing on both modern and baroque violin in many of Europe's most prestigious concert halls. Cecilia frequently leads and directs modern and period instrument ensembles, including Ensemble Zefiro, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Arcangelo, The King's Consort, Holland Baroque Society, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Pygmalion, and The Netherlands Bachvereniging. In 2012 Cecilia was appointed leader of the Dunedin Consort (John Butt), with whom she has released numerous recordings (including Bach's Violin Concertos). Cecilia plays on a 1750 Santo Serafin violin, kindly loaned by the Netherlands Musical Instrument Foundation, and in baroque repertoire plays a 1743 Camillus Camilli violin kindly loaned by the Jumpstart Foundation.

Audience members are invited to attend Tafelmusik Pre-concert Chats. Freelance musicologist, broadcaster, and baroque flutist Dr. Hannah French moderates a panel discussion with oboist John Abberger and violinist Julia Wedman, one hour before each performance.

An informal post-concert Talk Back takes place after the performance on Wednesday, April 5 with Tafelmusik musicians and guest artists.

Oboist Alfredo Bernardini offers a Guest Artist Masterclass on Saturday, April 8 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. Guest Artist Masterclasses are open to the public and admission is free (donations are appreciated).

Listing information:

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra presents Bach: Keeping it in the Family with guest soloists and directors Cecilia Bernardini, violin, and Alfredo Bernardini, oboe.

Dates & Times:

Wed Apr 5 at 7pm
Thu Apr 6, Fri Apr 7, Sat Apr 8, 2017 at 8pm
Sun Apr 9 at 3:30pm

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:

Tafelmusik Box Office: (416) 964-6337


Johann Sebestian Bach Overture in B-flat Major, after BWV 194/1

J.S. Bach Concerto for violin in E Major, BWV 1042

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Concerto for oboe in E-flat Major, Wq 165

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach Sinfonia in F Major, Fk 67

Georg Philipp Telemann Orchestral suite in D Minor, TWV 55:d3


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

High‐resolution photos of Tafelmusik and guest artists are available for download here.