Oct 29, 2013
Tafelmusik reports record ticket sales for 2012/13 and 13th consecutive surplus budget at AGM
At the Annual General Meeting on October 28, 2013, Chair Andy Kenins and Treasurer Jeff Bennett of Tafelmusik’s Board of Directors announced the organization’s 13th consecutive operating surplus of $88,293 on a budget of $5.4MM. This remarkable accomplishment is set against the backdrop of an ambitious $3 MM capital campaign launched in 2013 to revitalize Tafelmusik’s home venue of Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, along with the growth of its endowment funds from $3.99 MM to $4.4 MM. Tafelmusik carries no accumulated deficit and maintains over $800,000 in balance sheet funds for future initiatives and as a financial buffer.
2012/2013 saw the highest ticket sales in Tafelmusik’s history at almost $1.8 MM, compared to the $1.6MM in ticket sales earned the previous season. Tafelmusik’s reach extended further than ever before thanks to the orchestra’s newly launched Tafelmusik Media record label, which has sold more than 13,000 CDs and DVDs worldwide in its first year of operation. Tafelmusik’s presence on the national and international scene was reinforced by major North American tours, including a return to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and its debut on the Academy of Arts and Letters series in New York City, described by The New York Times as “spirited, polished interpretations imbued with spontaneity and imaginative flair.” Artist training programmes for pre-professional and professional musicians were expanded with launch of the inaugural Tafelmusik Winter Institute in January 2013.
In January 2013, Tafelmusik launched a $3 MM Capital Campaign to improve the acoustics, seating, aesthetics, accessibility and stage at its home venue of Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall, for which $2.6MM has been raised to date. Towards this campaign, Tafelmusik received a $1MM gift from the Honourable Henry N.R. Jackman in honour of Jeanne Lamon, and a $500,000 matching grant from Canadian Heritage’s Cultural Spaces Canada fund. Phase One, for which $1.45 MM was earned and spent, was undertaken in the summer and early fall of 2013, and includes a new stage, improved acoustics, new seating, increased accessibility and beautification of the space.
Andy Kenins thanked Music Director Jeanne Lamon for a great 2012/13 season, and acknowledged the Board’s gratitude, respect and affection for her three-plus decades of leadership. Mr. Kenins also thanked Choir Director Ivars Taurins, all the musicians, Managing Director Tricia Baldwin and the staff team, and the Tafelmusik Board of Directors for an outstanding season.
Managing Director Tricia Baldwin, who recently spearheaded the Tafelmusik venue renovations and the newly-established Tafelmusik Media record label, stated, “Tafelmusik casts its vision in bold strokes, accomplishes much artistically on the world stage, and undertakes considerable artistic activity while keeping its finances in order. All of our initiatives are geared to secure a vibrant future for many years to come. The 2013 renovation of our home venue is one of the largest contributions to the future development of our wonderful orchestra and choir, and the generosity of our Board and donors was incredible and very much appreciated. We were also thrilled to film Alison Mackay’s House of Dreams project for future release on our label and digital concert hall, and to record the music of Beethoven, which brings us closer to realizing our dream of recording the complete Beethoven symphony cycle.”
In October, 2012, Jeanne Lamon announced that she plans to step down as full-time Music Director in 2014, ending what will be a remarkable 33-year tenure at the helm of one of Canada’s most successful international performing arts organizations. Lamon will assume the role of Music Director Emerita and will continue in a number of artistic roles, including that of creating of the Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy. In April, 2013, Jeanne Lamon was honoured with a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Toronto Musicians’ Association.
Jeanne Lamon said, “It has been an honour and a privilege to have served in this role these past 30-plus years, and to work with such a fabulous orchestra and choir. I continue to be inspired by the amazing musicians around me and am proud of what we have achieved together. I am happy to say that we are experiencing now the highest level of commitment, good will, high morale, talent and creativity ever. The whole organization seems to be bursting at the seams with ideas, plans, enthusiasm and positive forward-thinking activity. This is true for orchestra, staff, choir and board alike. I am very optimistic about Tafelmusik’s future as one of great spirit and artistic opportunity.”
