Single Tickets Now Available to Toronto Bach Festival May 13-15
– Artists announced with return to live concerts
“Without doubt, the Toronto Bach Festival is an artistic entity that ought to have many more seasons ahead.” – James Wegg Review
“Intimate performance, incredibly well-executed.” – Wholenote Magazine
April 4, 2022 (Toronto, ON) // Toronto Bach Festival Artistic Director John Abberger has announced the full artistic line-up for the 2022 Toronto Bach Festival, with four concerts set to grace Toronto stages with the incomparable works of baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach. The Toronto Bach Festival is delighted to welcome back current and new audiences in this celebratory season, with single tickets and Festival Passes now available for purchase.
With a return to live and in-person events, the 2022 Festival includes:
- Brilliant Brandenburg, the Festival opener featuring the Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, Concerto for Oboe, and Concerto for Flute, Violin, and Harpsichord.
- A triumphant Festival closing performance of Bach’s Easter Oratorio, as well as the Ascension Oratorio with choir and orchestra.
- The Toronto Bach Festival debut of international star John Butt, one of the foremost Bach interpreters of our time. Butt will conduct the Festival closing performance of Easter Oratorio, and also give a special Noon-hour Organ Recital at the beautiful venue of St. Andrew’s Church in downtown Toronto. He will also be giving a special public lecture titled ‘Bach the Dramatist’ before our closing show.
- Stellar vocal soloists for the Festival closing performance, including Ellen McAteer, Daniel Taylor, Charles Daniels, and Jonathon Adams.
- All six of Bach’s virtuosic Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, with performances spread between violinists Patricia Ahern, Julia Wedman, Cristina Zacharias, and Valerie Gordon – works Abberger describes as “unusually passionate for the period, technically challenging, and almost orchestral in their rich palette of musical colours.”From Artistic Director John Abberger – “It is with a great deal of excitement that I announce the next live version of the Toronto Bach Festival. A series of linked events is the core of the artistic vision for the festival, and there is no substitute for a festival of live events. After two years of pandemic related cancellations and shutdowns, and many months of optimistic planning, I am especially pleased to announce that the theme of this year’s festival will be one of celebration and joy as we return to live concerts.”
In addition to performing outstanding individual concerts, the Toronto Bach Festival offers a unique immersive ‘Bach Weekend’ experience. Purchasing a Festival Pass is the best and most affordable way to experience the entire Festival line-up, with savings of over 10% over single tickets. Single tickets are also now available.
A majority of concerts will be occurring at Eastminster United Church, a founding partner of the Multifaith Commons made up of the Danforth Jewish Circle, East End United, and the Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation. The Festival is delighted to be partnering with this cultural hub in the east end of Toronto.
Featured Artists (the entire line up and complete biographies can be found at https://www.torontobachfestival.org/artists)
John Abberger – Artistic Director and Oboe
John Abberger, one of North America’s leading performers on historical oboes, is principal oboist with Tafelmusik and the American Bach Soloists (San Francisco). He has performed extensively in North America, Europe and the Far East with these ensembles, and appears regularly with other prominent period-instrument ensembles, including Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Voltaire, Handel and Haydn Society, and Boston Baroque. His recording of the Concerto for Oboe by Alessandro Marcello with Tafelmusik was glowingly reviewed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the best there is” and “alone worth the price of the disc, even if you have other versions.” In addition to many recordings with Tafelmusik and other period instrument ensembles, he has produced and recorded two discs of concertos and suites by J.S. Bach. Released on the Analekta label, the recordings have received much critical acclaim, including selection as CD of the Month by the German magazine Toccata/Alte Musik Actuell for the recording of orchestral suites. John serves on the faculty at the University of Toronto, and has taught at the City College of New York. A native of Orlando, Florida, he received his training at the Juilliard School and Louisiana State University. In addition, he holds a Performers Certificate in Early Music from New York University.
John Butt – Conductor, Organ, and Lecturer
John Butt is Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow, musical director of Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort and a Principal Artist with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. As an undergraduate at Cambridge University, he held the office of organ scholar at King’s College. His books have been published by Cambridge University Press: these include Bach Interpretation (1990), a handbook on Bach’s Mass in B Minor (1991), Music Education and the Art of Performance in the German Baroque (1994). Playing with History (2002) marked a new tack, examining the broad culture of historically informed performance and attempting to explain and justify it as a contemporary phenomenon. With the Dunedin Consort he has made multiple appearances at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh Festival. As guest conductor he has worked with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and The Royal Academy of Music Bach Cantata series. John Butt also continues to be active as a solo organist and harpsichordist. His discography includes eleven recordings on organ and harpsichord for Harmonia Mundi (which began during his time as University Organist and Professor of Music at UC Berkeley), and sixteen recent recordings for Linn Records.
Jonathon Adams – bass
Born in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, Canada), Jonathon Adams is an Indigenous (Cree-Métis) baritone. In concert, they have appeared as a soloist with Sigiswald Kuijken, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Philippe Herrewghe, Philippe Pierlot and the Ricercar Consort, Václav Luks, Ensemble BachPlus, Vox Luminis, il Gardellino, and B’Rock Orchestra at Opera-Ballet Flanders. In 2021 Jonathon was named the first ever artist-in-residence at Early Music Vancouver. Future solo engagements include performances with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra under Masaaki Suzuki, Quicksilver Baroque Ensemble, il Gardellino, Les Voix Humaines, Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, Servir Antico and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. Jonathon is a featured soloist in the film MESSIAH / COMPLEX produced by Against the Grain Theatre and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Patricia Ahern – violin
Patricia Ahern was educated at Northwestern University, Indiana University, and the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland. She taught baroque violin at the Freiburg Conservatory in Germany and Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute, and has given masterclasses at McGill, York University, Wilfrid Laurier, University of Windsor, Western University, University of Toronto, University of Wisconsin, Grand Valley State University, California State University Long Beach, Sookmyung Women’s University (Seoul), and the Sydney Conservatorium (Australia). She has concertized throughout Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America, and has performed with Milwaukee Baroque, Ars Antigua, Chicago Opera Theater, Toronto Consort, Aradia, I Furiosi, Newberry Consort, Musica Pacifica, and the Carmel Bach Festival. Tricia has recorded for Sony, Naxos, and Analekta, and joined Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in 2002.
Christopher Bagan – harpsichord
Christopher Bagan is a versatile artist, equally at home on modern and historical keyboard instruments. He is in high demand as a collaborator, chamber musician and basso continuo specialist. He has performed with many of the leading baroque singers, instrumentalists and conductors in North America and abroad with recent engagements including appearances with I Furiosi, Apollo’s Fire, Les Dèlices, Catacoustic Consort, Daniel Taylor and Ellen Hargis. He is a regular performer in the Early Music Vancouver main series and Summer Festival as well as Vancouver’s Music on Main concert series. In 2015-16 Christopher was the Early Keyboard instructor at Case Western Reserve University and the head of Harpsichord at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is harpsichordist for the Canadian Opera Company and Opera Atelier and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of British Columbia with a specialization in the piano music of Arnold Schönberg.
Charles Daniels – tenor
British tenor Charles Daniels is a well-known interpreter of Baroque music, but his narrative gifts have been praised for music from Machault to the contemporary. Born in Salisbury, he was a chorister and Choral Scholar at King’s College Cambridge, then studied under Edward Brooks at the Royal College of Music. His extensive discography includes Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with Andrew Parrott, Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with the Bach-Stiftung, Handel’s Messiah, Schütz’ Weihnachtshistorie and Monteverdi’s Vespers with the Gabrieli Consort, Wojciech Kilar’s Missa Pro Pace with the Warsaw Philharmonic, The Beggar’s Opera, much Purcell and Bach, and more intimate discs such as Senfl Tenorlied with Fretwork, Heracleitus with the Bridge Quartet, and Lambert airs with Fred Jacobs. His concert appearances span the intimate and the grand, from a BBC Radio 3 recital with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny and touring the domestic music of J.S. Bach with the Nederlandse Bach Verenging, to BBC Promenade concerts, Luigi Nono’s Canti di Vita e Amore (Edinburgh Festival), Handel’s Messiah in Vienna with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Britten’s War Requiem (Canterbury, Salisbury) and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius (Wroclaw, Cardiff, Warsaw).
