Toronto’s Talisker Players have announced that they will conclude operations effective at the end of their 2016/17 season.
“With an organization like this, they do have a lifespan… and eventually you feel as though you’ve done what you’ve wanted to do,” said Talisker Players Artistic Director Mary McGeer in a phone interview. “The close of our season in May 2017 seems like the right moment to move on, to explore new horizons, and to embrace new projects.”
McGeer clarified that the decision was not related to any financial difficulty, and the Talisker Players were proud to end operations with “an unbroken record of balanced budgets.”
The ultimate decision came after McGeer felt the time had come to step down as artistic director. She consulted with the musicians and the administrative team about plans moving forward, and “determined that the best thing to do was to wrap it up at the end of the season.”
When asked if they considered bringing in a new artistic director, McGeer admitted they did, but could not find anyone within the organization willing to fill the role. “I just think it is time to make room for others who have bright ideas and the energy to carry them out,” McGeer said.
The Talisker Players Chamber Series was first launched in 1999. They became known for innovative contemporary music programming in unique, easily digestible formats that often included literary elements. Over their 17 years, they commissioned nearly 30 new works by living composers.
“It has been a rewarding adventure. We thank our loyal public, and all the generous donors and sponsors who have supported us over the years,” added McGeer. “It has been a privilege and a joy to share music and words with open-minded, curious audiences.”
McGeer confirmed that while this is the end of the series, the Talisker Players will continue performing. “Our roots are in the choral tradition. That’s where we developed our passion for vocal music. The passion is still there, and we are eager to see what new directions it might take,” McGeer said.
The Talisker Players Series final concert “A Mixture of Madness” will be on May 16 and 17, at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre.