Violinist Rachel Podger Appointed Principal Guest Director of Tafelmusik

May 2, 2023, 2:20 PM · The Toronto-based Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra has announced the appointment of British baroque violinist Rachel Podger to the newly created role of Principal Guest Director, for a two-year period starting in September 2024.

Rachel Podger
Violinist Rachel Podger. Photo by Broadway Studios.

In her new role, Podger will direct three mainstage programs per season, as well as recordings and select tours, including Tafelmusik’s 2024 Asia Tour in a jointly-curated program entitled Brilliant Baroque. She will work closely with Tafelmusik’s Artistic Co-Directors violist Brandon Chui, bassoonist Dominic Teresi, and violinist Cristina Zacharias.

"My recent project with Tafelmusik, 'La Passione: Haydn & Mozart,' felt like a homecoming —exciting yet easy, a shared musical language and a collective fount of creativity and passionate aspiration amongst a team of friends," Podger said. "To then learn that I had been gifted the opportunity of a closer relationship with an ensemble I have admired for so many years is a dream come true. I can’t wait to return and share new musical adventures with the ensemble and its dedicated family of followers."

A leading interpreter of baroque and classical music, Podger is the founder and Artistic Director of Brecon Baroque Festival and her ensemble Brecon Baroque. Podger recently won two 2023 BBC Music Magazine Awards for Instrumental Recording and Recording of the Year as Artist in Focus for Kings Place; and she released two albums in April, including C.P.E. Bach’s Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin with Kristian Bezuidenhout; and Vivaldi Concertos a compilation of previously-recorded performances with Brecon Baroque.

"We are thrilled to welcome renowned violinist Rachel Podger as Tafelmusik’s Principal Guest Director for our '24-'25 and '25-'26 seasons," said Cristina Zachariason, on behalf of Tafelmusik’s Artistic Co-Directors. "Our recent concerts with her were electrifying, sensitive, and virtuosic, and created magical experiences for musicians and audiences alike. Rachel is a generous and inspiring artist and we cannot wait to collaborate more regularly with her!"

"Rachel Podger’s well-deserved reputation as one of the world’s top baroque violinists presents a wonderful opportunity for Tafelmusik to amplify its standing as a global leader in period performance,” said Interim Executive Director Daniela Nardi. “In addition to Rachel’s superb musicianship and gift for creative collaboration, she has an innate ability to communicate with audiences in a compelling way. We look forward to a thrilling new chapter at Tafelmusik with Rachel on board."

BELOW: Podger directs Tafelmusik Orchestra in Haydn's Symphony 49 "La Passione": Allegro di molto.

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