The 2012/13 touring season brought Tafelmusik’s two most recent multi-media concerts conceived and programmed by Alison Mackay, winner of the 2013 Betty Webster Award, to audiences across North America. House of Dreams was seen on a tour of the East and West coasts of the United States, with concerts at Columbia University in New York City, at Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s series, and Pennsylvania State University. One of Tafelmusik’s most successful international exports, The Galileo Project, toured to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
Two live concert recordings, Handel’s Messiah conducted by Ivars Taurins featuring an international cast of soloists and the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 and Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony conducted by Bruno Weil, were released on the Tafelmusik Media label, in addition to six re-releases of past recordings. A live concert recording was made at Koerner Hall featuring Beethoven’s Symphony no. 4 conducted by Bruno Weil, and House of Dreams was recorded and filmed by 90th Parallel Productions in Toronto, Handel House in London, England, and in Venice, Italy, for release this fall.
Lamon invited several guest artists to make their Tafelmusik debuts during the 2012/13 season, including world-renowned Freiburg Baroque Orchestra director Gottfried von der Goltz, the French soprano Sandrine Piau, and Toronto’s own Vesuvius Ensemble. Celebrated guest artists who returned to share the stage with Tafelmusik were conductor Bruno Weil, pianist Janina Fialkowska, and guest director and violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch.
Season highlights included Mozart’s Requiem performed by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir under the direction of Ivars Taurins, and Baroque London, a new programme conceived and performed by actor R.H. Thomson, which also toured to cities in Ontario. In June 2013, the orchestra and choir made their Luminato Festival debut in the Canadian premiere of the Mark Morris Dance Group’s iconic L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato at the SONY Centre, and partnered with Luminato on an education programme at Daniels Spectrum with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Dancing with Parkinsons and Nelson Mandela Public School.
Tafelmusik produced a number of initiatives last season to cultivate the next generation of musicians and concert-goers: the Orchestra attracted 87 pre-professional and professional musicians from around the world to study at the 2012/13 Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute (TBSI), which was organized by Artistic Co-ordinator Charlotte Nediger. Building on ten years of TBSI success, artist training programmes were expanded to include Tafelmusik’s Winter Institute, a week-long specialized institute for 19 advanced students and professional players of baroque string and continuo instruments hailing from across Canada and the United States, England, and Israel; the Baroque Mentors artistic training programme also continued with masterclasses by guest artists. Social media activities were expanded on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and Tafelscene, a new free membership programme for people ages 35 and under was launched.
Treasurer Jeff Bennett noted that the total of $1.1 MM in Net Assets puts Tafelmusik in a strong position to invest in a number of upcoming new initiatives. A tremendously successful joint gala with the University Health Network and Artists’ Health Centre Foundation in May 2013 raised more than $140,000 in support of Tafelmusik’s concert and education programmes.
Outgoing Board member Mary Turner was acknowledged for her contribution as an active board member over two terms. Tafelmusik thanked its sponsors and donors at the Annual General Meeting, with special mention to Season Presenting Sponsor Sun Life Financial for its leadership support. Bank of Montreal was thanked for its significant support of the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and much appreciation was expressed to Al and Jane Forest for their generous support of Mozart’s Requiem at Koerner Hall.
Tafelmusik is grateful for the 2012/13 season support of its government partners at the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Canadian Heritage.
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, founded in 1979 and led by Music Director Jeanne Lamon since 1981, 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 to such places as this season's tour destinations: Japan and South Korea, Carnegie Hall in New York City, BachFest Leipzig in Germany, cities across Ontario, and a tour with Opera Atelier to Versailles, France. 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 digital concert hall. Tafelmusik has a rich discography of more than 80 CDs recorded on the Sony Classical, CBC Records, Analekta and Tafelmusik Media labels. Since 1991, Tafelmusik has received ten JUNO Awards and a Grammy Award nomination. Tafelmusik is the Baroque Orchestra-in-Residence at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and operates its annual artist training programmes, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and Tafelmusik Winter Institute.