Mar 14, 2017

New Music for Old Instruments — Tafelmusik Embarks on Contemporary Music Adventure

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OPUS:Testing|Period Piece
Free Public Workshop on Sunday, March 26 at 7:30 PM

Toronto, March 14, 2017 … Tafelmusik is excited to be the first professional orchestra to embark on Opus:Testing |Period Piece, a project that cultivates and explores new music for old instruments, in collaboration with Musica Reflecta and the Canadian Music Centre. Opus: Testing | Period Piece features new compositions for a quartet of Tafelmusik musicians on period instruments, and culminates with a public workshop and discussion at the Canadian Music Centre onSunday, March 26 at 7:30 PM. The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required at

Eight Ontario-based composers have written original works for baroque quartet that have been inspired by personal objects — old pointe shoes, pressed wildflowers, childhood baroque dance shoes, marginalia from old books — from earlier periods in their lives. Through dialogue and collaboration with four members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and the creative team at Musica Reflecta, the composers are able to gain new skills and explore the soundworld of period instruments.

An ongoing project of Musica Reflecta and the Canadian Music Centre, Opus: Testing is an experimental safe space to try new things. Through regular workshops, musical creators are encouraged to expand their professional network and explore new territory in their writing.

“Opus:Testinggives emerging composers the chance to explore a different domain in their writing — in this case it’s the world of period instruments. We’re interested in working with composers who are intrigued by the possibilities, timbres, and textures that period instruments bring,” says Managing Director William Norris.  “This unusual meeting of genres that are so disparate in time makes for what promises to be a fascinating exploration.”

Tafelmusik Quartet Members
Patricia Ahern, violin; Marco Cera, oboe; Christopher Bagan, harpsichord; Allen Whear, cello

Participating Composers
Patrick Arteaga, Joshua Denenberg, Tova Kardonne, Patrick McGraw, Curtis Perry, Kristian Podlacha, Roydon Tse, Brenden Varty

Listing information:

Opus: Testing |Period Piece
A workshop presentation featuring new compositions for baroque quartet.
Co-presented by Musica Reflecta, Canadian Music Centre, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

Date: Sunday, March 26, 7:30pm
Venue: Canadian Music Centre, 20 St. Joseph Street
Admission: Free with pre-registration at


Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, founded as a registered charity in 1979, is one of the world’s leading period performance ensembles. In January 2017 the orchestra appointed violinist Elisa Citterio as Music Director, succeeding Jeanne Lamon, who stepped down in 2014 following a remarkable 33-year tenure that began in 1981. Lamon continues her association with Tafelmusik as Music Director Emerita. 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. Managing Director William Norris joined the Tafelmusik team in 2015.


Tafelmusik wishes to thank the following for their generous support: RBC Emerging Artists Project for its generous support of Tafelmusik Winter Institute; 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, Big Picture Communications, (416) 456-0499 |
427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7

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