Highlights include world premiere of Staircases multimedia concert, all-Beethoven season opener, Haus Musik at the El Mocambo, new Tafelmusik Media recording, and first US tour since 2019 

Toronto, February 22, 2023 … What better way to salute Tafelmusik’s 45th anniversary than by celebrating The Sound of Beauty? The theme headlines an extraordinary 23/24 season curated by Tafelmusik’s  Artistic Co-Directors —violist Brandon Chui, bassoonist Dominic Teresi, and violinist Cristina Zacharias, together with Tafelmusik Chamber Choir Director, Ivars Taurins. Working collaboratively, the team has programmed ten dynamic concerts featuring exceptionally gifted guest artists from Canada and beyond, with repertoire ranging from sumptuous baroque music to a world premiere by composer Jonathan Woody. 23/24 season highlights include the orchestra’s first US tour since 2019, a new live concert recording for future release on the Tafelmusik Media label, and the return of the popular Haus Musik series in a new venue, Toronto’s legendary El Mocambo.  

Mainstage concerts in 23/24 take place at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre and Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning on Friday and Saturday evenings, and for the first time since early 2020, Tafelmusik is delighted to expand its offerings to include a full Sunday matinee series. Detailed information about the 2023/24 season and high-resolution images are available on Tafelmusik’s website. Subscription packages are now available at tafelmusik.org.

“We are so excited to share The Sound of Beauty with our audience and invite you all to celebrate Tafelmusik’s 45th anniversary season with us,” says Cristina Zacharias, on behalf of Tafelmusik’s  Artistic Co-Directors. “We have assembled an incredibly exciting array of guest directors—a combination of dear friends and fresh new faces. We have chosen music that takes us from a wild exploration of 17th-century Italy to the burgeoning romanticism of Beethoven’s Vienna. We will debut a fascinating new multimedia program created by Alison Mackay and are thrilled to bring back our traditional holiday hit, Sing-Along Messiah. Please join the orchestra and choir as we celebrate 45!” 

“It’s thrilling to be part of the team at Tafelmusik as we focus on a very promising future,” says Daniela Nardi, Interim Executive Director. “Reaching this 45th anniversary milestone as a global leader in period performance would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors and the devotion of our subscribers. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Tafelmusik’s  Artistic Co-Directors, Brandon Chui, Dominic Teresi, and Cristina Zacharias, and Choir Director Ivars Taurins for their dedication in curating a wonderfully celebratory 2023/24 season, and invite you to join us for what promises to be an exceptional series of concerts.”    

Returning Friends

Tafelmusik’s 45th anniversary celebration would not be complete without the presence of returning guest artists and dear friends with whom the orchestra has established a special camaraderie. The season opens at Koerner Hall with conductor Bruno Weil, the orchestra’s close collaborator for more than three decades. Tafelmusik’s all-Beethoven blockbuster pairs the brilliant Symphony no. 4 and the iconic Symphony no. 5, with gut strings, period winds, and natural brass imparting fresh colour and a sense of urgency to this powerful music.

The “perpetually fabulous” (Boston Globe) violinist Aisslinn Nosky was a member of Tafelmusik from 2005 to 2016 and remains a perennial Toronto audience favourite. Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston since 2011, Nosky returns to Jeanne Lamon Hall to lead Passions Revealed, a program exploring the peaks and valleys of the human emotional landscape through the music of Telemann, Vivaldi, Marais, and Bach. Tafelmusik’s own Dominic Teresi is featured as bassoon soloist in Vivaldi’s evocative concerto, “La Notte” (The Night). In March 2024, Nosky joins Tafelmusik for a US tour of Passions Revealed program.

A pinnacle of the 45th anniversary season is Staircases, a new creation by former Tafelmusik double bassist Alison Mackay, whose award-winning multimedia programs have enhanced the orchestra’s reputation for artistic innovation. Designed in collaboration with the acclaimed American bass-baritone and composer Jonathan Woody, and with music direction by Julia Wedman, this program explores the remarkable cultural symbolism of staircases through words, stunning images, and music by Purcell, Handel, Platti, and Bach. So much more than architectural conveniences, staircases of the past became theatres of power, markers of status, settings for musical performances, and avenues for slavery and freedom.

Following his “mesmerizing” (Ludwig van Toronto) Tafelmusik performances in 2013 and 2017, harpsichordist and guest director Kristian Bezuidenhout returns for Transformations. The program features music that has morphed from one form to another by way of transcriptions and reworkings—from orchestral arrangements of Handel’s chamber music and Rameau’s keyboard music, and Purcell’s music for the London theatres, to a harpsichord concerto by the ultimate musical alchemist, J.S. Bach.

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 the season, Choral Kaleidoscope, explores the breathtaking originality of Monteverdi, the luminosity of Bach, and the singular styles of Purcell, Rossi, Carissimi, and Lotti.

