Behind the Musik: A Joyous Welcome

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PROGRAM NOTES
By Charlotte Nediger

HANDEL CONCERTO A DUE CORI

The instrumental portions of our performances this weekend feature Handel’s last compositions for orchestra, written when the composer was in his early sixties. Handel’s three Concerti a due cori were written as “interval music” for three new oratorios: Judas Maccabaeus (1747), Joshua (1748), and Alexander Balus (1748). An oratorio that advertised the inclusion of “a new concerto” always drew a crowd. In the case of the Concerti a due cori (“Concertos for two choirs”), the works were not only newly composed, but were also a new genre. Scored for two antiphonal “choirs” of wind instruments plus a full string orchestra with continuo, they are grandiose, extroverted works, undoubtedly inspired by the trio of so-called “Victory Oratorios” for which they were composed. All three include reworkings of earlier material: Handel’s audiences would have recognized most of them, drawn primarily from oratorio choruses, so the concertos must have had a certain “medley of great hits” quality. You may recognize the chorus “Lift up your heads” from Handel’s Messiah as the second movement of the concerto we are performing this week.

CORELLI CONCERTO GROSSO OP. 6, NO. 10

Corelli was among the first composers to write music for the orchestra independent of the opera, the dance, and the church. During a visit to Rome in 1681, the German musician Georg Muffat heard performances of Corelli concertos: “These concertos, suited neither to the church (because of the ballet airs and airs of other sorts which they include) nor for dancing (because of other interwoven conceits now slow and serious, now gay and nimble, and composed only for the express refreshment of the ear), may be performed most appropriately in connection with entertainments given by great princes and lords, for receptions of distinguished guests, and at state banquets, serenades, and assemblies of musical amateurs and virtuosi.” Ideal music, then, for welcoming a new Music Director! It was Corelli who popularized the concerto grosso, based on the popular form of the trio sonata for two violins and continuo, to which is added a four-part orchestra: when the two groups play in alternation a wonderful chiaroscuro is created. The solo or “concertino” trio supplies tenderness and virtuosity; the orchestra provides a rich sonority and solid foundation. Corelli started composing and performing concerti grossi as early as 1670, but only twelve were ever published, and those posthumously, as Opus 6, in 1714. Their publication had long been awaited throughout Europe, providing a model for many composers of the late baroque, but their simplicity, classical proportions, and utterly idiomatic string writing were never entirely surpassed. In a fitting tribute, the anniversary of Corelli’s death was marked for many years by the performance of the Opus 6 concertos in the Pantheon, where the composer was buried.

VIVALDI THE FOUR SEASONS

The Four Seasons appeared in Vivaldi’s 1725 publication of twelve violin concertos entitled Il Cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione, which translates roughly as “bold experiments with harmony and invention.” The Seasons, full of audacious experiments of every kind, were undoubtedly the inspiration for the title. The four concertos are accompanied by four sonnets, giving detailed descriptions of the programmatic elements of the music, which paint a vivid picture of life in the Italian countryside in the eighteenth century. The author of the sonnets is unknown, and it is possible that Vivaldi penned them himself. To ensure that the musicians were aware of the effects they were to create, Vivaldi labelled the various lines of the sonnets to correspond with letters in each of the instrumental parts. He also included very detailed instructions for performance, including dynamics, bowing, and articulations. The concertos are dazzling proof of Vivaldi’s skill as a violinist and his ingenuity and inventiveness as a composer.

The sonnet and a page of the solo violin part of Summer from the original 1725 publication.
You can see the letters in the part that correspond to lines in the sonnet.

We are delighted to be presenting all four concertos over the course of our concert season, with Elisa Citterio as soloist. We begin with Summer, which opens with languid, oppressive heat from the blazing sun, accompanied by bird calls, and finally interrupted by a summer storm. A shepherd, terrified by the storm, attempts to calm himself in the second movement, but is pestered by insects and troubled by approaching thunder. The storm lets loose its fury in the final movement. The full sonnet is printed below.

