Dec 8, 2020

Tafelmusik Unveils Reimagined Winter Season

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Toronto, December 8, 2020 … Today Tafelmusik unveiled its reimagined winter season, a lively mix of online performances, discussions, and videos that are part of an innovative process of reinvention and adaptation led by Music Director Elisa Citterio and Executive Director Carol Kehoe.

Headlined by pre-recorded programs that will be rehearsed and performed according to current public health guidelines, the winter digital season offers the beauty of Tafelmusik concerts while ensuring the health and safety of musicians and audiences.

Tafelmusik’s winter digital season retains the essence of Elisa Citterio’s artistic vision, and two new programs, Il Seicento and On the Road, will replace previously announced concerts requiring larger ensembles or international guests. Cancelled winter concerts include Bach’s Friends & Rivals with oboist Alfredo Bernardini; a Beethoven 250 celebration with keyboard virtuoso Kristian Bezuidenhout; and Birth of a Symphony,a multimedia creation by double bassist, conductor, and composer Vanni Moretto.

“The world has definitely changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, but we remain committed to sharing joy and comfort through our music and ongoing conversations,” said Music Director Elisa Citterio. “We know that music is a way to build bridges and engage audiences around the world and across a wide spectrum: music and the arts are, after all, an expression of our collective humanity and play an important role in our wellbeing.”

“The winter months will be challenging for all of us, and as our stages remain dark for the time being, we are so very grateful for our audience’s support and encouragement,” said Executive Director Carol Kehoe. “We are delighted to continue exploring filmed concerts as a way of bringing audiences digitally what we can’t bring live. Our investment in this new way of sharing music is just one of the ways we’re moving Tafelmusik forward through this uncertainty.”  

This is the second of several updates to be announced throughout the season as the circumstances around live performance evolve. Details about May and June Tafelmusik concerts and events will be announced in the Spring.

Detailed descriptions of Tafelmusik’s February to early April concerts can be found below and further season updates will be announced at a later date. High resolution images are available in Tafelmusik’s Media Room. Single tickets will be announced via email approximately three weeks before each event.


Il Seicento          NEW
February 18, 2021 at 8pm online
Elisa Citterio, director
Innovative music by trendsetting Italian composers who ushered in the new baroque style during the 1600s.

Join us as we explore the ambitious, experimental energy of the music scene in 17th-century Italy (Il Seicento), where the new baroque style was just starting to emerge. Curated entirely by Elisa Citterio, this program includes music by early innovators like Marini, Castello, Kapsperger, and Falconieri, who were at the vanguard of European musical trends. The music they composed was fresh, exhilarating, and daring in its use of free form and improvisation.

Pieces composed for one to seven musicians and scored for various combinations of strings, lute, harpsichord, and organ are woven together by improvisatory threads. Discover these intimate dialogues by 17th-century composers whose musical language leaves plenty of room for experimentation and dazzling ornamentation.

Reflections of Mary
March 11, 2021 at 8pm online
Ivars Taurins, director
Tafelmusik Chamber Choir

This luminous concert offers two composers’ takes on the Virgin Mary, sacred icon of motherhood and mercy.

The figure of Mary, mother of Jesus, is central to this program of French choral music spanning more than three centuries. The lyricism and expressive power of Charpentier’s final mass, Missa Assumpta est Maria, is paired with lustrous a cappella works by the 20th-century composer Poulenc. The tenderness of Poulenc’s sacred music holds a mirror to Charpentier’s expression of Marian devotion in this uplifting concert that signals spring and rebirth. 

Tafel Talks          Online panel discussion          NEW
March 2021 online
Emotional rescue: how choral singing enhances our wellbeing
Moderator: Cory Knight, member of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir
Panelists TBC

On the Road          NEW
April 8, 2021 at 8pm online

Join Tafelmusik for a guided tour of baroque Europe through a colourful array of chamber works.

We’ve missed touring so much in 2020 that we decided to create a program around the idea of a virtual road trip, European baroque style! Our itinerary includes stops in 17th- and 18th-century England, Germany, France, and Italy courtesy of chamber music by some of our favourite composers. Our musicians enhance this concert with their personal travel stories from past Tafelmusik tours.

On the Road evokes a quintessentially European baroque soundscape, from the theatres of London and the courts of Germany, to the refined elegance of Paris, and the shimmering beauty of Venice.


Subscriber lecture (for Premium subscribers):
The Influence of Bach’s 6 Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin
Cristina Zacharias, Tafelmusik violinist

Bach’s set of solo works for the violin are the Mount Everest for all violin players, a mountain we work on climbing for as long as we play the violin! Learn more about this beautiful, complex, virtuosic and ground-breaking collection of pieces, from a historical and performance-based perspective.

Subscriber Q&A (for Premium subscribers):
Music Director Elisa Citterioin conversation with charismatic Italian oboist Alfredo Bernardini.

Those who subscribed to the 2020/21 season before August 19, 2020 will be contacted by the Box Office in December to confirm winter status. Subscribers who have questions or 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 $113.

Tafelmusik’s Winter Season is presented by BMO Financial Group.


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.

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