Feb 11, 2013

Tafelmusik Announces the 2013/2014 Season


Toronto (Canada), February 12, 2013 … Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir today announced the details of its 2013/2014 season, a year of important milestones for the organization, including the inaugural concerts in the newly enhanced acoustics of the orchestra’s home venue of Trinity-St. Paul’s, and Jeanne Lamon’s final season as full-time Music Director. Tafelmusik’s international reach will extend further than ever before, thanks to an extensive touring season that takes the orchestra to South Korea, Versailles, Carnegie Hall, Stratford Summer Music, and BachFest Leipzig, as well as to Japan with a new Japanese-language version of The Galileo Project featuring actor Seiji Fukushi. CD/DVD releases on the Tafelmusik Media label next season include Alison Mackay’s multimedia House of Dreams programme filmed by 90th Parallel Productions, and Beethoven Symphonies 1-4 with conductor Bruno Weil. Tafelmusik will also launch the first phase of the Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy (TIBA) with artist training activities in Toronto and Seoul, South Korea.

Celebrated guest artists joining Tafelmusik during the 2013/14 season include fortepianist and guest director Kristian Bezuidenhout — “Mozart reincarnated” (De Telegraaf), soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, conductor Bruno Weil, and guest directors/violinists Manfredo Kramer and Stefano Montanari. Aruna Narayan Kalle, sarangi, Wen Zhao, pipa, and Inuit throat singers Aqsarniit join the orchestra for a remount of Alison Mackay’s The Four Seasons: A Cycle of the Sun, which includes a section scored by Golden Globe Award-winning composer Mychael Danna. Jeanne Lamon has commissioned flutist and composer Grégoire Jeay to write a work for the orchestra’s Intimately Bach programme. Choral highlights include two Handel masterpieces: Messiah and Sing-Along Messiah, and the epic oratorio Saul with the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir led by Choir Director Ivars Taurins. A musical tribute by orchestra members celebrating Jeanne Lamon’s 33 seasons at the helm of Tafelmusik wraps up the Toronto concert season.

In addition to concerts performed in its home venue, Tafelmusik returns to Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning for a number of programmes, and continues a three-concert series at the George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts.  Tafelmusik is grateful for the continued support of its Season Presenting Sponsor Sun Life Financial.

In October 2012 Jeanne Lamon, Music Director of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir since 1981, announced that she would step down as full-time music director at the conclusion of the 2013/14 season. Her remarkable 33-season tenure at the helm of one of Canada’s most successful international performing arts organizations will be celebrated in a special series of concerts in May 2014. Tafelmusik has engaged consultants Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates and has formed a search committee to assist in the process of appointing Tafelmusik’s next Music Director. Jeanne Lamon will assume the role of Music Director Emerita and will continue to work on developing the Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy (TIBA). Beyond May 2014, Lamon will perform with the orchestra for specific Toronto and tour programmes, and will continue to lead artistic planning until Tafelmusik’s new music director is appointed. 

"It is with excitement and a touch of sadness that I anticipate my last season as full-time music director of Tafelmusik. I have enjoyed more than thirty years in that position, watching the organization leap from one accomplishment to the next, picking up momentum at each turn. From the Sony recording contract signed in 1990 to the launch of our own Tafelmusik Media label, and from pasting posters on lamp-posts to our very active social media activity online, we have always kept our core values of artistic integrity at heart, no matter what the external changes,” says Jeanne Lamon. “The 2013/14 season is vintage Tafelmusik, with some of our favourite guests artists returning to perform with us. I am especially excited by the live recording of Beethoven symphonies 1 and 2 under Bruno Weil at Koerner Hall, almost completing our Beethoven cycle. Our June 2014 tour to BachFest Leipzig, the world’s most important international Bach festival, is going to be very special. And the final concert of the Toronto season, my celebration, with its musical contributions from the audience and from many of our musicians, promises to be a very moving one for me,” says Lamon. 