(Join us as Vivaldi’s Seasons unfold: Autumn at our October concerts, Winter in January, and Spring rather optimistically at concerts in February!)

L’Estate

I.   Sotto dura staggion dal sole accesa
Langue l’huom, langue ’l gregge, ed arde il pino;
Scioglie il cucco la voce, e tosto intesa
Canta la tortorella e’l gardelino.

 Zeffiro dolce spira, mà contesa
Muove Borea improviso al suo vicino;
E piange il pastorel, perche sospesa
Teme fiera borasca, e’l suo destino;

 II.  Toglie alle membra lasse il suo riposo
Il timore de ’lampi, e tuoni fieri
E de mosche, e mossoni il stuol furioso!

III. Ah che pur troppo i suoi timor son veri
Tuona e fulmina il ciel e grandinoso
Tronca il capo alle spiche e a ’grani alteri.

Summer

I.   In the torrid heat of the blazing sun,
man and beast alike languish,
and even the pine trees scorch;
The cuckoo raises his voice, and soon after
the turtledove and goldfinch join in song.

Zephyr blows gently, but suddenly
Boreas contests its neighbour:
the shepherd weeps, fearful
of the wild squall and anxious for his fate.

II.  He rouses his weary limbs from rest
in fear of the lightning, the fierce thunder,
and the angry swarms of gnats and flies.

III. Alas! his fears are justified,
for furious thunder splits the heavens,
flattening the cornstalks and the grainfields.

VIVALDI CONCERTO CON MOLTI STRUMENTI, RV 569

Vivaldi wrote a number of concertos with an expanded orchestra, i.e. “con molti strumenti.” The Concerto in F Major is essentially a concerto for violin, but rather than accompanying the soloist with the usual string orchestra, Vivaldi adds oboes, bassoons, and horns to create a work that is colourful and festive. The winds play solo passages in dialogue with the violinist, often stealing the limelight. This concerto survives in two versions: Vivaldi’s manuscript score in Italy, and a manuscript score and set of parts copied by the violinist Pisendel at the court in Dresden. Pisendel was one of a small entourage of Dresden musicians who accompanied the Crown Prince of Saxony on a visit to Venice in 1716. Vivaldi was impressed with the abilities of these musicians, and by their accounts of the impressive skills of the Dresden court orchestra, with its legendary wind players. He befriended Pisendel, and sent music to him in Dresden on a regular basis. It is quite possible that many of Vivaldi’s Concertos con molti strumenti were written expressly for the Dresden court, including the concerto we are performing this week.

RAMEAU SUITE FROM LES BORÉADES

Les Boréades was Rameau’s last opera, composed in his eightieth year. Although rehearsals had begun as early as April 1763, no performance took place prior to Rameau’s death in September of 1764, for no obvious reason. The work was not premiered on stage until over 200 years later, in 1982 (by John Eliot Gardiner at the Aix-en-Provence Festival). It is a remarkable opera — Rameau seems to have summoned all of his creative energy to create one final masterpiece, a work that is surprisingly modern, sensual, and spirited. Like other Rameau operas, it includes a wealth of instrumental music, written to accompany the dance, to cover scene changes, and to provide aural “images” of events and scenes on stage. The splendid overture to the opera introduces the selection of instrumental movements we have chosen to close our concerts this week.

© Charlotte Nediger


PROGRAM LISTING

Directed by Elisa Citterio

September 21–24, 2017, Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre
September 26, 2017, George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts

George Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
Concerto a due cori in F Major, HWV 333 (London, 1748)
Pomposo/Allegro
A tempo giusto
Largo
Allegro ma non troppo
A tempo ordinario

Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713)
Concerto grosso in C Major, op. 6, no. 10 (Rome, 1714)
Preludio
Allemanda
Adagio
Corrente
Allegro
Minuetto

Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741)
Concerto for violin in G Minor, op. 8, no. 2: Summer, from The Four Seasons (Venice, 1725)
Allegro non molto/Allegro
Adagio
Presto
Elisa Citterio, violin soloist

