Feb 5, 2014

Tafelmusik Announces its 2014/15 Season

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Toronto (Canada), February 5, 2014 … Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir today announced its 2014/2015 season, a thrilling moment in the life of the organization thanks to its newly revitalized home venue Jeanne Lamon Hall, ambitious national and international tours, a new multi-media concert creation by Alison Mackay, and appearances by internationally acclaimed guest artists including conductor Kent Nagano, who will direct the orchestra and choir in Toronto for the first time. In 2014/15, Canada’s most active touring orchestra will spend almost ten weeks on the road, travelling to Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Eastern Canada, and throughout Ontario. Tafelmusik will also launch Phase II of the renovations to its home venue at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. 
 
Celebrated guest artists joining Tafelmusik during the 2014/15 season include conductor Kent Nagano; violinists/guest directors Rodolfo Richter, Davide Monti, Pavlo Beznosiuk, and Amandine Beyer; and Tafelmusik’s own Aisslinn Nosky will appear as guest director in a programme featuring a new work commissioned from Canadian composer Michael Oesterle. Choral highlights with the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir include Beethoven’s Mass in C Major conducted by Kent Nagano, as well as Bach’s St. John Passion,  Vivaldi Gloria, Handel Coronation Anthems, and Handel’s Messiah and Sing-Along Messiah, all directed by Choir Director Ivars Taurins.
 
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.  
 
SEARCH FOR JEANNE LAMON’S SUCCESSOR AS MUSIC DIRECTOR
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. Tafelmusik’s music director search committee has combed Canada and the rest of the world to identify a shortlist of player/leader candidates who will work with the orchestra over the course of the coming season. Lamon will assume the role of Chief Artistic Advisor during the search process in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, and will work on developing the Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy (TIBA). Lamon will continue to perform with the orchestra for specific Toronto and touring programmes during the next two seasons, and will lead artistic planning until Tafelmusik’s new Music Director is appointed.  
 
VENUE REVITALIZATION PROJECT
In January 2013, Tafelmusik launched an ambitious $3 million project to revitalize Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall, its home performance venue since 1981. The two-phase project has been undertaken in partnership with long-time collaborator Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church, 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.  Phase One renovations were completed in September 2013 and included significant acoustical improvements, the installation of a permanent stage, and more comfortable seating. The Globe & Mail declared, “If a hall is the orchestra’s instrument, Tafelmusik has just traded the violin that your mom bought you for an Amati, if not a Stradivarius.” 
 
Phase Two of the project will see improvements to the lobby/narthex area, increased wheelchair accessibility, installation of lighting and safety equipment, and improvements to air circulation. Thanks to a $1 million lead gift from the Hon. Henry N.R. Jackman, a $500,000 matching contribution from The Cultural Spaces Canada programme of Canadian Heritage, and generous private and corporate contributions, the total revenue raised to date for both renovation phases is $2.75 million. The capital campaign will continue, in order to make the make the extensive plans for the next phase possible. 
 
OPERA ATELIER
Now in its 28th year, Tafelmusik’s partnership with Opera Atelier continues to flourish as the orchestra joins the company for its season at the Elgin Theatre. David Fallis conducts Handel’s Alcina (Oct 23–Nov 1, 2014), and Berlioz’s version of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice (Apr 9–Apr 18, 2015). 
 
TAFELMUSIK ON THE WORLD STAGE 
In 2014/15, Canada’s most active touring orchestra will spend almost ten weeks on the road, travelling to Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Eastern Canada, and throughout Ontario. 
 
Australia and New Zealand
In March 2015, Tafelmusik returns to Australia for a cross-country tour hosted by Musica Viva Australia. The orchestra performs its international co-production House of Dreams, the most recent of its signature, genre-defying concert experiences created by double-bassist Alison Mackay.
 
North American tours 
Tafelmusik takes its globetrotting sensation The Galileo Project — one of its most successful international exports — on tours across North America next season, from Houston to Halifax. From November 3 to 16, 2014, The Galileo Project returns to the United States for a tour including stops at Penn State University (State College, PA), Chicago, Kansas City, Houston, and Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), among other destinations. Following the U.S. leg of the tour, Tafelmusik heads down east for the first time in 12 years to perform concerts in Charlottetown, Fredericton, Antigonish, Wolfville, and Halifax. A co-production with the Banff Centre, The Galileo Project has been seen in South Korea (in Korean), Japan (in Japanese), Australia, New Zealand, China (in Mandarin), Malaysia, Mexico (in Spanish), Canada and the United States since its premiere in 2009. Closer to home, the orchestra makes its annual Ontario tour in February, 2015, and returns to the Stratford Summer Music Festival August 22 and 23, 2014. 
 