Grégoire Jeay – flute
Grégoire Jeay, specialized in baroque flute, performs regularly in concert in Quebec and Canada, and has played in France, Belgium, Mexico, Turkey, England and the United States. He is recognized for his musicality and expressiveness but also for his sense of ornamentation and improvisation. His virtuosity on the flute is also transposed on the recorder and also on several countries’ flutes. In addition to Baroque music, he is interested in medieval music, Irish, Arab-Andalusian, Sephardic, and participated in several concerts and recordings with ensembles specialized in this music (La Mandragore, Constantinople, Skye Consort, La Nef). He performs and records regularly with musicians, singers and conductors recognized internationally, including: Tafelmusik (Toronto), Les Idées Heureuses, Theatre of Early Music, Les Voix Humaines, Karina Gauvin, Suzie Leblanc, Emma Kirkby, Marie-Josée Lord, Hélène Guilmette, Dan Taylor, Luc Beauséjour, Myriam Leblanc, Hendrik Bouman, Simon Standage, Sylvain Bergeron and many others.
Ellen McAteer – soprano
Ottawa-born soprano Ellen McAteer has been praised for her “brilliant, clear soprano” (New York Arts) and has been described as a “powerhouse of dramatic assuredness, the ultimate in vulnerable intensity” (Opera Canada). She is the 2019 winner of the Brian Law Opera Competition, two-time recipient of the Richard Bradshaw Graduate Fellowship in Opera, and has been awarded the Ruby Mercer Opera Award, a Schulich Scholarship, the Gaelyne Gabora Memorial Prize and the E. M. Wirth Scholarship. She holds a M.Mus from the University of Toronto, a B.Mus from McGill University and was a recipient of the Glenn Gould School’s Rebanks Family Fellowship in addition to receiving career support from Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Daniel Taylor – countertenor
A Sony Classical artist, Daniel Taylor is one of the most sought-after countertenors in the world. Daniel appears on 100 recordings which include Bach Cantatas/Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner (for Deutsche Grammophone Archiv and SDG); Renaissance duets with Bowman /Actor Ralph Fiennes/TEM (BIS); Handel’s Rinaldo with Bartoli /AAM/Hogwood (Decca); Cantatas “Before Bach” with Collegium Vocale /Herrewege (Harmonia Mundi); Sakamoto’s pop-opera “Life” with the Dalai Lama and Salman Rushdie (Sony); Bach Cantatas with Bach Collegium Japan (BIS); a Bach recital with the Theatre of Early Music and a recital of Shakespeare’s songs (Sony); Vivaldi Gloria with the Bethlehem Bach Choir/Funfgeld (Analekta); Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater (BIS); four recordings of Handel’s Messiah, these being with the Montreal Symphony/Nagano (Universal), Kammerchor Stuttgart/Bernius (Carus), with the American Bach Soloists/Thomas (Koch) and a CD/DVD with Tafelmusik (Bravo Television). Daniel has recorded the CD/DVD of the Bach B minor Mass with the Ensemble Orchestral Paris/Nelson (EMI Virgin) and also a CD with the Kammerchor Stuttgart/Bernius (Carus). Upcoming recordings include Bach Cantatas with the Magdalena Consort/Chandos, Bach St. Matthew Passion with the Kammerchor Stuttgart/Bernius (Carus) and Handel Messiah with the Handel & Haydn Society/Christophers (Coro).
Julia Wedman – violin
Violinist Julia Wedman (juliawedman.com) grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After studies at UWO, Indiana University, and the University of Toronto, she joined the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in 2005 and quickly developed a reputation for her solo performances with the group. In addition to being featured regularly on the group’s home series in Toronto, Julia has performed solos on tours in Canada, the US, Germany, France, Mexico, Puerto Rico, China, Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. She is also a member of I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble and the Eybler String Quartet, who have recently released the world premiere recording of Franz Aspylmayr’s Op. 2 quartets. Her debut CD of Heinrich Biber’s Mystery Sonatas is available online or at concerts. Julia has been focusing intensively on the performance of J.S. Bach’s music both in recital and as part of the exciting new Toronto Bach Festival. She is also midway through a three-year cycle of Bach’s solo violin music in collaboration with the fantastically expressive dancer Brian Solomon for the Gallery Players of Niagara.
Cristina Zacharias – violin
Canadian violinist Cristina Zacharias has been a core member of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra since 2004. Frequently featured as a soloist, she has performed extensively across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Cristina also appears annually at the Carmel Bach Festival, and can be heard on over 25 recordings for the ATMA, Analekta, CBC, BIS, Naxos and Tafelmusik Media labels. As an educator, Cristina is active in Tafelmusik’s training institutes as well as at the University of Toronto. Equally passionate about baroque, classical and modern repertoire, Cristina is a frequent collaborator, guest soloist and director with a diverse group of ensembles, including the Theatre of Early Music, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Brandon Chamber Players. Cristina holds a Master’s degree in music from McGill University.
Toronto Bach Festival At-A-Glance
Friday, May 13 | 8pm
Eastminster United Church (310 Danforth Avenue, north side)
Grégoire Jeay, flute
Julia Wedman, violin
Christopher Bagan, harpsichord
John Abberger, director and oboe
The Toronto Bach Festival Orchestra
Concerto for Oboe, BWV 1056
Concerto for Flute, Violin, and Harpsichord, BWV 1044
Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, BWV 1046
Noon Organ Recital
John Butt, solo organ
Saturday May 14 | Noon
St. Andrew’s Church (73 Simcoe Street, across from Roy Thomson Hall)
Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 543
Trio Sonata No. 5 in C Major, BWV 529
A selection of Chorales from the Clavierübung publication
The Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin
Presented in Two Parts
Saturday May 14
Part 1: 4pm | Part 2: 8pm
Eastminster United Church
Julia Wedman, violin
Patricia Ahern, violin
Valerie Gordon, violin
Cristina Zacharias, violin
The Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006
Public Lecture – ‘Bach the Dramatist’
Special Public Event – Free to all Festival Pass Holders!
Featuring John Butt
Sunday, May 15 | 1pm
Eastminster United Church
Sunday, May 15 | 4pm
Eastminster United Church
Ellen McAteer and Sinéad White, sopranos
Daniel Taylor and Nicholas Burns, altos
Charles Daniels and Nick Veltmeyer, tenors
Jonathon Adams and Adam Kuiack, basses
The Toronto Bach Festival Orchestra
John Butt, guest director
Easter Oratorio, BWV 249
Ascension Oratorio, BWV 11
The Toronto Bach Festival was founded in 2016 by internationally-recognized Bach authority John Abberger, to perform the music of J.S. Bach through historically informed performances that engage the wide diversity of Toronto audiences.The Festival has grown significantly since its inception, both in terms of audience size and support for the Festival. Abberger describes Bach as “the consummate artist, who channelled the human spirit into music. His musical language culminated in his extraordinary skill in musical text setting, and his use of complex harmony for musical expression. Tastes had changed by the end of Bach’s life, but centuries later, his music is still deeply moving.” The Toronto Bach Festival is committed to creating an environment of inclusion and equity, and welcomes artists, audience members, and volunteers from all cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
Tim Crouch, Communications Strategist