Nothing says Christmas like Tafelmusik’s Messiah. A moving, often joyous reflection on the life of Christ, Handel’s oratorio is performed in the style and spirit of the composer’s own productions. Taurins directs the choir, orchestra, and a diverse cast of guest soloists including Rachel Redmond, soprano, Scottish-born to an Irish mother and Tanzanian father; Cameron Shahbazi, Persian-Canadian countertenor; James Reese, American tenor based in Philadelphia; and Enrico Lagasca, Filipino-American bass-baritone.

Another reason to shout “Hallelujah”? Tafelmusik’s treasured Sing-Along Messiah makes a triumphant return, directed by none other than G.F. Handel himself. Messiah’s stirring choruses get the surround-sound treatment with a massive audience joining Tafelmusik’s choir, orchestra, and guest soloists at Koerner Hall.

Tafelmusik’s 45th anniversary season culminates with A Handel Celebration, a salute to one of the greatest musical dramatists of all time, with guest soloists Amanda Forsythe, soprano, and Thomas Hobbs, tenor. This concert will be recorded live for future release on the Tafelmusik Media label.

Tafelmusik Debuts

Three internationally renowned violinists make their Tafelmusik debuts as guest directors next season: Emmanuel Resche-Caserta, the French-Italian concertmaster of Les Arts Florissants directs Vive la différence, a program inspired by the rivalry between the distinct French and Italian baroque styles, with music by Lully, Corelli, Muffat, Couperin, and two remarkable women of the era: Antonia Bembo and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. Spanish violinist Lina Tur Bonet directs Fantasticus, a program drawing on the radical 17th-century musical style that reflected a dynamic and unpredictable cultural climate. Zefira Valova, the Bulgarian
concertmaster of Il Pomo D’Oro, directs Bohemian Rhapsody: Benda and Haydn, which features both Valova and Tafelmusik cellist Keiran Campbell in show-stopping concertos by Benda and Haydn.

More Reasons to Celebrate 45

Touring and Recording

For the first time since 2019, Tafelmusik returns to the United States with the Passions Revealed Tour, March 2 to 16, 2024. Canadian violinist Aisslinn Nosky leads Tafelmusik for engagements in several Eastern and Midwestern states, preceded by run-out concerts in Ontario in late February 2024.

A Handel Celebration will be recorded live in May 2024 for future release on the Tafelmusik Media label. Ivars Taurins directs Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir and guest soloists Amanda Forsythe, soprano, and Thomas Hobbs, tenor, in the superb acoustics of Koerner Hall.

Haus Musik at the El Mocambo

Haus Musik is back! Launched in 2016, Haus Musik challenges the rules of the traditional classical music experience by inviting audiences into an atmospheric bar or club setting for a creative remix that combines baroque music with other genres including folk, jazz, or pop. Following a four-year hiatus, Haus Musik returns to a new home at Toronto’s legendary venue, the El Mocambo, for two performances in November 2023 and April 2024.

Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute: June 9-22, 2024

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.

Audience engagement, community outreach, and education

Launched in June 2020, Tafel Talks are lively online conversations exploring the many intersections between baroque music and our world today. Past panels have included a diverse range of guests from Toronto and beyond—from pop stars to pastry chefs and from mixologists to musicologists. Tafel Talks return for the 23/24 season and audiences are once again invited to join the conversation.

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.

Opera Atelier

Tafelmusik joins Opera Atelier for two productions conducted by company Music Director David Fallis. Details of Opera Atelier’s 2023/24 season will be announced in June at operaatelier.com.

Digital Series Pass

Returning in 23/24, Tafelmusik’s Digital Series Pass includes on-demand access to three full-length digital Tafelmusik concerts: Bach’s Library, with guest director and harpsichord soloist Francesco Corti; Grand Voyage: The French Baroque, with violinist and guest director Leila Schayegh; and Passions Revealed, with guest director and violin soloist Aisslinn Nosky, as well as in-depth lectures and pre-concert chats with artists.

Tafelmusik gratefully acknowledges the support of our government partners, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.


Tafelmusik is a world-renowned period orchestra and choir in the heart of Toronto.

Founded 45 years ago on the pillars of passion, learning, and artistic excellence, Tafelmusik brings a fresh perspective to historically informed performance. Played on period instruments and grounded in scholarship, 17th- to 19th- century instrumental and choral music shares the stage with exciting multimedia programs, bold new commissions, and intriguing cross-cultural collaborations. From dynamic live performances at Jeanne Lamon Hall in Toronto’s historic Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre and stunning Koerner Hall, to international tours, award-winning recordings, and inspiring education programs, Tafelmusik is a musical powerhouse with a reputation for thrilling and delighting audiences. 

Tafelmusik is a Canadian charitable organization that relies on donations from the community to make our performances and education programs possible.

Website: tafelmusik.org
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Media contact:
Luisa Trisi, Big Picture Communications
luisa@luisatrisi.com | 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1X7