RECORDINGS
Since the launch of the Tafelmusik Media label in January 2012, Tafelmusik has released more than 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. Next month, Tafelmusik will release a new Beethoven set recorded live in concert at Koerner Hall under the direction of conductor Bruno Weil, featuring Symphonies nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, and the overtures to Coriolan and Prometheus. Other plans include a webcast of the world premiere of Aïga-Faros, a new work by Grégoire Jeay, and a special limited edition CD honouring Jeanne Lamon’s 33 years with Tafelmusik will be released in spring 2014.
 
TORONTO SEASON:
Tafelmusik launches the 2014/15 season at Koerner Hall with a festive programme guest directed by violinist Rodolfo Richter of the Academy of Ancient Music. Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks forms the backbone of this programme, which includes works by Corelli, Heinichen and Telemann, and features Richter as soloist in Vivaldi’s Concerto for violin in D Major, RV 208, “Il grosso mogul.” (Sept 18–21, 2014)
 
A singing gondolier, interpreted by renowned Italian actor Alessandro Bressanello, is Tafelmusik’s guide for The Canals of Venice, a tour of the glittering palaces and grand churches of La Serenissima. The programme features concertos by Albinoni, Marcello, and Vivaldi under the direction of Davide Monti — renowned Italian violinist “of the highest order” (L’Arena). (Oct 9–12 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall; Oct 14 at George Weston Recital Hall)
 
Pavlo Beznosiuk, the "phenomenally good baroque violinist" (Blog.codaex.de)  joins Tafelmusik as soloist and guest director for Theatre of Magic, an exploration of music for the English theatre with works by Boyce, Purcell, Locke, and Handel. The “radiantly sublime” (Los Angeles Times) soprano and rising opera star Joélle Harvey will be featured in excerpts from Handel’s opera Rinaldo. (Nov 20–23 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall)
 
Amandine Beyer, the “wonderfully expressive and sensitive violinist” (The Strad), is guest director for Music of the French Baroque, which includes music by Rameau, Corrette, Campra, and Leclair. Rebel’s Suite from Les Eléments, with its ground-breaking sounds of Chaos is the featured work on this programme. (Dec 4–7 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall)
 
Ivars Taurins directs Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir along with guest soloists mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne, tenor Colin Balzer, and baritone Brett Polegato at Koerner Hall for four performances of Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah. On December 21, 2014 Tafelmusik performs Sing-Along Messiah in grand style at Massey Hall. This cherished annual tradition is directed by Herr Handel himself dressed in full period garb. A DVD version of Sing-Along Messiah by Canada’s 90th Parallel Productions was released on the Tafelmusik Media label in 2012, as well as a two-CD recording of the complete Messiah. (Messiah: Dec 17-20, 2014 at Koerner Hall; Sing-Along Messiah: Dec 21, 2014 at Massey Hall)
 
The Grammy Award-winning, world-renowned conductor Kent Nagano renews his relationship with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir next season. Nagano will direct a powerful all-Beethoven programme that pairs Symphony no. 5, and the Mass in C Major featuring guest soloists soprano Nathalie Paulin, mezzo-soprano Laura Pudwell, tenor Lawrence Wiliford, and baritone Sumner Thompson at Koerner Hall. Since Tafelmusik’s 2009 “landmark performances” (Montreal Gazette) of Bach’s Mass in B Minor in collaboration with l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Maestro Nagano has invited Tafelmusik to collaborate with him for engagements at the Reate Festival in Italy, and for the inaugural gala concerts of Montreal’s Maison symphonique in 2011. These January 2015 Koerner Hall concerts mark the first time Nagano will conduct Tafelmusik in Toronto. (Jan 22–Jan 25, 2015 at Koerner Hall)
 
Alison Mackay’s House of Dreams wowed critics and audiences at its Toronto premiere in 2012, and garnered rave reviews from U.S. critics when Tafelmusik toured the programme last year to Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle, among other destinations. A CD/DVD version of House of Dreams —filmed in Toronto, London, and Venice — was recently released on the Tafelmusik Media label and has been nominated for a 2014 JUNO Award. Described as “an experience that transcends its many components to create a special, all-encompassing experience that makes one forget time and place for two bliss-filled hours” (Musical Toronto), House of Dreams returns to Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall in 2014/15. This fully memorized concert programme sees Tafelmusik musicians playing music by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell, and Marais against a backdrop of stunning images and paintings by Vermeer, Canaletto, and Watteau, while narrator Blair Williams weaves together the threads connecting each of the houses. (Feb 11–15 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall) 
 