INTERMISSION

A. Vivaldi
Concerto con molti strumenti in F Major, RV 569 (Venice/Dresden, 1720s)
Allegro
Grave
Allegro

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683–1764)
Suite from Les Boréades (Paris, 1763)
Ouverture
Menuet
Allegro
Danse légère
Gavottes vives
Contredanse en rondeau
Gavottes
Menuets
Entracte: Suite des vents [The winds
Gavotte légère
Entrée de Polymnie
Airs gay
Contredanses très vives


Join us for A Joyous Welcome from Sept 21-24, 26, 2017. Tickets are available here.

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Get to know Elisa Citterio

Leading up to Elisa Citterio‘s debut as Tafelmusik’s new Music Director, we sat down with Elisa for a short Q&A so we all could get to know her better.

Photo credit: Trevor Haldenby

Welcome to Toronto, your new home! Did you know much about the city, or Canada as a whole, before your first visit?

Thank you! My first visit to Canada was when I first met Tafelmusik in 2015, and at that time I knew nothing at all about either Canada or Toronto. In the past I had turned down many tours of your country because I was too busy with other commitments, but every time I hoped to be able to come as soon as possible. My wishes came true!

What do you look forward to exploring in the city?

I am so excited about exploring the different neighbourhoods, with so many cultures living together, to discover many kind of foods, and to find green areas around the city. I am looking forward to relaxing walks on the beaches. I’d like also to explore other musical events here.

What are you looking forward to performing this year?

To be honest, I am looking forward to performing anything with the orchestra, choir, and Ivars! But I am particularly excited to perform with our guests Jeanne Lamon, Bruno Weil, Kristian Bezuidenhout, and Alison Melville.

Who are your favourite composers to perform?

Bach and Mozart. But I love Monteverdi as well. I have to say that I have also loved performing works by Strauss, Janáček, Shostakovich, Puccini, and Verdi.

What is your favourite thing to do on a day off?

If you had asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said dancing the tango, visiting with my nephews and nieces, and walking in nature. Now I spend every free minute with my one-year-old daughter.

What was your first music gig?

It’s difficult to remember, because my mother organized a few concerts every year with her piano students, and I played every time on both piano and violin. I suppose the first time I probably played a Bach minuet on the piano, and a violin concertino by Küchler. The first professional performance was for the award ceremony of a violin competition: I was twelve and I played an easy Vivaldi concerto.

What are the last three recordings you listened to?

• Bach Goldberg Variations
• Mozart trios
• Some Vivaldi operas

What is your “guilty pleasure” music to listen to?

I used to listen a lot of tango music from the 1940s and 1950s, and also some Italian pop music.

What is your great ambition?

In terms of my career, I have always wanted to play beautiful music with good musicians, but often good musicians aren’t so kindly. Tafelmusik’s members are good musicians—and kind! As to my personal life, I’ve been looking forward to leaving Milan, because I don’t like living in such a chaotic city. Toronto is
certainly bigger, but I think you have many more green areas here. I had also been wanting to have a baby for many years but I didn’t have the time to realize this wish. I am so happy to have my daughter Olivia in my life. Now my biggest ambition is to be helpful to Tafelmusik.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

There are so many wonderful musicians all over the world, and the list would be very long! Firstly I received a big inspiration from my mother, since she loved music so much — whenever she was home she listened to classical music, and she practised piano for half an hour every night, even after very long days. And I had lessons with so many teachers, and some of them were really inspiring. I can mention four of them: Chiara Banchini, Enrico Onofri, and Luigi Mangiocavallo for baroque violin, and Dejan Bogdanovich for everything.

Where do you see yourself ten years in the future?

That’s the most difficult question for me at this moment of big change. The next three years will be a great adventure both for me and for my family. Maybe we will all fall in love with your country! Of course, taking care of them and of their wishes for the future is a priority.

