Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
CONTACT INFORMATION427 Bloor St West Box 14
Toronto, ON M5S 1X7
Primary Contact Person:
TYPE OF ORGANIZATIONPerforming Ensemble
Tafelmusik, Canada’s award-winning orchestra on period instruments, has become an internationally recognized ensemble lauded by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the world’s top baroque orchestras.” Founded in 1979 by Kenneth Solway and Susan Graves, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra was under the inspired leadership of Music Director Jeanne Lamon from 1981 to 2014. She assumes the role of Chief Artistic Advisor during the search for her successor 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.
With its artist-focused mandate and commitment to excellence and innovation, Tafelmusik is known around the world for its creative, innovative new contexts for the performance of baroque and classical music.
At the heart of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is a group of seventeen remarkably talented, enthusiastic, and dynamic permanent members, each of whom is a specialist in historical performance practice. Their collaboration results in a delightful transparency, vitality, and richness of sound, which has garnered acclaim around the world. The musicians participate on many levels, whether as core members, soloists, or contributors to the exceptionally creative programming ideas that bring Tafelmusik concerts to life and make them fully relevant in a 21st-century context.
In January 2012, Tafelmusik launched its own independent label, Tafelmusik Media, which encompasses new digital, live performance, studio CD and DVD recordings, and re-releases of previous Tafelmusik recordings from SONY Classical and CBC Records. The Watch and Listen site, launched as the precursor for Tafelmusik’s future digital concert hall, features excerpts from recent releases, including films from the House of Dreams DVD, and audio tracks from Beethoven Symphonies 1–4. Tafelmusik Media recordings are distributed by Naxos USA and Naxos Global Logistics.
The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, specializing in baroque and classical performance practice, was formed in 1981 to complement the orchestra. Under the direction of Ivars Taurins, the choir was awarded the Healey Willan Prize in 1991 and has been described as “the best period-performance choir anywhere in the world” (The Globe and Mail).
The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir has made several critically acclaimed recordings, including Gloria in Excelsis Deo released on CBC Records in 2007 in celebration of the choir’s 25th anniversary season, and a live-concert CD of Handel’s Messiah recorded in 2011 at Koerner Hall, which was nominated for a 2013 JUNO Award. Tafelmusik’s annual performances of Messiah and Sing-Along Messiah have become an established part of Toronto's holiday tradition. In September 2011, the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir appeared with Kent Nagano and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal at the inaugural concerts of La Maison symphonique de Montréal. This performance of Beethoven Symphony no. 9 was recorded and has been released on CD by Analekta.