A highlight of the 2014/15 season will be Tafelmusik’s performances of Bach’s St. John Passion, a profound work based on text from the gospel according to St John. Ivars Taurins directs Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, along with guest soloists soprano Julia Doyle, countertenor Daniel Taylor, tenor Charles Daniels, and baritone Peter Harvey. (Mar 19–22 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall)
 
Tafelmusik’s “supremely talented” violinist Aisslinn Nosky is guest director for Baroque Misbehaving, which features music by Purcell, Charpentier, Telemann, and a new commission from Canadian composer Michael Oesterle. The Boston Musical Intelligencer declared, “… with a shock of spiky red hair and the sexy athleticism of a rock star, [Nosky] has the chops that Eric Clapton would wish for on a good day.”  (Apr 23–26 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall ; Apr 26 at George Weston Recital Hall)
 
J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation is the latest multi-media creation from Tafelmusik’s Alison Mackay, who conceived and programmed the phenomenally successful The Galileo Project and House of Dreams. Directed by Jeanne Lamon, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation explores the legacy of the artisans — papermakers, violin carvers, string spinners, and performers— who helped J.S. Bach realize his musical genius. (May 6–10 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, May 12 at George Weston Recital Hall)
 
Tafelmusik’s 2014/15 subscription season wraps up with Vivaldi Gloria and Handel Coronation Anthems, featuring Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir under the direction of Ivars Taurins. Handel’s dazzling Coronation Anthems were composed for the crowning of King George II in 1727, and include The King shall rejoice, My heart is inditing, Let thy hand be strengthened, and Zadok the Priest. (May 27–31 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall)
 
Tafelmusik will also continue its tremendously successful 35 & Under membership programme, Tafelscene, which was launched in 2012.  Young audience members will continue to have the opportunity to attend concerts at discount prices, be invited to intimate intermission parties with Tafelmusik musicians, and gain access to a number of special events beyond the concert hall.  
 
ARTIST TRAINING
Tafelmusik continues to develop the next generation of local, national, and international musicians, together with the audiences that will support and appreciate their endeavours for decades to come. Now in its 13th year, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute (TBSI) organized by Charlotte Nediger offers advanced students, pre-professional, and professional musicians the opportunity to learn about period performance practice. The ancillary Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Festival includes a number of free community concerts in June. 
 
Last year, Tafelmusik launched the first phase of its Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy (TIBA) with artist training programmes such as the Tafelmusik Winter Institute in Toronto, and the Baroque Residency at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. As the Baroque Orchestra-in-Residence at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, Tafelmusik collaborates with Professor Daniel Taylor, Head of Early Music, to expand the school’s period performance programme. Jeanne Lamon will be dedicating her time in the future to the ongoing development of TIBA. The creation of TIBA has been made possible with a generous donation from past Tafelmusik Board Chair Lynn Haight.
 
As part of the Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy, the Baroque Mentors training programme will continue, allowing emerging artists to learn directly from Tafelmusik musicians and distinguished guest artists through university residencies and guest artist masterclasses. Many of the students reached through Baroque Mentors are being introduced to period performance for the first time, while experienced period players or singers are able to access training at the highest level. 
 
EDUCATION
Committed to building an international centre of musical excellence while making baroque and classical music fully relevant in a 21st-century context, Tafelmusik continues to develop and invest in ongoing music education and outreach programmes for music lovers of all ages. These include Baroque Education Day, the online Baroque Learning Centre with its curriculum-based study guides for teachers and students, Free Education Concerts and in-school visits, and interactive educational web games. On tour, Tafelmusik animates smaller communities with live performances, education and artist training, and provides study guides and other tools to open doors for continued exploration long after the applause has ended. 
 
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Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, founded in 1979 and led by Music Director Jeanne Lamon since 1981, is one of the world’s leading period performance ensembles. The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, under the direction of Ivars Taurins, was formed in 1981 to complement the Orchestra. The orchestra performs more than 50 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 digital concert hall. Tafelmusik has a rich discography of more than 80 CDs 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 its annual artist training programmes, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and Tafelmusik Winter Institute.
 
Season sponsors
For media information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 
Luisa Trisi, Media Relations Manager, Big Picture Communications 
tel: 416 481-1161 | e-mail: ltrisi@sympatico.ca
High-resolution photos of Tafelmusik and guest artists will be available for download in the Media Room at www.tafelmusik.org