We don’t have the soccer following that Italy does, but we do have some passionate fans! Do you follow any sports teams?

Actually I don’t — I don’t appreciate the big business that surrounds soccer, so I won’t miss it. I enjoy following the Olympic Games, but that’s all.

You can hear Elisa perform with Tafelmusik in A Joyous Welcome from Sept 21-24, 26, 2017. Tickets are available here.

My Tafelmusik … with Shelagh Hewitt Kareda

The first of an ongoing series featuring long-term supporters, “My Tafelmusik” invites donors to share their story in a Tafelmusik house program, and various digital platforms.

 Individual support is integral to Tafelmusik. It funds live concerts in Toronto and across the world, education programs for young people, innovative new multi-media and recording projects … in addition to bringing renowned guest artists to our stage.

By Shelagh Hewitt Kareda, Tafelmusik donor

I grew up in Toronto at a time when the arts were beginning to flourish in the city. From a very early age my parents took me to the ballet, to the theatre, and to concerts. At four years old I began music lessons, first Rhythm Band and then piano with 90-year-old Mrs. Tattersall. Each week, she would play a little piece of classical music and tell me about the life of the composer when he was a child.

At the University of Toronto I met Urjo Kareda, whom I later married, and my real education in classical music began. I had been resistant to opera, but he skillfully, as he did with his public audience, turned me into a devotee, with one exception: Wagner, with whom I drew the line.

Music was always an essential part of our life together and our range of listening was wide, including classical, popular, vocal, instrumental, opera, musicals, choral, soloists, contemporary, and ancient. Of all of these it was baroque music to which I was particularly drawn, with Bach leading the pack.

Since Tafelmusik appeared on the Toronto music scene in 1979, I have been a devoted fan, at first only when Urjo was reviewing, but soon going to other concerts throughout the season and then as a subscriber. It has been wonderful to watch the orchestra, and the variety of musical presentations, grow under Jeanne Lamon’s leadership. I love to see musicians whom I feel I know well both in the orchestra and as special guests, and of course, it is always exciting when new talent appears and gradually takes leadership roles in their section.

It is very important to me that Tafelmusik continue its fine work, both on stage and in its teaching role. I subscribe to Tafelmusik because it gives me so much pleasure. I donate to Tafelmusik so that its future will be secure for the generations that follow us.


Support a global leader! Membership donations allow Tafelmusik to continue
inspiring the love of baroque and classical music. Give today!

Tom Georgi’s “Baroque Bootcamp”

Tafelmusik violinist Thomas Georgi started a Baroque Boot Camp this summer where a bunch of musicians congregate at his house every second Monday morning and just fawn over baroque music together.

We asked two of the musicians to share their experience with us. Raha Javanfar and Kailey Richards are no strangers to Tafelmusik. Raha is Tafelmusik’s projections designer for Alison Mackay’s multimedia productions, and Kailey is enrolled in the Master’s program at University of Toronto, studying with Tafelmusik musicians. As well, both Raha and Kailey are alumni of Tafelmusik’s Baroque Summer Insititute (TBSI).

Don’t miss the Baroque Boot Camp recital on August 23 at 7pm at Heliconian Hall. It’s a Pay-What-You-Can concert and everyone is welcome.

Julia Wedman, Gretchen Abberger, Molly Evans, Andrew Dicker, Kailey Richards, Raha Javanfar, and Elena Spanu

By Raha Javanfar

Raha Javanfar. Photo credit: Jen Squires

Well, for a gathering that includes friends getting together, playing beautiful music, sharing a lovely meal, and having some laughs, “Boot Camp” seems like an unfair description! Thomas Georgi’s Baroque Boot Camp has got to be the most relaxed and enjoyable boot camp ever. It’s quite the casual and delightful affair: gathering around a harpsichord in Tom’s kitchen every other week, about six to eight of us eagerly attend to keep our TBSI chops in shape…not to mention our quiche chops!

