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THE SCOOP | 9 Reasons To Be Excited For Tafelmusik's Upcoming 2017/18 Season

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Tafelmusik announces the anticipated 2017/18 season line-up with new Music Director Designate Elisa Citterio. (Photo: Sian Richards)
Tafelmusik announces a strong 2017/18 season line-up with new Music Director Designate Elisa Citterio. (Photo: Sian Richards)

Last night at Toronto Great Hall, The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra announced the full line-up for their 2017/18 season with new Music Director Designate Elisa Citterio at the helm.

The mood was high-spirited with musicians performing teasers between each announcement. Unable to make it to the event, Citterio shared her thoughts via a prerecorded video message.

On the whole, the season looks much stronger than previous years with maturing series events, an innovative new multimedia work by Alison Mackay, Bach’s Mass in B-Minor, more Beethoven with Bruno Weil, and an ambitious six-week tour.

Here’s a quick rundown:

1: The Celebratory

Elisa Citterio will make her debut as Tafelmusik’s new Music Director at Koerner Hall for a season gala (Sept 21 to 24, 2017) and at Toronto Centre for the Arts (Sept 26, 2017). The program includes Handel’s festive Concerto a due cori, a concerto grosso from Opus 6 by Corelli, an instrumental suite from “Les Boréades” by Rameau, and “Summer” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

2: The Provocative

A new multimedia production by Tafelmusik double bassist Alison Mackay. “Safe Haven” will put the baroque flair on Europe’s refugee artists. The timely production explores the movement of refugees across baroque Europe, and the effects they had on the economy and cultures of the cities they set foot in. It will include Music by Corelli, Lully, Bach, and “Winter” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

3: The Experimental

Haus Musik will continue for its third year, but with a twist. They will be leaving the 918 Bathurst venue of the last few seasons and do three pop-up events. They have not named the venues yet, but only say the will be “non-traditional.” It is not yet known if Amanda Smith will return as director again, but after seeing what she can do, we sure hope so. These will take place November 16, 2017, February 1, 2018, and April 26.

4: The Inviting

Tafelmusik will carry on their Close Encounters Chamber Music Series, which allow an afternoon audience to explore new aspects of Tafelmusik’s repertoire with help by introductions from the musicians. There will be three shows throughout the season, “Close Encounters … in Paris”, “Close Encounters … in Salzburg”, and “Close Encounters … in Vienna and Madrid”.

5: The Powerful

The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir brings what looks to be one of the season highlights, with Bach’s Mass in B-Minor (Apr 5 to 10, 2018). Soloists are soprano Dorothee Mields, mezzo-soprano Laura Pudwell, tenor Charles Daniels, and baritone Tyler Duncan. Also on the Tafel choral programming list are “Four Weddings, a Funeral, and a Coronation” (Nov 29 to Dec 3, 2017), featuring music composed by Purcell, Lully, Handel, Pachelbel, Blow, and Charpentier; Handel’s Alexander’s Feast (Feb 22 to 25, 2018) with Amanda Forsythe (soprano), Thomas Hobbs (tenor), and Alexander Dobson (baritone); Handel’s Messiah with Joanne Lunn (soprano), James Laing (countertenor), Rufus Müller (tenor), and Brett Polegato (baritone) (Dec 13 to 16, 2017).

6: The Inquisitive

The amazing fortepiano soloist Kristian Bezuidenhout returns to Toronto to direct Tafelmusik through works by Mozart and his influencers, Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christoph Bach (Nov 9 to 12, 2017).

7: The Copacetic

Wind fans will be happy to hear recorder soloist Alison Melville will rejoin members of Tafelmusik for an in-depth look at concertos by Vivaldi and Telemann, as well as a work by Van Eyck (Feb 8 to 11, 2018).

8: The Profound

The season wraps up with a bang the size of Beethoven by the customary Bruno Weil joining Jeanne Lamon as concertmaster, and Elisa Citterio on May 3 to 6, 2018. They will be playing Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. Elisa Citterio will take the spotlight in Beethoven’s classic Violin Concerto in D Major.

9: The Spry

Tafelmusik remains committed to touring next season with six weeks committed to showcasing Alison Mackay’s multimedia creation J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation to Eastern Canada and Australia.

Tafelmusik’s in-house record label will release the complete Beethoven symphonies as a box set in conjunction with Analekta. Alison Mackay’s Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House will also finally be released on DVD and CD.

Subscriptions for the 2017/18 season are now available through the Tafelmusik box office at (416) 964-6337, or for renewal online at

And single tickets go on sale in August.



Michael Vincent
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Michael Vincent

Editor at Musical Toronto
Michael Vincent has worked as a senior editor for La Scena Musicale and web editor for Norman Lebrecht. On January 21, 2014, he went to lunch and left as the publisher of Musical Toronto. Later that year he found himself as a freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star, the former employer of his favourite author Ernest Hemingway. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
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