Tafelmusik recently launched an ambitious $3 million project to revitalize Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, its home performance venue since 1981. The two-phase project is being undertaken in partnership with long-time collaborators Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church and the Toronto Consort, and will help usher in Tafelmusik’s vision of becoming a global centre of excellence in period performance, while preserving the 125-year-old building’s sacred and historic character.  With Phase One renovations slated to begin in June 2013, the revitalization project was kick-started with a pledge of up to $500,000 in matching funds from Heritage Canada. Renovations include acoustical improvements, the installation of a permanent stage, and more comfortable seating. Phase One will be completed in September 2013, and Tafelmusik’s first performances in the newly-enhanced acoustics will take place October 3 to 6, 2013.

Tafelmusik maintains a rigorous schedule of prestigious touring engagements, spending an average of 7 to 12 weeks each season on the road with annual tours. 2013/14 sees the orchestra travel to Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, the United States, as well as centres around Ontario:  

Japan and South Korea Tour with new Japanese version of The Galileo Project
Tafelmusik’s creative multidisciplinary concerts continue to delight audiences around the world, and the 2013/14 season is no exception. From November 12 to 25, 2013, the orchestra tours Japan and South Korea with The Galileo Project — one of Tafelmusik’s most successful international exports — in a new Japanese-language version featuring Japanese actor Seiji Fukushi. A co-production with the Banff Centre, The Galileo Project has been seen in Australia and New Zealand, China (in Mandarin), Malaysia, Mexico (in Spanish), Canada and the United States since its premiere in 2009. The tour is followed by a Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy residency at the Hanyang University, Seoul, with members of the orchestra as faculty.

Carnegie Hall
Tafelmusik returns to New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall on March 17, 2014 with a mixed baroque programme including music by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Marais and Veracini.  Tafelmusik’s Carnegie Hall debut in 2009 was followed by a second sold-out concert in 2011 that garnered praise from The New York Times: “Tafelmusik mixed insight, assurance and visceral engagement in works to show stylistic cross-pollination among Baroque composers.”

BachFest Leipzig, Germany
Tafelmusik concludes its 2013/14 touring season in June 2014 with a prestigious debut as Orchestra-in-Residence at BachFest Leipzig, in Bach’s historic home city. Tafelmusik will perform works by J.S. Bach and C.P.E. Bach, and one of the concerts will take place in Thomaskirche (St. Thomas’s Church) in Leipzig, where Bach worked as cantor for more than 25 years, and which currently houses the great composer’s remains.

Canadian Tours
On August 17 and 18, 2013, Tafelmusik performs two all-Bach programmes including the Wedding and Peasant Cantatas at Stratford Summer Music. From February 6 to 13, 2014, Tafelmusik reconnects with Vesuvius Ensemble (Francesco Pellegrino, Marco Cera, and Lucas Harris, with special guest Ben Grossman) to bring their delightful Bella Napoli programme across Ontario. Bella Napoli is an “utterly beguiling … fusion of art and folk music” (Musical Toronto) that celebrates the musical richness — classical and traditional — of Naples and southern Italy.

Since the launch of the Tafelmusik Media label in January 2012, Tafelmusik has released close to a dozen highly-acclaimed albums, including live performance, studio CD and DVD recordings, and re-releases of previous Tafelmusik recordings from SONY Classical and CBC Records. In 2013/14, Tafelmusik will release two new recordings: a Beethoven set recorded live in concert at Koerner Hall under the direction of conductor Bruno Weil, and featuring Symphonies nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, and three Beethoven overtures, Egmont, Coriolan, and Prometheus; and a CD/DVD set of Alison Mackay’s stunning multimedia exploration of art, architecture and music, House of Dreams, filmed by producer Gordon Henderson of 90th Parallel Productions, and directed by Marc Stone. These recordings will be available on a variety of streamed and downloadable digital internet platforms.

Read the full press release