Tafelmusik at 40: 1978/79 – 1988/89

As we celebrate 40 years of Tafelmusik, we’ll look back at this incredible journey through timelines of highlights of each decade. First up: 1978/79 to 1988/89, our first decade!

Founders Kenneth Solway and Susan Graves
Founders Kenneth Solway and Susan Graves

1978/79
Kenneth Solway and Susan Graves establish The Toronto Chamber Music Collective and present A Spring Festival of Baroque Music, featuring a concert of orchestral music of J.S. Bach performed by The Festival Baroque Orchestra (later renamed Tafelmusik)

1979/80
April 17, 1980 marks the first concert with Jeanne Lamon as guest director in a program of works by Handel, Bach, Purcell, and Telemann

1980/81
Kenneth Solway finds a permanent home for Tafelmusik at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre in downtown Toronto (where we still perform almost 40 years later!)

First annual performance of Handel Messiah (with St. Thomas’ Singers)

The orchestra on the steps of Trinity-St. Paul’s in 1981
The orchestra on the steps of Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre in 1981

1981/82
Jeanne Lamon assumes position of Music Director

Orchestra’s first tours of North America, including New York’s Lincoln Centre

Tafelmusik Chamber Choir founded

Tafelmusik Chamber Choir (Note soprano Julie Payette — now Governor General — in upper left corner)
Tafelmusik Chamber Choir (Note soprano Julie Payette — now Governor General — in upper left corner)

1983/84
First recording produced: Popular Masterpieces of the Baroque

1984/85
First European tour includes Lisbon, Madeira, Holland, and Germany

1985/86
First collaboration with Opera Atelier at the Royal Ontario Museum

1986/87
First Sing-Along Messiah performed at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre

First tour of Central and South America

Members of Tafelmusik in front of the Bach statue in Eisenach, during tour of the former East Germany, spring 1987
Members of Tafelmusik in front of the Bach statue in Eisenach,
during a tour of the former East Germany, in spring 1987

1987/88
Signing of BMG recording contract which results in 4 CDs

1988/89
Frans Brüggen takes the orchestra into the early nineteenth century, directing Schubert Symphony no. 5

On the steps of Ludwigsburg Palace, May 1989
On the steps of Ludwigsburg Palace, May 1989
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