Mozart and More Set for Tafelmusik 2024/25 Season

The season will feature Tafelmusik’s first Asia tour since 2016, plus more.

By: Feb. 21, 2024
Mozart and More Set for Tafelmusik 2024/25 Season
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Tafelmusik has revealed the details of its 2024/25 season, the first featuring the outstanding British violinist Rachel Podger in the newly created role of Principal Guest Director. A leading interpreter of baroque and classical music, Podger will direct three mainstage programs in 2024/25, as well as Tafelmusik’s first Asia tour since 2016.

Artistic Co-Directors Brandon Chui, Dominic Teresi, and Cristina Zacharias have crafted an inspiring line-up of ten dynamic concerts that are infused with Tafelmusik’s signature creativity, joy, and passion, collaborating closely with Choir Director Ivars Taurins on the season’s outstanding choral programs. Detailed information about the 2024/25 season and high-resolution images are available on Tafelmusik’s website. Subscription packages are now available at tafelmusik.org.

Superb guest artists from all over the world join the orchestra and choir at their mainstage spaces at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, and Koerner Hall. Tafelmusik is also thrilled to return to Massey Hall for the first Sing-Along Messiah at the legendary venue since 2019.

“Tafelmusik’s 2024/25 season promises a feast of incredible performances, starting with the passion and vitality of our new Principal Guest Director, Rachel Podger, and ending with the soul-stirring charisma of soprano Samuel Mariño,” says Cristina Zacharias, on behalf of Tafelmusik’s Artistic Co-Directors. “Planning this season has once again reminded us of our incredible good fortune in having an audience as eager for these concerts as we are. All of our enthusiasm, talent, and creativity will be poured into these programs, and we hope you’ll be there to share them with us!”

"It's an exciting time at Tafelmusik as we look ahead to the 2024/25 Season. We’ll be welcoming Rachel Podger as Principal Guest Director and look forward to Tafelmusik’s first Asia tour since 2016,” says Glenn Hodgins, Executive Director. “With immense gratitude, we recognize that Tafelmusik’s ongoing success would not be possible without the generosity of our donors and the support of subscribers. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Artistic Co-Directors, Brandon Chui, Dominic Teresi, and Cristina Zacharias, and Choir Director Ivars Taurins for their dedication in programming a dynamic season that we can’t wait to share with audiences.”

Rachel Podger, Principal Guest Director
Tafelmusik is delighted to welcome violinist Rachel Podger, “the unsurpassed British glory of the baroque violin” (The Times), for her inaugural season as Principal Guest Director.
 
Starting in September 2024, she directs three mainstage programs, including Mozart Jupiter (Sept 27–29, 2024), the orchestra’s season opener at Koerner Hall, featuring Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C Major, "Jupiter.” A revolutionary, forward-looking masterpiece, the symphony is paired with Mozart’s incidental music for Thamos, King of Egypt and the charming Violin Concerto no. 2 in D Major.
 
In 2024/25, Podger also directs two programs of vibrant music by favourite baroque composers: Brilliant Baroque (Jan 31–Feb 2, 2025); and Concerti Virtuosi: Vivaldi & Telemann (May 2–4, 2025) at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.
 
“I can’t wait to share new musical adventures with Tafelmusik and its dedicated family of followers,” says Rachel Podger. “Every performance feels like a homecoming—exciting yet easy, a shared musical language and a collective fount of creativity and passionate aspiration amongst a team of friends. The opportunity for a closer relationship with an ensemble I have admired for so many years is a dream come true.”
 

Returning Stars 

Returning to Tafelmusik’s stage next season are three outstanding artists who have brought Toronto audiences to their feet.

Amandine Beyer

Feast for the Senses: Lalande & Rameau
Oct 18–20, 2024, Jeanne Lamon Hall
Almost a decade has passed since the Tafelmusik debut of French violinist Amandine Beyer, but the impact of her "majestic, gossamer, hypnotic” playing (Le Monde) continues to resonate. Her program Feast for the Senses: Lalande & Rameau is a musical menu with a predominantly French flavour. Lalande’s Symphonie pour le souper du roi and a suite of dances by Rameau are paired with Muffat’s musical bouquets “Graditudo” (Gratitude) and “Laeta Poesis” (Joyful Poetry), and a soupçon of chamber music by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, a renowned harpsichordist and composer whose talent caught the attention of King Louis XIV.

Alfredo Bernardini

Triple Espresso: Bach, Handel and Fasch
Feb 21–23, 2025, Jeanne Lamon Hall
The “sublime” (Gramophone) Italian oboist Alfredo Bernardini returns with Triple Espresso, a high-octane program devoted to the music of Bach and his contemporaries. Bernardini leads a trio of works that share striking orchestral textures: Tafelmusik’s premiere performance of the Concerto in B-flat Major for three violins and three oboes by Telemann, the playfully inventive Suite in G Minor for three oboes by Fasch, and the celebrated Suite in D Major by Bach. Bernardini’s “sparkling, communicative approach and dance-like charisma” (Gramophone) is also on display in Handel’s Oboe Concerto in G Minor.

Samuel Mariño at the Opera: Bologne & Mozart

May 23–25, 2025, Koerner Hall
Following his remarkable Tafelmusik debut in 2023, the electrifying male soprano Samuel Mariño is back with Samuel Mariño at the Opera: Bologne & Mozart. Known for his “lyric instincts … and sincere emotional investment in the musical material” (Ludwig van Toronto), Mariño has crafted an operatic tour de force featuring excerpts from L’Amant anonyme by Joseph Bologne, the influential Black 18th-century composer. The program also features Gluck’s famous aria, “Che faro’ senza Euridice” from Orfeo ed Euridice, and virtuoso arias from operas by Haydn, Mozart, and Salieri. Orchestral music directed by Tafelmusik’s “inspirational” Julia Wedman (Gramophone) completes the picture.

Tafelmusik debuts 

Miloš Valent and Jan Rokyta

Baroque and Folk: Purcell to Poland
March 7–9, 2025, Jeanne Lamon Hall
Diverse musical traditions collide and re-emerge to create something of rare beauty as Slovakian violinist Miloš Valent and Czech multi-instrumental virtuoso Jan Rokyta make their Tafelmusik debuts in Baroque and Folk: Purcell to Poland. They join Toronto percussion maven and past Tafelmusik collaborator Naghmeh Farahmand and the orchestra for a lively, invigorating program. Baroque and Folk explores the influence that Ashkenazy, Polish, Roma, Scottish, and Turkish folk music traditions had on baroque composers such as Telemann, Purcell, and Vivaldi. Cross-cultural pollination yields luscious fruit as the sounds of Tafelmusik’s baroque strings, winds, and continuo mingle with the sonorities of the hammered dulcimer, the Armenian duduk, folk recorders, clarinet, and percussion.
 

Tafelmusik Chamber Choir

No season would be complete without the superb Tafelmusik Chamber Choir under the direction of Ivars Taurins. The choir’s first concert of 2024/25 ushers in the festive season with Bach’s joyous Christmas Oratorio (Nov 22–24, 2024, Jeanne Lamon Hall). Outstanding vocal soloists making their Tafelmusik debuts are Hélène Brunet, soprano; Cecilia Duarte, mezzo-soprano; and Jesse Blumberg, baritone. Renowned English tenor Charles Daniels brings his “technically brilliant, impassioned, and lyrically supple" voice (BBC Music Magazine) to the role of the Evangelist.

The festivities continue with Tafelmusik’s performances of Handel’s Messiah (Dec 20 & 21, 2024, Koerner Hall), performed in the style and spirit of Handel’s own productions. Adding sheen to this annual ritual is a dazzling cast of soloists, including soprano Myriam Leblanc; mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó; tenor Jacob Perry; and bass-baritone Philippe Sly.

Following a sold-out house at Koerner Hall in 2023, Tafelmusik’s signature Sing-Along Messiah (Dec 22, 2024) returns to Massey Hall by popular demand. Directed by none other than G.F. Handel himself, Messiah’s stirring choruses get the surround-sound treatment when audience members add their voices to Tafelmusik’s choir, orchestra, and guest soloists.

Wrapping up Tafelmusik’s choral offerings for the 2024/25 Season is Choral Splendours: Bach & Zelenka (Mar 28–30, 2025). This concert celebrates the friendship and admiration between the two composers, pairing a selection of lesser-known, intimate gems from Bach’s Lutheran cantatas with Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis, an extravagant Catholic mass by Zelenka. Montréal soprano Myriam Leblanc is featured in Zelenka’s mass, as well as a beguiling aria from Bach’s Cantata 150.
 
Beyond the Mainstage

Touring and Recording

For the first time since 2016, Tafelmusik returns to Asia from Oct 22 to Nov 11, 2024. Led by Principal Guest Director Rachel Podger, Tafelmusik will present concerts and masterclasses in South Korea.

Another first will be the release of Haydn Symphonies 43 & 49: Mercury & La Passione, marking Tafelmusik’s inaugural recording with Rachel Podger, guest director and violin soloist. Slated for distribution in fall 2024, the recording features Haydn’s Symphony no. 43, “Mercury” and Symphony no. 49, “La Passione.”

Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute: June 15–28, 2025

Tafelmusik is dedicated to developing the next generation of local, national, and international period performers through the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute (TBSI). Taking place at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, TBSI is an intensive training program for advanced students and professional musicians in instrumental and vocal baroque performance practice. TBSI’s faculty, drawn from members of Tafelmusik and invited guests, share their individual expertise as well as an extensive communal experience of making music. TBSI has welcomed participants from 65 different countries, and its emphasis on the full participation of all who attend, in a collaborative environment that mirrors the structure of the organization, is internationally renowned.

Opera Atelier

Tafelmusik joins Opera Atelier for two productions; details of Opera Atelier’s 2024/25 season will be announced this spring at operaatelier.com.

Audience engagement, community outreach, and education

Tafelmusik continues to offer ongoing community outreach and education programs for music lovers of all ages. These include free pre-concert chats for Tafelmusik audience members, free Education Concerts, and free or low-cost performances for the community in partnership with various organizations. On tour, Tafelmusik animates communities with live performances, education, and artist training, opening doors for continued exploration long after the applause has ended.

Digital Series Pass 

Returning in 2024/25, Tafelmusik’s Digital Series Pass includes on-demand access to in-depth lectures, pre-concert chats with artists, and three full-length digital Tafelmusik concerts: Staircases created by Alison Mackay, with narrator, composer, and bass-baritone soloist Jonathan Woody; Brilliant Baroque with Principal Guest Director and violin soloist Rachel Podger; and Triple Espresso with guest director and oboe soloist Alfredo Bernardini. In 2024/25, live-concert subscribers will also enjoy free access to the Digital Series Pass.  
 




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