Kicking off the county’s 60th anniversary

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By The Staff

On Feb. 6, the Los Alamos Concert Association continues its “Jewel of a Season” with a performance by the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. The concert will take place at                     8 p.m. in Duane Smith Auditorium and will be followed by a reception.

Tafelmusik is presented in conjunction with Los Alamos County’s 60th Anniversary celebration and special ticket pricing applies for this concert.

Rosalie Heller, artistic director of the concert association, said this concert will kick off the anniversary celebrations.

She encourages people to hear the baroque music “because it is very festive. They are going to play some of the top 10 pieces of the baroque literature … they will play pieces that everybody knows and loves. It will be a very joyous occasion.”

Tafelmusik was founded in Toronto in 1979 to perform Baroque-era orchestral music on original instruments. The group quickly brought together early music specialists and the orchestra now has 19 full-time members who specialize in historical performance and technique, with additional musicians joining the ensemble when required.  

“This is one of the world’s greatest of the baroque orchestras … they are celebrating their 30th anniversary,” Heller said. “This year they have been around 30 years and they play so exquisitely and authentically.”

Violinist Jeanne Lamon was hired as musical director in 1981. She is a first-chair violin and does not direct in the traditional way – she leads from her chair and draws the other musicians along with her by virtue of her playing style. This technique reflects the manner in which the music was often played originally.  

Lamon’s directing approach is matched in the way the orchestra is managed. Members have a say in what is performed and how Tafelmusik is run. As a result, Tafelmusik has become one of Canada’s most successful and popular orchestras, nominated 36 times for Juno awards, Canada’s Grammy, winning nine times.

Heller described Lamon as the “heart and soul of this group.” She added during the concert, the audience will see her as a director and as a soloist.   

The orchestra tours 12 weeks each year across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Tafelmusik has toured regularly throughout Asia since 1990, performing in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

The only Canadian orchestra to hold an annual residency, Tafelmusik has been orchestra-in-residence at the Klang und Raum Festival in Irsee, Germany since 1993.

Tafelmusik explores the world of baroque opera by collaborating with Opera Atelier, a historically-informed opera company also based in Toronto.

Selected concerts at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre are recorded for broadcast on CBC Radio Two and are also heard on National Public Radio in the United States.

In 2004, Tafelmusik was appointed Baroque Orchestra-in-Residence at the University of Toronto for a four-year term. Tafelmusik’s vision for music education also includes a program for students in grades six through 12 featuring free outreach concerts, a musician in the classroom program, an annual family matinee and occasional multi-disciplinary projects with area schools.

Tafelmusik has released 76 recordings on a variety of labels. In 2006, Tafelmusik received its eighth and ninth Juno Awards for recordings of Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6 and “Baroque Adventure: The Quest for Arundo Donax.”

Friday evening’s performance will begin with the “Ouverture No. 6 in G Minor,” by Francesco Maria Veracini, and continue with the “Suite from The Fairy Queen,” by Henry Purcell.  

The first part of the concert concludes with the “Concerto for two violins in D Minor,” “BWV 1043,” by Johann Sebastian Bach. Following intermission, the orchestra will perform the “Concerto grosso in D Major, op. 1, No. 5,” by Pietro Locatelli, and the concert will close with the “Suite in F Major from Water Music,” by George Frideric Handel.

Heller said the program will cover music from the 1600s-1750s, which includes the music of Mozart and Vivaldi, “some of the great composers from that period.”

A catered reception at the Betty Earhart Senior Center following the concert will provide concertgoers an opportunity to meet Lamon and the members of the orchestra.

Tafelmusik’s U.S. tour has been made possible by a grant from the Canadian government. Program support is provided by Los Alamos National Bank; out-of-town advertising for LACA concerts is supported by the Los Alamos Lodgers’ Tax Fund and the Los Alamos County 60th Anniversary Committee.

The harpsichord used in this performance is provided courtesy of Santa Fe Pro Musica.  

Individual tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for seniors. For this concert only, buy one ticket at the regular price and receive a second for $10.

Children ages 5-18 may attend at no charge but need a ticket. Children must be at least age 5 to attend the concert and adults must accompany children younger than age 12.  

“It is a wonderful evening for the whole family,” Heller said, “Everyone will enjoy it.”

Tickets are on sale at CB Fox, Otowi Station Bookstore, Smith’s in White Rock, and Nicholas Potter Bookseller in Santa Fe.  For additional information, call the Los Alamos Concert Association at 662-9000 or visit the LACA website at www.losalamosconcert.org.