“Full of clear, radiant furor.”

Zefira Valova, the phenomenal concertmaster of Italy’s high-octane period orchestra Il Pomo d’Oro, makes her Tafelmusik debut as guest director and violin soloist in Bohemian Rhapsody: Haydn & Benda. Inspired by the music of 18th-century Bohemia, these concerts take place on April 19 & 20 at 8 PM April 21 at 3 PM at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. Tickets are available at tafelmusik.org.

Known for her “stunning …stylish and superbly tuned” playing (Classics Today), Valova is featured in the energetic Violin Concerto in A Major by the prolific Bohemian violinist František Benda. Toronto audiences will have the opportunity to hear for themselves why Valova’s recent recording of this music shot to the top of the classical charts.

Opening with the Symphony in D Minor by composer Carl Stamitz, the Bohemian connection continues with Haydn, who spent formative summers in Bohemia as a young man in the employ of Count Morzin. Tafelmusik’s own Keiran Campbell takes centre stage as soloist in Haydn’s show-stopping Cello Concerto in C Major.

Tafelmusik’s performances and recordings of Haydn symphonies are widely considered “definitive” (BBC Music Magazine), and the program concludes with the powerful Symphony no. 44 in E Minor, or “Trauersymphonie”—a work so intensely personal that Haydn requested that the slow movement be performed at his own funeral.

“The incredible music on this program is very dear to our hearts, says Cristina Zacharias, Artistic Co-Director. “Tafelmusik musicians and audiences alike have a deep relationship with the music of Haydn, forged over decades of concerts and recordings. We can’t wait to see where Zefira Valova will take us in this stunning program that mixes some of our favourite of Haydn’s works alongside lesser-known repertoire by Benda and Stamitz. This concert combines two of our favourite kinds of musical moments—the thrill of our first collaboration with a brilliant director, and the chance to feature some of the immense talent from within the orchestra. We know that both Zefira and Keiran will enthrall and enchant with their artistry!”

“Haydn’s C Major Cello Concerto is a piece that I’ll never tire of playing, as the joy that bursts out of nearly every measure of the work always makes me smile,” says Keiran Campbell. “I’ve played this piece many times and in some interesting places, including on top of the ruins of a castle in Bavaria. I’ve been lucky to perform this work with great friends, and this concert is no exception. I am so looking forward to sharing this joy with audiences!”


Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra presents
Bohemian Rhapsody: Haydn & Bendawith Zefira Valova, guest director and violin soloist
April 19 & 20 at 8 PM
April 21 at 3 PM Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
Tickets start at $23.50. Available at tafelmusik.org

Website: tafelmusik.org
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Tafelmusik gratefully acknowledges the support of BMO, Presenting Sponsor of the 2023/24 concert season. We are also grateful to our government partners Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Thank you to the Azrieli Foundation for their generous support of Passions Revealed US Tour.


Bulgarian violinist Zefira Valova is a leading specialist in early music, performing as a soloist, leader, concertmaster and chamber musician. Following studies at Sofia’s National Academy of Music and at the Amsterdam Conservatory, she went on to serve as leader of numerous ensembles, including the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, Arcangelo, and the European Union Baroque Orchestra. She has been Artistic Director of the Sofia Baroque Arts Festival since 2006.

Zefira has been concertmaster of the Italian period ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro since 2015, working under Maxim Emelyanychev and Francesco Corti. She has recorded with the ensemble as soloist, conductor, and concertmaster on multiple releases for the Aparte, Deutsche Grammophon, and Alpha labels.

Awards include first prize in the José Herrando Baroque Violin Competition (2020), Musician of the Year for artistic activity awarded by the Bulgarian National Radio (2017), and the Golden Quill Award (2021).

Recent highlights include leading il Pomo d’Oro in concerts with countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński and with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato throughout Europe and North America.


Every now and then a group of musicians comes along and changes the way we think about music. For over four decades, Tafelmusik has been synonymous worldwide with dynamic, engaging, and soulful performances informed by scholarship, passion, and artistic excellence. Performed on instruments and in styles appropriate to the era, 17th- to 19th-century instrumental and choral music share the stage with exciting multimedia programs, bold new commissions, and intriguing cross-cultural collaborations. From a vibrant home season in Toronto, to international tours, award-winning recordings, and inspiring education programs, Tafelmusik is a musical powerhouse with a reputation for thrilling and delighting audiences.

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