Tafelmusik fans who’ve caught any of Alison Mackay’s multimedia concerts like House of Dreams, The Galileo Project, or most recently, Visions & Voyages, may have caught a glimpse of me at some point, sitting at the back of the audience, operating the lights and projections which I design for those shows. But they might be surprised to learn that I’ve been playing violin since I was four years old, and that I now play fiddle in a Western swing band, electric violin in an Afro-funk Persian band, bass and lead vocals in a blues/R&B band, and fiddle and vocals in a jazz/swing/blues/rockabilly band called Voodoo Raha & Speedy Wax (fact: Speedy Wax is none other than Tafelmusik’s own oboist, Marco Cera, disguised as a rip-roaring electric guitar player!)

So how did I get from afro-funk-blues-jazz-swing-rockabilly to Tom’s kitchen? Good question. The truth is that I grew up with very strict and disciplined classical violin training. Clearly, a little rebellion (or creative exploration, if you will!) led me down some other musical roads, but at the bottom of my heart and in the depths of my soul lies a tremendous love for classical music, and more specifically: baroque.

After almost a decade of watching the masterful members of Tafelmusik play their instruments effortlessly and hearing the beautiful pieces that they bring such gorgeous interpretations to, I finally couldn’t stand it anymore! I was dying to try my hand at a period violin, and aching to play some Telemann, Vivaldi, Purcell, and Bach. And, not just like I’d secretly been doing on my modern violin in the safe privacy of my apartment, but in ensembles with other people. Heck, maybe even on a stage!

So TBSI was the obvious answer. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to attend that marvelous program, and for two weeks, I delved into it like a kid in a candy store. I practised and practised, took notes, paid attention, got corrected, practised some more. It was incredible. I felt so fulfilled … surrounded by other keen students, desperately holding on to their violins for fear of losing them during a shift. We played in orchestras and ensembles, squeezed in extracurricular duets, had private lessons, masterclasses … it was wonderful.

But as the final days of the Institute approached, I felt a doom coming over me. All this time and practising for what!? Only to say goodbye to this period instrument until next year’s TBSI? That didn’t seem quite right. And that’s where Tom Georgi stepped in and saved the day. His bi-weekly boot camp is an opportunity for some of us to keep a foot in that baroque world and gently keep up the practice that we took on so intensely during TBSI. I’ll be honest, having returned to regular life, finding time to practise as often as I’d like it a huge challenge, but the deadline of the next boot camp approaching is a perfect kick in the butt to take the baroque violin (one of Tom’s that he’s kindly lent me!) out of the case, at least a few times between sessions.

One great thing is that the pieces we play range in difficulty. The morning usually starts with everyone reading through one of Telemann’s Concertos for 4 violins (I think this is the first thing that happens? I’m ashamed to confess I’ve been late almost every time! The early start time is the only thing remotely boot camp-ish for me…maybe Tom should be stricter and take away my quiche rights next time I’m late!). If there are more than four people, we just double up on parts (another nice thing about the casual nature of it all … people don’t ever have to ‘sit out’). Then we sometimes practise this monster piece by Reincken that I don’t think too many people know very well. Tom gets very excited about some of the rarer and obscure pieces that he discovers, and it’s a real treat witnessing his joy when something he hasn’t heard before sounds good live! After that, more casual playing of some Leclair duets or Corelli sonatas happen while Tom prepares lunch. And, of course, Boot Camp is not complete until we’ve all enjoyed a lovely quiche and salad lunch.

For me, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet people in a musical circle that’s quite different from the one I putter in regularly. I’ve made new friends who I could perhaps continue to play music with even after Tom’s Boot Camp comes to an end (noooo!). Speaking of the end, we are putting on a little pay-what-you-can Boot Camp concert on August 23 at 7 pm at Heliconian Hall! I’m certainly looking forward to that.

All in all, Tom Georgi’s “Summer Baroque Kitchen Boot Camp” is one of the highlights of my summer so far. I’m so grateful to Tom, and I just hope I can practice enough this week and show up on time to the next one!

