Apr 25, 2013

Jeanne Lamon receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Toronto Musicians’ Association

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Jeanne Lamon, Music Director of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, is the recipient of a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Toronto Musicians’ Association (TMA). The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a 20+ year TMA member who has demonstrated significant achievement in the areas of musical excellence, music education and/or public service through music, and whose contribution to the musical community has received significant public recognition. Past recipients include Guido Basso, Howard Cable, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Andrea Hansen, Tommy Hunter, Jacques Israelievitch, Gordon Lightfoot, Moe Koffman, Joe Macerollo, Anne Murray and Phil Nimmons. 

"For me, it is always the most significant of honours when it comes from my peers. Only a musician can truly understand the work of another one, so this award from the TMA is extremely touching,” said Jeanne Lamon. “It is hugely wonderful to share this award with such an impressive list of previous winners. If I have achieved anything significant, I have not done so alone. Tafelmusik's success is entirely due to my colleagues in the orchestra who must be the most positive, talented and intelligent people on earth. Together we have built a unique and happy environment where music-making can thrive." 
Under Lamon’s artistic direction since 1981, Tafelmusik has achieved an enviable international stature and is considered “one of the world’s top baroque orchestras” (Gramophone Magazine). During Lamon’s tenure, Tafelmusik has grown from its modest beginnings to the world-renowned, cutting-edge period ensemble it is today, reaching millions of people through extensive touring, critically-acclaimed recordings, broadcasts, new media, and artistic/community partnerships. 
“Jeanne’s talent, passion, determination, and leadership ability allowed her to gather a critical mass of people with a common goal, whom she guided to become greater than the sum of its parts. That is truly a lifetime achievement,” remarked Jim Biros, Executive Director of the TMA. 
“It is leaders like Jeanne whose skills and vision create the institutions in our city that we as musicians depend upon for sustenance, both financial and — much more importantly — musical. Musicians are by nature dreamers, and we strive to communicate great ideas and emotions with notes. Some musicians, like Jeanne Lamon, are dreamers who cause their dreams to come true, and we are better for having them in our midst,” he said. “Thank you Jeanne, and congratulations on an exceptional journey!”
Described as "a toweringly influential figure in the musical life of Canada" by the Canada Council for the Arts, Jeanne Lamon began to specialize in baroque violin in the early 1970s, during her studies in Amsterdam with Sigiswald Kuijken. From 1972 to 1981 she was engaged as concertmaster of many period orchestras, both European and North American, and in 1980, Lamon was invited to Toronto by Tafelmusik’s founders, Kenneth Solway and Susan Graves, and was appointed Music Director in 1981. 
In 2000, Lamon was named to the Order of Canada. She has won numerous other awards and distinctions, including honorary degrees from York University and Mount Saint Vincent University, the Muriel Sherrin Award, the Prix Alliance, the Joan Chalmers Award, the Canada Council's Molson Prize, the Toronto Musicians’ Association’s Musician of the Year Award, the Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition, and the Betty Webster Award for Musical Leadership. 
Late last year, Lamon announced that she plans to step down from her role as full-time music director in 2014, ending what will be a remarkable 33-year tenure at the helm of one of Canada’s most successful international performing arts organizations. Lamon will assume the role of Music Director Emerita and will continue to work on the creation of the Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy.