Arrivederci Stefano

Arrivedirci Stefano

By Patrick Jordan, viola

After two years of excellent and devoted engagement with Tafelmusik, we bid a very sad farewell to our colleague, violist Stefano Marcocchi. The demands of his family in Italy are such that he has made the very difficult decision to return to Europe.

His beginning with the orchestra was auspicious. In Tafelmusik’s audition process we rarely hire someone outright — we most often propose a trial period of some sort, to make sure that the fit will work. Stefano, presenting himself as a very mature artist at our auditions, was hired immediately.

Stefano performing in "Let Us All Sing! Tafelmusik Chamer Choir at 35" with violist Patrick Jordan, and violinist Thomas Georgi. Photo credit: Trevor Haldenby
Stefano performing in “Let Us All Sing! Tafelmusik Chamber Choir at 35” with violist Patrick Jordan (right), and violinist Thomas Georgi (left). Photo credit: Trevor Haldenby

Our trust in his capacities, passion, and seriousness were well founded. As dubious luck would have it, he joined the orchestra at a moment when we had three different memorized programs in one season, all of which he learned (I think the absence of Isabella, his girlfriend and subsequent wife during that period may have nefariously worked to the orchestra’s advantage …). His broad knowledge, experience, and insatiable curiosity about the business of historically informed performance practice have been a rejuvenation for the entire orchestra.

We are of course a small band, and the violas, for most of the orchestra’s history, have been a section of two. It might not seem obvious from the outside, but two people playing one part requires an incredibly sensitive pair of players, willing to give and take on a minute and dynamic level. We were lucky to attract a fine musician with those skills, but on top of that,  I personally have gotten a new friend, which has been a dream come true.

Dreams too often skitter away, tantalizingly out of our reach. My late father, upon hearing the laments of someone who had been recently jilted, asked that person “Why can’t you just be glad that you had the fun years together that you did?” Those have been encouraging words in the last few months. Indeed, none of us will be here forever, and the good we can do is a fine measure of our efforts. Stefano leaves the orchestra, and his section-mate, considerably better in many ways than when he arrived. Arrivederci caro amico!

Leave a comment below or send your thoughts and wishes to Stefano here or at info [@] tafelmusik [.] org

 

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Get-to-know TBSI alum, Matt Antal

Our annual Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute is at the halfway point of an intense two weeks of rehearsals, lectures, masterclasses and more. We recently introduced you to TBSI alum and violinist Michelle Odorico. Today, we would like you to meet violist Matt Antal, who is not only a TBSI alum from 2013, 2014 and 2015, but is a current TBSI participant in the first ever Viola d’Amore workshop with Tafelmusik’s Thomas Georgi.

Matt Antal in the 2017 TBSI Viola d’Amore workshop. Photo credit: Lysiane Boulva

Matt first applied to attend TBSI in 2013 on a bit of a whim just before starting his Masters, and it opened up a whole new perspective towards learning for him. Today, both Michelle and Matt are enjoying successful careers as musicians, including performing with Tafelmusik, and we feel privileged to have been able to play a large part in forming those careers. Matt has written about his experiences at TBSI and TWI below.

Matt Antal, viola (far right), performing with Music Director Designate Elisa Citterio and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Handel Water Music, September 2016. Photo credit: Trevor Haldenby
Matt Antal

I first attended TBSI during the summer before starting my masters in modern viola performance. I had always enjoyed early music, but had never had the opportunity to play a period instrument before, so I really did not know what to expect. Upon arriving, I was immediately immersed into a world full of intelligent people who were friendly and enthusiastic about music — something that is all too rare in my experience.

There is no better feeling than playing music with people that love music just as much as you do. Every single day featured several “mind- blowing” moments, when something I believed to be true my whole life would be disproved, in the best possible way. These moments made me realize how much there is to know and sparked my own desire to discover new topics of my own.

I attended TBSI the following two summers and subsequently TWI the two winters after that, and always looked forward to it as my favourite time of the entire year. I enjoyed not only the music but working with such fantastic teachers and fellow students. So I decided to pursue a Doctor of Musical Arts in early music at the University of Toronto, studying with members of Tafelmusik while gigging around town playing baroque viola almost exclusively.

Join us as we continue to build “baroque for the future” with a charitable gift towards the Artist Training Fund. Your contribution today ensures that musicians like Matt and Michelle have the opportunity to develop into the musicians they are destined to be: well equipped to share their gifts with appreciative audiences everywhere. If you wish to make a charitable gift, please give here.


Matt Antal’s appearances with Tafelmusik

Handel Water Music, September 2016
The Baroque Diva, March 2017

Upcoming Tafelmusik appearances

Mozart’s Piano with Kristian Bezuidenhout, November 2017
Handel Messiah, December 2017