Kailey Richards

By Kailey Richards

It seems to me that the purpose of Baroque Boot Camp is to explore repertoire and playing with people who are equally as excited about historical performance as I am.

In some ways it is similar to an orchestra rehearsal, but it’s all violins (and viola d’amores and maybe a harpsichord if we’re lucky) so it feels much more like a jam session (meaning many of us on the same parts). Last class, we had both Tom Georgi and Julia Wedman there, and that really made it feel like a jam session with the professionals.

Tom seems to find all sorts of music, some that Tafelmusik has played often and some that no one has ever heard of. We looked at a piece by Reincken and at Bach’s harpsichord transcription of it as well, which I think was new to all of us and really fun to explore. We have also been playing some of Tom’s own arrangements, and it is really interesting to see how he approaches and works with the music.

One of the things I have been thinking about lately is just enjoying seeing how Tom and Julia approach baroque music, especially music they have not heard before. I love watching how they delve into the harmonies and structure and then explore how composers of the time examined the music as well. With the Reincken for example, it was so interesting to see how Bach transcribed the piece and then how Tom and Julia explored it with Bach’s interpretation in mind. I think this approach to studying the music offers not only a new and interesting way to think about it, but also very creative performance possibilities, which would not have been obvious at first glance.

I want to send out a HUGE thank you to Tom for spending the time to organize this!! I feel as a music student in Toronto that I am so lucky to be surrounded by professionals who are not only excited to play themselves, but also willing to share their knowledge with us. I am incredibly grateful.

The Library Facelift

By William Norris, Managing Director

One of the rather crucial elements of putting on a concert is of course the music – as in, the sheet music. It’s probably not something people give a lot of thought to – it’s just there, the musicians play from it, it’s taken for granted. But of course it has to come from somewhere, and most orchestras, Tafelmusik included, have some sort of music library.

Now this blog is not going to get into the detail of how the library works or how it is catalogued or looked after – that’s perhaps the subject of a future post. But it is going to touch on the physical library.

As you may know, Tafelmusik’s offices live in the basement of the Trinity-St Paul’s Centre, and tucked behind the office is a room known as the ‘Orchestra Room’. Its name is slightly misleading however, because actually it’s primary purpose is as Tafelmusik’s Music Library – ably looked after by our Librarian Charlotte Nediger, assisted by Cristina Zacharias.

I say prime purpose because the room also does serve as a space for the orchestra to use – for the men to change and get ready before concerts and also for the orchestra as a whole to hang out and grab a refreshment during rehearsal breaks.

Added to that it has a third purpose – the only real meeting room for our offices. So, as you can imagine it’s a busy space.

As with many arts organizations we focus on investing on what goes on on stage – that’s why we exist. So our offices aren’t what you’d call glitzy or high spec. No downtown skyscraper for us! But we decided that the time had come to give our Orchestra Room a little refresh as it had become quite a dark and cluttered space and not a very nice to meet, work or hang out in.

Luckily we have a bit of a project management star in our office team – a certain Mara Brown. With her help and lots of input from musicians we worked up a plan for a refit. This was no small undertaking – the window of opportunity was small. The library is in such heavy use most of the year that big disruption is just not possible. Plus we had to remove ALL the music, store it and then put it back.

All the work was completed (amazingly) within a two week window. The biggest task was perhaps undertaken by Charlotte and Cristina who had to unpack all the stored music after the construction period, find the best way to utlise the new shelf-space(it’s deeper than before so tissue boxes were used in some places as a crafty way and then put all the music back in the right order.

That done the room is now ready for use. Many of the best things are the little things. So we now have lighting that reaches the end of the room. We have full-length mirrors (so no excuses for not looking immaculate gentlemen of the orchestra!), and for the first time all the musicians have a shelf to call their own to store their instrument and personal effects. And we have a lot more storage space – so as we continue to explore our repertoire and add to our library we now have room to store our exciting new musical discoveries.

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

 

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