Mar 10, 2016

French Harpsichordist Benjamin Alard Makes Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Debut with Bach’s Goldberg Variations

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Toronto, March 10, 2016 … The brilliant young French harpsichordist Benjamin Alard makes his  Tafelmusik debut in a series of all-Bach concerts from March 31 to April 3 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall, and April 5 at George Weston Recital Hall.

This intimately-scaled programme features Alard performing Bach’s masterpiece for solo harpsichord, the Goldberg Variations, and Grégoire Jeay in the Allemande from the Partita in A Minor for solo flute. Jeay is joined by Jeanne Lamon, violin, and Christina Mahler, cello, for the Trio Sonata in C Minor from The Musical Offering, a work composed for Frederick the Great of Prussia.

Benjamin Alard will lead a Guest Artist Masterclass on Saturday, April 2 at 11:00 am at Jeanne Lamon Hall. The masterclass is open to the public and admission is free. A Tafelscene 35 & Under Intermission Party takes place later that evening and is free with the purchase of a concert ticket.

The Goldberg Variations ranks among the most important and ambitious works ever composed for the harpsichord, demanding a high level of artistry and technical virtuosity from the performer. “Bach’s oeuvre is immense and can be approached in many different ways. The Goldberg Variations are very well known, perhaps overly so. To approach them in a wholesome way, one must detach oneself from all other versions, as beautiful as they might be,” says Alard about performing this masterwork. “It’s the problem with any other well-known work, like a painting for instance. One must forget it, go look somewhere else, and then come back to it.”

Tafelmusik harpsichordist Charlotte Nediger speaks to the important position the work holds in the classical music canon, saying, “In the Goldberg Variations we have a piece that, in many ways, is the perfect balance between art and science. Theorists can spend years analyzing the work and its implications. Keyboard players can spend a lifetime exploring its endless facets. Music lovers can listen to it for their souls’ delight.”

Born in Rouen in 1985, Benjamin Alard began studying piano at the age of seven. He later took up the organ and the harpsichord, and his passion for early music led him to the Schola Cantorum in Basel. Alard won first prize at the 2004 Bruges International Harpsichord Competition, and the 2007 Gottfried Silbermann Organ Competition in Freiberg.

As a recitalist on both harpsichord and organ, Benjamin Alard has performed in festivals and venues around the world. A member of the baroque orchestra La Petite Bande since 2005, he also performs chamber music with violinist François Fernandez, with the brothers Barthold, Sigiswald, and Wieland Kuijken, and in a harpsichord duo with Élisabeth Joyé. He is organist at Saint-Louis-en l’Île in Paris, and oversees Claviers en l’île, an annual series of keyboard concerts dedicated to the music of J.S. Bach. His recordings include the Andreas Bach Buch, the Bauyn Manuscript, J.S. Bach Organ Trio Sonatas, and the first two parts of Bach’s Clavierübung.

Listing Information:

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra presents Bach Goldberg Variations with Benjamin Alard, harpsichord

Full Programme:

Bach | Partita in A Minor for solo flute, BWV 1013: Allemande
Bach | Trio Sonata in C Minor from The Musical Offering, BWV 1079
Bach | Goldberg Variations

Dates + Times:

Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall
Thu Mar 31, Fri Apr 1, Sat Apr 2, 2016 at 8pm
Sun Apr 3 at 3:30pm

George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts
Tue Apr 5 at 8pm

Ticket Prices:

TSP: Reg: Start at $40| 65+: Start at $37 | Tafelscene (35 & Under): $20 - $83
TCA: Reg: Start at $37 | 65+: Start at $32 | Tafelscene (35 & Under): $15 - $70


Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall, 427 Bloor St. W.
George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts 5040 Yonge St.

Box Office:

Trinity-St. Paul’s 416.964.6337
George Weston Recital Hall Box Office: 1.855.985.2787




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