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Jeanne Lamon to step down as Tafelmusik’s Music Director in 2014
Tafelmusik’s Board of Directors applauds Lamon’s three remarkable decades of leadership; will launch international search for successor
Jeanne Lamon, Music Director of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir since 1981, announced today that she plans to step down from that role in 2014, ending what will be a remarkable 33-year tenure at the helm of one of Canada’s most successful international performing arts organizations. Lamon will assume the role of Music Director Emerita and will continue to work on the creation of the Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy.
“Jeanne Lamon is a national treasure; she is a talented leader who has touched millions of people throughout Canada and the world. We all feel very privileged to work with such a gifted artist, leader and friend. Her generous spirit and warmth has touched us all so deeply, and she is choosing to leave Tafelmusik on a high note. We’re thrilled that she will continue to inspire the next generation of talented young musicians involved in Tafelmusik’s growing artist training programmes. She has set the bar high, and we have no doubt that we will be choosing her successor from among the best in the world,” said Andy Kenins, Chair of Tafelmusik’s Board of Directors.
Under Lamon’s artistic direction, Tafelmusik has achieved an enviable international stature and is considered “one of the world’s top baroque orchestras” (Gramophone Magazine). During Lamon’s tenure, Tafelmusik has grown from its modest beginnings to the world-renowned, cutting-edge period ensemble it is today, reaching millions of people through extensive touring, critically-acclaimed recordings, broadcasts, new media, and artistic/community partnerships.
“After more than three terrific and musically memorable decades at Tafelmusik, I have decided to step down as full-time Music Director in 2014. It has been an honour and a privilege to have served in this role these past 30-plus years, and to work with such a fabulous orchestra and choir. There is such talent, commitment and integrity throughout Tafelmusik. I continue to be inspired by the amazing musicians around me and am proud of what we have achieved together,” said Jeanne Lamon.
“There is still a lot we wish to accomplish over the next few years, including acoustical and audience comfort improvements to our beloved home venue, more new recordings and films on our Tafelmusik Media label, and some very exciting national and international tours. I am especially excited about creating the new Tafelmusik International Baroque Academy for the training of talented young musicians in period performance.”
Described as “a toweringly influential figure in the musical life of Canada” by the Canada Council for the Arts, Jeanne Lamon began to specialize in baroque violin in the early 1970s, during her studies in Amsterdam with Sigiswald Kuijken. From 1972 to 1981 she was engaged as concertmaster of many period orchestras, both European and North American, including Il Complesso Barocco, Boston Baroque, Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, and The Smithsonian Chamber Players of Washington, among others. In 1980, Lamon was invited to Toronto by Tafelmusik’s founders, Kenneth Solway and Susan Graves, and was appointed Music Director in 1981.
In 2000, Lamon was named to the Order of Canada. She has won numerous other awards and distinctions, including honorary degrees from York University and Mount Saint Vincent University, the Muriel Sherrin Award, the Prix Alliance, the Joan Chalmers Award, the Canada Council’s Molson Prize, the Toronto Musicians’ Association’s Musician of the Year Award, the Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition, and the Betty Webster Award for Musical Leadership. She is also a renowned soloist in her own right: “Lamon is a true virtuoso – there are few better Baroque violinists in the world today … ” (Continuo Magazine)
The Jeanne Lamon Instrument Bank was created by the orchestra in honour of her 25th anniversary at Tafelmusik in 2006. Last season Lamon marked her 30th anniversary season as Tafelmusik’s Music Director by leading a semi-staged production of Handel’s opera Hercules featuring Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Hercules included stage direction and choreography Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg, the Co‐Artistic Directors of Toronto’s renowned Opera Atelier, with whom Tafelmusik has celebrated a 27-year artistic partnership.
In addition to her duties at the helm of Tafelmusik, Lamon is a passionate educator and is on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory and the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. National and international masterclass and teaching engagements have taken her to universities and conservatories around the world, from Stanford University to the Central Conservatory of Beijing.
Lamon’s dedication to music education and that of her colleagues Charlotte Nediger and Ivars Taurins is reflected in Tafelmusik’s education, outreach and artist training initiatives such as the
Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and the orchestra’s appointment as Baroque Orchestra-in-Residence at the University of Toronto.
Lamon is in demand as a guest director/conductor in Canada and abroad, and has appeared with, among others, Symphony Nova Scotia, Victoria Symphony, Orchestra London, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Orchestre Metropolitain, Les Violons du Roy, Arion Baroque Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, and Le Jeune Orchestre Atlantique (France).
Over the course of its 33 year history, Tafelmusik has achieved a remarkable number of accomplishments: the orchestra has enjoyed a prolific reign on the world stage with regular invitations to perform in the most prestigious concert halls on many continents, including Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Maison Symphonique in Montréal, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and City Recital Hall Angel Place in Sydney. Remarkable programmes such as Alison Mackay’s The Galileo Project and House of Dreams have taken Tafelmusik around the world.
Tafelmusik appears at many respected international festivals such as the Klang und Raum Festival in Germany, where for 19 years Tafelmusik was Orchestra-in-Residence under Artistic Director Bruno Weil. Other festivals include the New Zealand International Arts Festival, the Beijing Music Festival and Shanghai International Arts Festival in China, the Aspen and Ravinia festivals in the USA, the BBC Proms Festival in Britain, and the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico.
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir have created a discography of more than 80 recordings on such labels as SONY, CBC Records, BMG, and Analekta. In January 2012, Tafelmusik celebrated a successful international launch of its own multi-platform record label, Tafelmusik Media.
“Jeanne will be leaving at a high point, when Tafelmusik is looking towards a future that couldn’t be more promising. Nothing would make her happier than to see Tafelmusik continue to succeed well into the future – that is the nature of Jeanne. She is a person of great honour and integrity. Jeanne is an absolute joy to work with, and I know this sentiment was shared by former Managing Director Ottie Lockey and her team. Jeanne has created an environment at Tafelmusik where many brilliant and diverse talents thrive. There has always been strength throughout the organization with robust artistic, management and board leadership and this tradition will continue. We all are grateful for Jeanne’s genuine warmth, friendship, partnership, frankness and wisdom, not to mention her terrific sense of humour,” said Managing Director Tricia Baldwin.
Andy Kenins also announced today that Tafelmusik will immediately form a search committee and engage a search consultant to begin the process of appointing the Tafelmusik’s next Music Director.