Patron Message: COVID-19


Tafelmusik announces cancellation of remainder of 2019/20 season

May 15, 2020

With sadness and regret, we announce the cancellation of the remainder of Tafelmusik’s 2019/20 season due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Cancelled programs include the world premiere of an orchestral arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations by Elisa Citterio, April 22 to 28; Close Encounters: Café Vienna chamber music concert on May 9; A Handel Celebration, May 21 to 24 and its associated live concert recording; and the 19th annual Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, May 31 to June 13. The Café Paris chamber music concert on March 14, and performances of Bach’s St John Passion scheduled for March 26 to 29, were suspended in a previous announcement on March 13.

While Tafelmusik has a strong financial record, which, thanks to careful stewardship, has allowed us to remain debt-free for the past 20 years, this pandemic is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, and we are all feeling the impact of the daily, sometimes hourly, disruptions to our lives.
Cancelling the remainder of the season is no small sacrifice for any organization that relies on box office revenue to support a significant part of its operations. This was not an easy decision, but it was unanimously agreed that these steps are necessary in order to ensure the sustainability of Tafelmusik into the future and protect the work of core musicians and staff.

We are grateful for the leadership shown by our Board of Directors and Chair David Kilburn. We have committed to compensating core musicians beyond our contractual obligations for the cancelled performances through June 30. Staff continue to work remotely and will also be compensated through June 30. We and the Board of Directors are in ongoing talks to explore all available options as this situation progresses to help us weather this crisis together.

This is obviously an incredibly difficult time for the entire cultural sector, and everyone will be sharing some of the pain as we go forward. Tafelmusik and its core orchestra have worked together to provide a sustainable path for the organization and its core musicians through June 30 and we will continue to work together on a longer-term plan. —Patrick Jordan, Chair of the Tafelmusik Orchestra Committee.

Despite the considerable challenges from mandated social and physical distancing, on March 17 Tafelmusik launched #TafelmusikTogether, a new digital initiative created by Tafelmusik musicians and staff. Short solo performances and other artistic content is being shared daily from musicians’ living rooms, allowing Tafelmusik’s followers to gather virtually on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube to share moments of beauty and joy through music of the past.

We have been extremely moved to see the overwhelming public response to #TafelmusikTogether from new and existing followers. Of course, while digital performances help us all feel less isolated, the musicians deeply miss the public concert experience and the visceral connection to our audience and to each other when we are gathered under one roof. Though we will be deprived of live public concerts in the short term, we are doubly committed to sharing that precious experience with you once again during our 2020/21 season.

Ticket holders for Tafelmusik’s April and May concerts received detailed information on March 31, via email, regarding the option to donate the value of their tickets to Tafelmusik or receive a refund. Tafelmusik Box Office staff can be reached at Questions unrelated to tickets can be sent to

We have no doubt that with the ingenuity and imagination of our musicians, staff, and volunteers, we will create something viable for this new reality. Your generous support will ensure Tafelmusik’s sustainability: please consider making a donation today to the Keep Tafelmusik Together campaign online at or by email at

We invite you to share great music with us again in the future. If you have not yet subscribed for the 2020/21 season, we encourage you to do so now at

Thank you for your support. Please stay well, be kind, and take care of each other. We will get through this, and the best way is together.

Elisa Citterio
Music Director
Carol Kehoe
Executive Director


Ticket holders for Tafelmusik’s March concerts have received detailed information via email and/or phone regarding ticket donations, or refunds. Ticket holders for Tafelmusik’s April and May concerts received detailed information on March 31. All ticket policies are available and updated here. If you are unsure of what to do, please contact our Box Office at Questions unrelated to tickets can be sent to Inquiries about donations and tax receipts can be addressed to

More information:

From Health Canada:


From the Ontario Ministry of Health:

From Infection Prevention and Control:

From Toronto Public Health: