Tafelmusik Announces Reimagined Fall Season

A return to live public performances will not be considered until January 2021 at the earliest.

By: Aug. 19, 2020
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Tafelmusik Announces Reimagined Fall Season

Following months of upheaval caused by the global pandemic, Tafelmusik has unveiled its reimagined Fall season, a series of online concerts and events that spring from a process of reinvention and adaptation led by Music Director Elisa Citterio and Executive Director Carol Kehoe. This is the first of several updates to be announced throughout the season as the circumstances around live performance evolve.

"As our 15 musicians prepare to return to the stage at a time when many arts organizations have been forced to cancel their seasons, we are pleased to renew Tafelmusik's commitment to bringing the community comfort and joy through music. We also hope that those who may not have been able to attend our concerts previously will now have the opportunity to do so online," said Carol Kehoe. "We've put together an intriguing mix of online performances, digital releases, panel discussions, and family-friendly initiatives."

Headlined by a combination of pre-recorded and livestreamed programs that will be rehearsed and performed according to current public health guidelines, the reimagined Fall season offers the beauty of Tafelmusik concerts while ensuring the health and safety of musicians and audiences.

A return to live public performances will not be considered until January 2021 at the earliest. In addition to online concerts, the revised Fall season offers plenty of opportunities for online community access and enjoyment, including Tafel Talks panel discussions, a Fall Social for families, the release of a Baroque for Baby digital album, and a bi-weekly newsletter for educators and parents.

"With great joy in our hearts, we offer our reimagined Fall season - slightly altered from what we planned before the pandemic, but perhaps even more captivating and engaging because it showcases Tafelmusik as you've never seen it before, with the emotion of playing together in person after months of forced separation. It will be like renewing a first love," said Elisa Citterio.

While Tafelmusik's updated Fall season retains the essence of many of the originally planned concerts, two new programs, Mozart Together and A Tafelmusik Christmas (which will include highlights from Handel's Messiah), will replace previously announced concerts requiring larger ensembles or international guests.

"Though we're heartbroken to postpone previously announced appearances by guest artists Emöke Barath, Emi Ferguson, Christopher Lowrey, Masumi Nagasawa, Doron Sherwin, and Philippe Sly, we hope to bring their artistry to Toronto in the future, as circumstances allow," said Citterio.

"While it may appear that Tafelmusik has escaped the current situation relatively unscathed, it is far from business as usual within our organisation," said Kehoe. "Layoffs, reduced work schedules, and other sacrifices have been made by artists and staff alike so that we may remain stable for the next twelve months. Patrons who participate during this crucial season will be supporting the welfare of our artists and staff, ensure wider community access to the comfort of music in these deeply unsettling times, and help to ensure Tafelmusik's survival into the future."

"We want to take a moment to recognize the support of our subscribers and donors, who are the foundation upon which we are building this new future. In a time of great challenge, they have chosen to put their faith in us, our team, our artists, and our music. We are deeply grateful for their support," said Kehoe.

Reimagined Fall season: October 1, 2020 to January 7, 2021

Mozart Together

October 1, 2020 at 8pm online
Elisa Citterio, director

Following many months of isolation and remote music making, the musicians of Tafelmusik gather for an emotional return to the concert stage. Filmed at Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre, this opening program of the reimagined 2020/21 season is devoted to chamber music originally intended to be played in private homes and salon gatherings among friends and family. Scored for two to eight instruments, these intimate works -almost all of them new to our musicians- capture the immediacy and connection we've all been craving.

On display will be a more playful side of titans like Mozart, Beethoven, and Boccherini, including a movement from Mozart's famous Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major in an unusual arrangement for six string instruments, along with music by Michael Haydn, Družeckŷ, Sperger, and Spohr - classical composers eclipsed by these giants. An unforgettable homecoming.

Baroque for Baby

Digital album release
Available starting October 16, 2020 on all major digital platforms

A kid-friendly digital playlist curated by violinist and mother of two, Cristina Zacharias. Tafelmusik's core baroque repertoire has particular appeal for younger listeners - catchy dance music with great rhythms, singable melodies, and plenty of repetition. Selections from renowned Tafelmusik recordings include music by Telemann, Purcell, Lully, Vivaldi, Handel, Monteverdi, Rameau, Merula, Sweelink, and Marais. Zacharias's choices balance enlivening, energetic music that encourages children to move and dance with calming, quieter pieces for bedtime.

Passions of the Soul

Livestream from Koerner Hall
October 22, 2020 at 8pm online
Elisa Citterio, director

Curated and directed by Elisa Citterio, this concert is a microcosm of the season theme, "Passions of the Soul." Eighteenth-century composers strove to describe the desires of the soul and touch the hearts of listeners with poignant and captivating music. This program explores the peaks and valleys of the emotional landscape, from the grandeur of Lalande's Chaconne -inspired by the magnificent fountains of Versailles - to Locatelli's mournful Sinfonia Funebre, to the roller-coaster of emotions experienced by stock market investors in Telemann's suite "La Bourse."

OPERA ATELIER: Something Rich and Strange

October 28, 2020 at 7:30pm online
Livestream from Koerner Hall

Opera Atelier's fully-staged new creation featuring theatre music that explores the realms of dreams, visions, and the supernatural, featuring sopranos Measha Brueggergosman and Meghan Lindsay, and tenor Colin Ainsworth, among others. The program includes music by Handel, Lully, Locke, and Purcell, plus a new creation by Edwin Huizinga for Measha Brueggergosman. With Artists of Atelier Ballet and musicians from Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

Tafel Talks

Online panel discussion

October date and panelists TBA

Close Encounters: Re-tuned
November 12, 2020 at 8pm online

What happens when string players modify the way their instruments are tuned? Many baroque composers experimented with re-pitching some of the strings to draw different sounds and possibilities from the violin, a technique called scordatura. Curated by Tafelmusik violinist Geneviève Gilardeau, this program explores the most popular of these re-tunings in music by Erlebach, Tartini, Biber, Corrette, and Veracini, while also venturing into alternate tunings in traditional Scottish and Quebecois fiddling.

Virtual Fall Social

November date and program TBA

Tafel Talks

Online panel discussion

November date and panelists TBA

A Tafelmusik Christmas

December 10, 2020 at 8 pm online
Ivars Taurins and Elisa Citterio, directors
Tafelmusik Chamber Choir

So much in our world has changed, but Christmas wouldn't be the same without Tafelmusik! Co-curated by Ivars Taurins and Elisa Citterio, this festive program filmed at Jeanne Lamon Hall brings the choir and orchestra together for the first time in 2020. Joyous choruses and tender chorales from cherished favourites including Handel's Messiah and Bach's Christmas Oratorio are paired with richly harmonized baroque arrangements of Christmas carols.

The orchestral works evoke the many moods and emotions associated with Christmas, from the exuberance of Vivaldi's La Pastorella to the elegance of French noels arranged by Lalande and Corrette to the charm of Heinichen's Pastorale.

Close Encounters: Divertimento
January 7, 2021 at 8pm online

The divertimento is light and liberated music making. The structured forms of the classical sonata and symphony are set aside in music that offers simple, tuneful delight to players and listeners alike. The divertimento enjoyed its heyday in 18th-century Vienna, and so it is to Vienna we turn for an evening of music that aims to please and divert. The program features divertimentos by Mozart, Michael Haydn, Vanhal, and Hoffmeister.

Details about January through June concerts and events will be announced at a later date.

Tafelmusik Photo credit: Daniel Banko.


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