Nov 11, 2016

Tafelmusik Tours Asia with Mandarin and Korean Versions of J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation

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"Another big creation that turns classical music on its head."  
— Inside Toronto

Toronto, November 11, 2016 … Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s creative multidisciplinary concerts have delighted audiences around the world, and the 2016/2017 season is no exception. From November 13 to 20, 2016, Tafelmusik brings Mandarin and Korean versions of its acclaimed multimedia creation J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation to China and South Korea. Zhang Mingnarrates the performance at Shanghai Oriental Art Centerin China, and Kai joins the orchestra to narrate the South Korean performances at the Grand Concert Hall in Daegu, the Tongyeong Concert Hall in Tongyeong, and the LG Centre in Seoul. Premiered in Toronto in May 2015, the fully-memorized program blends 21st-century technology with an exploration of the tradition and skill of old world craftspeople and artisans.

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation is a celebration of the genius of Bach created by Tafelmusik bassist Alison Mackay, who has redefined the classical concert experience through her phenomenally successful productions that have been seen around the world. Directed by Music Director Emerita Jeanne Lamon, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation combines text, music, and stunning projected images and video to explore the world of the artisans — papermakers, violin carvers, string spinners, and performers — who helped J.S. Bach realize his musical ideas.

The all-Bach programme includes the Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 in G Major; movements from the Orchestral Suites 1 and 3, and from the Sonata for two violins and continuo in G Major; the Allemande from the Partita for violin in D Minor; the Adagio from the Sonata for violin in C Major; excerpts from the Goldberg Variations; and instrumental excerpts from five cantatas. "The sheer enjoyment shown by Tafelmusik's players in performing Bach's music from memory - their eyes on each other rather than on the printed page — gave special zest to their playing" (American Record Guide).

Tafelmusik’s previous creative multidisciplinary programs House of Dreams and The Galileo Project have opened doors around the world, attracting invitations from presenters in Australia, New Zealand, China, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, and Mexico, as well as across the United States and Canada. The resounding success of these programs abroad has led to repeat invitations to such prestigious venues as Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In February and March 2017, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation will be seen in eight cities across the United States.

Mackay’s award-winning programs have become an important element in the orchestra’s multi-platform recording label Tafelmusik Media, launched in 2012. A DVD/CD recording of The Galileo Project was among the first releases on Tafelmusik Media, and was nominated for a 2013 JUNO Award. Filmed in Toronto, London, and Venice, House of Dreams was released in 2013, adding to Tafelmusik’s discography of 80-plus recordings that have helped the orchestra build and maintain its excellent reputation around the world. Mackay’s most recent multidisciplinary program, Tales of Two Cities:The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House will be filmed before a live audience at the Aga Khan Museum on December 9.  

J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation was conceived, programmed, and scripted by Alison Mackay, with music direction by Jeanne Lamon; stage direction by Marshall Pynkoski; production design by Glenn Davidson; projection design by Raha Javanfar; and film editing by Jane MacRae.

This tour has been made possible through generous grants provided by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts CouncilJ.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation was produced with support from the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship in Media and Production at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, in Banff, Alberta.


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 some 80 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: BMO Financial Group, RBC Foundation, TD Bank Group, John and Margaret Catto, Margaret and Jim Fleck, Great West Life, London 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, Media Relations Manager, (416) 456-0499 |
427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7

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

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High‐resolution photos of Tafelmusik are available for download from the Media Room at here.