Are you new to classical music events in Toronto and online? Not sure what to expect from a baroque orchestra? Or how to enjoy our music online? This guide — a 101 to experiencing baroque music, with Tafelmusik and beyond — will explain what you need to know.
Baroque 101 for first-timers
What is baroque music? details
Baroque music was composed between about 1600 and 1750. Some of the more famous baroque composers include Bach, Vivaldi and Handel. It's the core of our repertoire, but we also perform classical (from about 1730 to 1820, including the music of Mozart) and early romantic music. Baroque music can involve improvisation, small or large groups of players, and sometimes instruments rarely seen (like the theorbo and cornetto).
What makes Tafelmusik different from a large symphony orchestra? details
Tafelmusik is a chamber-sized orchestra, which means you'll usually see 15 to 20 musicians on stage, although this number can vary a lot. For baroque orchestral programs, we are usually directed by a violinist. For programs with our choir, and for later classical/romantic programs, we work with a conductor. The orchestra plays on period instruments — the instruments for which the music was written (some are over 300 years old!) — and according to historical performance practices (i.e. the style at the time). The Tafelmusik experience is often described as more intimate than a regular symphony orchestra.
Where does Tafelmusik perform? details
We are based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and often tour nationally and internationally. Live performances are currently on hold due to COVID-19, but we are still offering a full seasons of digital concerts. You can continue to view past performance videos on our YouTube channel or consider joining us for a main season digital concert. And please keep an eye out for announcements about live concerts!
How can I learn more about baroque music and Tafelmusik? details
You can find out more about the Orchestra and Choir in our About section. Read our blog to learn more about what we do, and visit our YouTube channel and Spotify to listen and watch — there are videos, interviews, and whole albums for you to check out. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to hear about what we’re up to.
Digital concert hall questions
What do I need to know about your digital concerts? details
The great thing about digital concerts is that you control the venue: join us in your PJs with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine), have a physically-distant watch party with your friends and family, or just sit back with your headphones and enjoy the music. Depending on your ticket’s extended access, you can watch at night, during your lunch break, or over dinner — it’s up to you!
Review our handy guide, How-to-Access, for tips and best practices to get the most out of your digital concert experience. Log on a few minutes early, or better yet, try out our test showcase found here (password 12345) to make sure your audio and video are working properly before the event.
How can I purchase tickets? details
Our Digital Season Pass and single tickets for our concerts are available online, and if you’re having trouble purchasing you can call our Box Office for assistance at 1 (833) 964-6337 or email email@example.com. Click here to read our ticket policies.
How do I get my tickets? details
Tickets to our digital concerts are sent by email, in most cases as a link and password. We’ll also include the link and password in your order confirmation (your receipt) so you’ll have it right away.
How long can I watch a concert for? details
With our Digital Season Pass, you get to watch all the concerts from their premiere time up until August 31, 2022. Buy a General ticket and you get to watch the concert for its premiere; buy a Standard ticket and you get 48 hours (2 days); and a Deluxe ticket gets you 7 days (one week).
What happens if I join the concert after it starts? details
Don’t worry if you sign on after the concert begins — with a Deluxe or General ticket you’ll be able to watch it from the beginning after the premiere concludes (and with a Digital Season Pass you can watch as often as you want!). In most cases, you can find this link in your information email, and we’ll also send it to you after the premiere.
What if my internet goes down during a concert or the technology doesn’t work? details
How do I know which pieces are being played? details
You can find the full listing on the concert page on our website, and our digital concerts have title cards, listing the repertoire and composer. We’ll also send you a link to the program listing in your concert information email, which is sent two days before the concert.
How do I get a program? details
You’ll receive your digital house program by email on the day the concert premieres.
What is the length of a typical Tafelmusik performance? details
Most Tafelmusik digital performances are around 70 minutes. If you check the concert page on the website, we’ll list our best estimate.
Is there an intermission? details
Most of our digital programs don’t feature an intermission.
When will you start performing for a live audience again? details
We’re carefully planning the best way to keep sharing our music, and keeping a close eye on public health information. As soon as we’re able, we’ll announce live concerts and our protocols to keep you safe, as well as how to buy tickets and everything else you need to know. Watch for an announcement in your inbox!
Support and donation questions
I love Tafelmusik – can I help out more? details
There are many ways to help:
Donate: Tafelmusik is a Canadian charitable organization whose resources are used entirely to advance the education of music of the past. We rely on donations from our community to make our activities possible. Click here to help us keep sharing beauty and joy through music.
Volunteer: while our volunteer program is suspended due to COVID-19, we accept applications year-round, and offer many exciting positions. Click here to find out more.
When can I expect my tax receipt? details
Thank you for donating! Charitable tax receipts are emailed regularly. If you’d like to receive yours by standard mail, just let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Who do I ask if I have a question about the concert, the music, or the instruments? details
We’re so happy you have questions! Email email@example.com and we’ll do our best to get you answers — our musicians and staff keen to keep the conversation going.
I want to give the gift of baroque music. Can I buy a gift card? details
We are so glad to hear it! Click here to purchase a gift card. Gift cards are available in any dollar amount of your choosing.
Upon purchasing your gift card, you will receive a confirmation email which contains a 10 character code. Please retain this code for your reference: this is what you will use to redeem a purchase in future.
Is this a gift for someone else? Forward your confirmation email to your gift recipient, who can use the 10 character code to make a purchase of their choice.
To redeem a gift card code, please follow the below instructions:
Why am I not receiving your emails? details
Depending on your email host or filters, sometimes our emails end up in a promotions, junk, or spam folder. Try searching “Tafelmusik” across all your folders, and be sure to mark firstname.lastname@example.org as “safe.” If our emails still aren’t coming through, contact our Box Office and we’ll be happy to help email@example.com
How can I buy a CD? details
Through our in-house record label, Tafelmusik Media, we have produced a catalogue of award-winning recordings which have garnered nine JUNOs, and numerous other recording prizes. You can find a full list of our recordings here, and stream our music on Spotify, Apple Music, Primephonic, and more. Because of the pandemic, we have suspended internal merchandise sales. However, many of our albums are available for purchase from other retailers online!
I heard you’re re-releasing your album of the music of Joseph Bologne. Why? details
In 2003, Tafelmusik recorded an album devoted to the music of Joseph Bologne, titled “Le Mozart Noir”. A subsequent re-release of the same album, in 2016, featured abstracted, stylized artwork which obscured and erased Bologne's face. We recognize that by using the title "Le Mozart Noir", and by using artwork which depicts the composer with an abstracted blank face, we have contributed to and facilitated the erasure of Joseph Bologne and his legacy. We regret, and apologize for, these actions. With the goal of properly centring Bologne's achievements, this recording has been reissued under a new title, The Music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Newly commissioned album artwork by Toronto painter Gordon Shadrach and an essay by American conductor and Bologne scholar Marlon Daniel accompany the re-release, in order to properly depict Bologne. Learn more about this project here.
We are committed to keeping us all safe. Read our Health and Safety Policy here.
Music Director of Tafelmusik (1981 to 2014), Jeanne Lamon was praised for her virtuosity and strong musical leadership.