by John Abberger

Being a member of Tafelmusik is so much more than a job. It is, first and foremost, a commitment to the art that we are passionately devoted to bringing to life, as well as a commitment to the excellence of every performance that we give. These values are part of the DNA of the organization. But it must be said (even at the risk of using a tired metaphor) that the orchestra is also very much like a large family. Nowhere is this more apparent than when we are on tour.

On tour we are removed from our daily routines. We travel together, stay in the same hotels, and often dine together. We learn one another’s habits, likes, dislikes. Who’s a morning person? Who needs a least two cups of coffee before answering any questions in the morning? Who always knows where to eat? Who’s great a trivia? Who has the most outrageous tour stories? Ultimately, a tour ensures that we become closer and stronger as an ensemble, which shows on stage every time we play.

But touring isn’t accomplished in a vacuum. The logistics of moving an orchestra of 14 musicians (including two cellos and a bass!!) around the globe are considerable. The process of putting a tour on the road entails a great deal of meticulous planning which begins more than a year before the tour, and really intensifies in the months prior to our departure. Tafelmuisk is blessed with outstanding staff members, both on the road with us and back home in Toronto. While we provide the art (the performances), they provide the essential organizational services that make a tour possible. Together we create a mobile Tafelmusik community as we travel from place to place, complete with important support services from the mother ship back in Toronto. As this season’s tour ends, I want to thank everyone involved for making this travelling orchestra possible. It is a joy to work with you on and off the road as we bring Tafelmusik performances to audiences far and wide.

John Abberger, one of North America’s leading performers on historical oboes, has been the principal oboist with Tafelmusik since 1989. He has performed extensively in North America, Europe, and the Far East, and appears regularly with other prominent period-instrument ensembles, including American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Voltaire, Handel and Haydn Society, and Boston Baroque.

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