Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
The orchestra was founded in 1979 by oboist Kenneth Solway and bassoonist Susan Graves. Violinist Jeanne Lamon has been its musical director since 1981 but she stepped down as Music Director of Tafelmusik in June, 2014, and is currently serving as the Chief Artistic Advisor until the next Music Director is chosen. She will continue to perform and tour with the orchestra in a reduced capacity.
The orchestra has 19 full-time members who specialize in historical performance and technique, with additional musicians joining the ensemble when required.
The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, under the direction of Ivars Taurins, was formed in 1981 to complement the orchestra.
Tafelmusik performs over 50 concerts for its subscription season at its home venue in Trinity-St. Paul's United Church, a historic church in the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto, with selected performances at the George Weston Recital Hall in the Toronto Centre for the Arts and at Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for the Performing Arts, Royal Conservatory of Music. They have also collaborated with Opera Atelier.
Its annual Messiah and Sing Along Messiah have become very popular events during Toronto's Christmas season.
The orchestra tours about twelve weeks each year across Canada, the United States, and Europe. It has also toured in the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Greece.
From 1993 to 2011, Tafelmusik was orchestra in residence at the German Klang und Raum Festival in the small village of Irsee in Bavaria.
The University of Toronto Faculty of Music has partnered with Tafelmusik and appointed the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra as its Baroque Orchestra in Residence.
In 2002 the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute was created to provide pre-professional and professional musicians with a unique training programme in instrumental and vocal baroque performance practice. The institute is a two-week program consisting of masterclasses, private lessons, choral and orchestral rehearsals and small ensemble work. Tafelmusik also runs the Tafelmusik Winter Institute, a one-week intensive training program launched in 2013.
- 9 JUNO Awards, most recently for Classical Album of the Year for Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6, and Children's Album Of The Year for Baroque Adventure: The Quest for Arundo Donax
- The 1996 Echo Klassik Award for Best Orchestra of the Year (Germany's highest recording accolade)
The orchestra's recordings have also received the following awards:
- Editor's Choice in Gramophone Magazine
- Recording of the Month in BBC Music Magazine
- Diapason D'Or awards
- Record of the Year in Absolute Sound Magazine
- Disc of the Month in CD Review
- Nominations for Record of the Year in Gramophone Magazine
- England's The Penguin Guide has awarded Tafelmusik's recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons its highest accolade — the Rosette in 1994.
The orchestra has made over 75 recordings, DVD's and CD's. Some are to be found in Sony Classical's Vivarte series. Tafelmusik launched the independent label Tafelmusik Media in January 2012, with new releases of The Galileo Project (CD and DVD), Sing-Along Messiah (DVD), and Messiah (CD), as well as re-releases of Tafelmusik CDs originally recorded for Sony and CBC Records.
The recordings include:
- Bach's Brandenburg Concertos
- The Mozart Requiem (directed by Bruno Weil)
- The complete piano concertos of Beethoven (with Jos van Immerseel as soloist and conducted by Bruno Weil)
- Works by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
- Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks coupled with Concerti a duo cori Nos. 1-3
- Works by Salamone Rossi