Tafelmusik with Toronto Botanical Garden
March 26, 2023
Johanna Novom, violin
Brandon Chui, viola
Michael Unterman, violoncello
W.A. Mozart/J.S. Bach
Prelude and Fugue no. 5, K.404a
Divertimento in E-flat Major, K.563
Menuetto & Trio
Menuetto & Trios
About Toronto Botanical Garden
Music and gardens have gone hand-in-hand throughout history. At Toronto Botanical Garden we have a long-held tradition of the Edwards Summer Music Series on Thursday nights in July and August. And when we ask our community what they want more of—we heard loud and clear more art, more music, more performances. Following a very successful summer concert with Tafelmusik in the garden, our teams came together and grew the seed of an idea into what you will experience today. We are tremendously grateful to Tafelmusik for their partnership and exceptional expanded programming.
In addition to Toronto’s vibrant arts and culture opportunities, we are so fortunate to live in a city that has been named the fourth greenest city in the world by the World Economic Forum. While you may personally know that public gardens and greenspace are vital to your well being, Toronto Botanical Garden has a key role to play to help our whole community know, experience, and embrace the value of our city’s cultivated and natural places. And by living up to this TBG looks to the future with the distinct goal to cultivate a diverse community that has a profound connection to nature, inspiring positive impact to our local ecosystems and beyond.
As spring emerges and 30,000 spring bulbs prepare to put on a big show, we invite you to stay connected with our dynamic plant community and immerse yourself in our enriching learning environment.
Toronto Botanical Garden
The Garden is open daily from dawn until dusk and admission is free. Our Visitor Centre, Garden Shop, Weston Family Library, and public washrooms are open daily.
For information on upcoming programs and events: torontobotanicalgarden.ca/events
Tafelmusik is one of the world’s leading period-instrument ensembles, performing on instruments and in styles appropriate for the era of the music. Renowned for dynamic, engaging, and soulful performances, Tafelmusik performs for audiences across Toronto and digital audiences around the world, and is Canada’s most toured orchestra, having performed in more than 350 cities in 32 countries. The critically acclaimed Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, and its director Ivars Taurins, often share the stage with the orchestra. Tafelmusik’s recordings on the Sony, CBC Records, Analekta, and Tafelmusik Media labels have garnered ten JUNOs and numerous international recording prizes.
“We are delighted to partner with Toronto Botanical Garden for these chamber concerts, which take place in the most beautiful setting imaginable,” says Daniela Nardi, Tafelmusik’s Interim Executive Director. “The inaugural Tafelmusik in the Garden winter series aligns with our quest to explore baroque and beyond while nurturing community life. In the depths of a Canadian winter, nothing could be more alluring than the promise of spring accompanied by the sound of live music.”
Born in England and raised in New Hampshire, violinist Johanna Novom developed a passion for chamber music soon after she began lessons at the ripe old age of 10. After completing degrees in violin and Historical Performance at Oberlin Conservatory in 2007, she was named a first-prize winner in the American Bach Soloists International Young Artists Competition, and began a fruitful tenure as Associate Concertmaster of Apollo’s Fire. Following a year-long fellowship with the Yale Baroque Ensemble, she quickly became a sought-after collaborator in the New York City early music community.
A member of Diderot String Quartet and ACRONYM, Johanna also performs regularly with the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra, Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, Handel & Haydn Society, the Sebastians, TENET, and New York Baroque Incorporated, among others. She has toured internationally with multiple ensembles, performing in venues such as Wigmore Hall, Château de Versailles, Teatro Real de Madrid, Royal Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, and BBC Proms. Johanna’s playing can be heard on recordings with ACRONYM (Olde Focus), Nathalie Stutzmann & Orfeo 55 (Deutsche Grammophon), Boston Early Music Festival (Erato and CPO) and Apollo’s Fire (AVIE), including the recent Grammy Award-winning Songs of Orpheus with Karim Sulayman.
Equally at home in the world of historical performance practice and modern viola, Brandon Chui joined Tafelmusik in September 2018. He has been a member of the Hamilton Philharmonic since 2007 and held the position of assistant principal viola with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony from 2015 to 2017. He has performed extensively with Aradia Ensemble, Opera Atelier, Nota Bene Baroque Players, Canadian Opera Company, Malaysian Philharmonic, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Having previously held leading roles at Italy’s Centre for Operatic Studies, Switzerland’s Verbier Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany, and guest principal viola at Orchestra London, Brandon is a regular mentor/principal at Boris Brott Music Festival’s National Academy Orchestra in Hamilton.
A native Torontonian, he has toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, appearing on such stages as Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, New York’s David Geffen Hall (Lincoln Center), Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Lucerne’s KKL, Zurich’s Tonhalle, and the opera houses of Genova, Lyon, and Versailles. Working with many of today’s most celebrated conductors, including Semyon Bychkov, Valery Gergiev, Manfred Honeck, Gianandrea Noseda, and Jaap van Zweden, he has been heard on the CBC (Canada), DRS2 (Switzerland), NDR (Germany), RAI3 (Italy), and RSR (Switzerland) radio networks.
An all-around music nerd, Brandon received his first violin lessons at the age of thirteen. He started piano at a young age and took up a keen interest in the trombone, an instrument he started in elementary school and faithfully continued with nerdy love until the end of high school, by which time he had added trumpet, tuba, and timpani to the home cacophony. Brandon lives in Toronto with his wife, photographer Melissa Sung.
Michael Unterman enjoys a busy career as a chamber musician, orchestral cellist, and concert producer. He is a core member of the self-directed string orchestra A Far Cry, serves as principal cellist of Boston Baroque, and is the Artistic Director of Five Boroughs Music Festival, a chamber music series in New York City. As a frequent curator of concert programs, his projects have been praised as “just the kind of imaginative artistic agenda that more groups should be prodded to try” (Boston Globe) and “gorgeous and remarkably unified” (Washington Post). Michael has also performed recently with Ensemble Caprice, the Knights, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Ruckus, and the Thirteen. A Vancouverite who has spent the better part of 20 years based in the Northeast US, he is particularly excited to be spending more time north of the border with Tafelmusik!
Thank You to our Generous Donors
Tafelmusik is deeply grateful to our generous donors who have continued to support us through this challenging time. Your support has inspired us to remain strong and to deliver joy to our community through our music, and will enable us to persevere until we can once again perform live for you, our cherished patrons. Thank you for believing in Tafelmusik and in the power and beauty of music.
Thank you to our government sponsors