Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra


Hailed as “one of the world’s top Baroque orchestras” by a Gramophone critic, Tafelmusik returns with its latest multimedia work, J. S. Bach: The Circle of Creation. Tafelmusik is German for “table music” or “music for the feast.” It’s an apt moniker for Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, which has produced a feast of firsts and bests in the music world. The award-winning ensemble, created in 1979, performs historically informed musical experiences on period instruments. Through extensive tours, renowned recordings, television broadcasts, and new media initiatives, Tafelmusik is one of the most prolific orchestras on the planet. The orchestra’s independent music label, Tafelmusik Media, features new digital, live performance, and studio CD and DVD recordings. It also re-releases previous Tafelmusik recordings from Sony Classical and CBC Records. “When the big names of the Baroque era composed their masterpieces 300 years ago, they must have dreamed about their hits sounding this good,” writes a reviewer for The Royal Gazette. “Tafelmusik was a time machine last night, sweeping the audience out of its seats and back to that magic period between 1650 and 1750.”

Artist website: Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra

1Project Events

Lunch with Honors

Noon Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Pattee Library
Not open to the public

Double bassist Alison Mackay will speak with Penn State honors scholars about creating Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s J. S. Bach: The Circle of Creation and more broadly about artistic development. A School of Music student music ambassador will facilitate conversation.

Contemporary Literature Class Visit

2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Not open to the public

Alison Mackay, creator of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s J. S. Bach: The Circle of Creation, will speak to Penn State students in an English 140 course about how society and institutions support the arts with a parallel view of who supported Bach in his times. She will discuss how the Bach-era support is similar and different to patronage of the arts today.

Master Class for High School Students

9 a.m. Thursday, March 2, 2017
State College Area High School
Not open to the public

Members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra will conduct a lecture-demonstration for students in the State College Area High School symphonic orchestra, advanced strings, tenth-grade band, and choir programs.

Baroque Master Class with Jeanne Lamon

10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 2, 2017
1 Music Building I
Not open to the public

Violinist Jeanne Lamon, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra music director emerita, will work with Penn State School of Music students on baroque ensemble practices. Associate Professor Max Zorin hosts the session.

Italian Class Visit

12:05 p.m. Thursday, March 2, 2017
Not open to the public

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra oboist John Abberger will join in a conversation with students in a Penn State Italian 297 course focused on The Coffee Cantata, in particular, and the idea of “networks,” such as J. S. Bach’s collaborations with librettists, patrons, and audiences. Consideration will be given to the physical spaces of original performances.

Advanced German Class Visit

3:05 p.m. Thursday, March 2, 2017
Not open to the public

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra violist Patrick Jordan will participate in a conversation with Penn State Advanced German course students on the Reformation, Martin Luther, and J. S. Bach’s cantata Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott.

J. S. Bach: The Circle of Creation

7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2, 2017
Schwab Auditorium

Tafelmusik performs its most recent creation by the orchestra’s double bassist Alison Mackay. Using text, music, and projected video and images, J. S. Bach: The Circle of Creation explores the world of the artisans—performers, papermakers, violin carvers, and string spinners—who aided Bach in realizing his genius. Tafelmusik musicians perform the all-Bach program from memory. Like its predecessors, House of Dreams and The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres, which Tafelmusik performed at Penn State in 2013 and 2014, respectively, The Circle of Creation invigorates the concert experience. “In these hands,” writes a reviewer for The Globe and Mail of Toronto, “Bach’s music feels more alive than ever.”

Artistic Viewpoints will not be offered before the concert.


Adult $42  |  University Park Student $15  |  18 and Younger $32

Buy Tickets


Helen A. Harvey

support provided by

Pieter and Lida Ouwehand Endowment

media sponsor


Complimentary round-trip shuttle service is provided between the Eisenhower Parking Deck and Schwab. Board the shuttle in the area between the parking deck and the Eisenhower Auditorium rear loading dock. The first shuttle leaves Eisenhower at 6:05 p.m., followed by others every twenty minutes until 7:05 p.m. After the concert, the shuttle makes as many trips as necessary to return riders to Eisenhower.

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