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THE SCOOP | Tafelmusik Announces 2024-25 Season — The First With Principal Guest Director Rachel Podger

By Anya Wassenberg on February 23, 2024

Toronto Baroque orchestra Tafelmusik (Photo courtesy of the ensemble)
Tafelmusik (Photo courtesy of the ensemble)

Tafelmusik, Toronto’s baroque and classical specialists, has announced their 2024-25 season, the first with acclaimed British violinist Rachel Podger as Principal Guest Director. The position itself is newly created.

Podger will direct three mainstage programs in 2024/25, as well as taking the ensemble on a tour of Asia — the first for Tafelmusik since 2016.

Artistic Co-Directors Brandon Chui, Dominic Teresi, and Cristina Zacharias have curated a line-up of ten concerts in collaboration with Choir Director Ivars Taurins. Tafelmusik will perform at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, and Koerner Hall, along with a yearly return to Massey Hall.

“Tafelmusik’s 2024/25 season promises a feast of incredible performances, starting with the passion and vitality of our new Principal Guest Director, Rachel Podger, and ending with the soul-stirring charisma of soprano Samuel Mariño,” says Cristina Zacharias, on behalf of Tafelmusik’s Artistic Co-Directors. “Planning this season has once again reminded us of our incredible good fortune in having an audience as eager for these concerts as we are. All of our enthusiasm, talent, and creativity will be poured into these programs, and we hope you’ll be there to share them with us!”

Tafelmusik’s 2024-25 Season

“It’s an exciting time at Tafelmusik as we look ahead to the 2024/25 Season. We’ll be welcoming Rachel Podger as Principal Guest Director and look forward to Tafelmusik’s first Asia tour since 2016,” says Glenn Hodgins, Executive Director in a release. “With immense gratitude, we recognize that Tafelmusik’s ongoing success would not be possible without the generosity of our donors and the support of subscribers. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Artistic Co-Directors, Brandon Chui, Dominic Teresi, and Cristina Zacharias, and Choir Director Ivars Taurins for their dedication in programming a dynamic season that we can’t wait to share with audiences.”

Violinist Rachel Podger (L) and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Photos courtesy of the artists)
Rachel Podger (L) and Tafelmusik Orchestra (Photos courtesy of the artists)

Rachel Podger, Principal Guest Director

Violinist Rachel Podger will direct three mainstage programs during her inaugural season as Principal Guest Director.

  • Mozart Jupiter (Sept 27–29, 2024), the orchestra’s season opener at Koerner Hall, featuring Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C Major, “Jupiter” paired with Mozart’s incidental music for Thamos, King of Egypt and the charming Violin Concerto no. 2 in D Major.
  • Brilliant Baroque, a mixed program of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and others (Jan 31–Feb 2, 2025);
  • Concerti Virtuosi: Vivaldi & Telemann (May 2–4, 2025) at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.

“I can’t wait to share new musical adventures with Tafelmusik and its dedicated family of followers,” says Rachel Podger. “Every performance feels like a homecoming — exciting yet easy, a shared musical language and a collective fount of creativity and passionate aspiration amongst a team of friends. The opportunity for a closer relationship with an ensemble I have admired for so many years is a dream come true.”

Returning Guest Artists

Three audience favourites return to share the stage with Tafelmusik.

Amandine Beyer | Feast for the Senses: Lalande & Rameau

Oct 18–20, 2024, Jeanne Lamon Hall

French violinist Amandine Beyer first performed with Tafelmusik several years ago. She returns with a program with a distinctly French flavour. That includes: Lalande’s Symphonie pour le souper du roi, a suite of dances by Rameau, Muffat’s musical bouquets “Graditudo” (Gratitude) and “Laeta Poesis” (Joyful Poetry), and chamber music by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. The latter was a harpsichordist, famous in her own day and known via her musical talent by King Louis XIV.

Alfredo Bernardini | Triple Espresso: Bach, Handel and Fasch

Feb 21–23, 2025, Jeanne Lamon Hall

Italian oboist Alfredo Bernardini returns to Toronto with music by Bach and his contemporaries. That includes: Tafelmusik’s premiere performance of the Concerto in B-flat Major for three violins and three oboes by Telemann, Suite in G Minor for three oboes by Fasch, Suite in D Major by Bach, and Handel’s Oboe Concerto in G Minor.

Samuel Mariño at the Opera: Bologne & Mozart

May 23–25, 2025, Koerner Hall

In a follow up to his sensational debut with Tafelmusik in 2023, male soprano Samuel Mariño returns with his signature emotional style in an eclectic program. It includes: excerpts from L’Amant anonyme by Joseph Bologne, Gluck’s , “Che faro’ senza Euridice” from Orfeo ed Euridice, and virtuoso arias from operas by Haydn, Mozart, and Salieri. Orchestral music will be directed by Tafelmusik’s Julia Wedman

New To Tafelmusik

Miloš Valent and Jan Rokyta | Baroque and Folk: Purcell to Poland

March 7–9, 2025, Jeanne Lamon Hall

Slovakian violinist Miloš Valent and Czech multi-instrumental virtuoso Jan Rokyta bring diverse musical traditions together, joined by Toronto percussionist Naghmeh Farahmand and the orchestra. The music will explore the ways that Ashkenazy, Polish, Roma, Scottish, and Turkish folk music traditions influenced composers who are now considered the giants of the baroque, such as Telemann, Purcell and Vivaldi.

Tafelmusik Chamber Choir (Ivars Taurins, conductor)

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

Nov. 22–24, 2024, Jeanne Lamon Hall

Along with the choir, vocal soloists making their Tafelmusik debuts are Hélène Brunet, soprano; Cecilia Duarte, mezzo-soprano; and Jesse Blumberg, baritone. English tenor Charles Daniels sings the role of the Evangelist.

Handel’s Messiah

Dec. 20 & 21, 2024, Koerner Hall

Tafelmusik’s Messiah is performed in the style and spirit of Handel’s own productions. Soloists include: soprano Myriam Leblanc; mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó; tenor Jacob Perry; and bass-baritone Philippe Sly.

Sing-Along Messiah

Dec 22, 2024 Massey Hall

The Sing-Along Messiah returns after a sold-out house in 2023. G.F. Handel directs the choir (including audience), with guests soloists to add their sparkle.

Choral Splendours: Bach & Zelenka

Mar. 28–30, 2025

J.S. Bach and fellow composer Jan Dismas Zelenka were said to be friends. This concert brings together their work, including lesser-known Lutheran cantatas by Bach, alongside Missa Sanctissimae Trinitatis, Zelenka’s Catholic mass. The performance features Montréal soprano Myriam Leblanc in Zelenka’s mass, and an aria from Bach’s Cantata 150.

Mozart Violin Concerto, K.207: Adagio | Rachel Podger | Tafelmusik (March 2023):

Touring, Recording & More

Led by Principal Guest Director Rachel Podger, Tafelmusik will present concerts and masterclasses in South Korea from October 22 to November 11, 2024. It will be the first Asian tour for the ensemble since 2016.

Tafelmusik’s first recording with Rachel Podger as guest director and violin soloist will be released in the fall of 2024. The album will include Haydn’s Symphony no. 43, “Mercury” and Symphony no. 49, “La Passione.”

Tafelmusik’s Baroque Summer Institute will take place from June 15–28, 2025. The annual summer program is designed to provide intensive training for advance students and professional musicians in instrumental and vocal baroque performance practice.

Tafelmusik joins Opera Atelier for two productions, details of which will be revealed via Opera Atelier’s 2024/25 season announcement later this spring.

  • More information, and season subscriptions (which include free access to the Digital Series Pass), available [HERE].

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