If a hall is the orchestra’s instrument, Tafelmusik has just traded the violin that your mom bought you for an Amati, if not a Stradivarius.
Robert Harris, The Globe and Mail
The audible reality is spectactular John Terauds, Musical Toronto
The world-renowned Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir have for decades shared Trinity-St Paul’s Church in Toronto with the local congregation. Tafelmusik approached Sound Space Design (SSD) and Anne Minors Performance Consultants (AMPC) to see what improvements could be made for music performance, acoustics, staging and sightlines.
Constrained by a very tight budget, a holistic concept was developed with the church and orchestra leaders through careful briefing sessions and attendance at concerts, rehearsals and church services – thereby building an understanding of the priorities for religious and performance uses. As experienced musicians and churchgoers themselves, Minors (AMPC) and Essert (SSD) guided improvements for both performers and audience, with AMPC supplementing the acoustical concept with designs for new seating and pews to improve sightlines and a new stage that would lessen the time and workload for changing from church to performance use, and provide better acoustical response for the musicians.
Last year momentum was behind the project and the first phase of improvements was carried out with local heritage architects E.R.A. Tafelmusik is overjoyed at the improved acoustics for their orchestra and choir, and Trinity-St Paul’s enjoys improvements to their choir sound and congregational singing as well as a close and flexible relationship between clergy and congregation.
Essert and Minors’ close relationship with the musicians and building operators has resulted in exceptional acoustical, technical and practical improvements. The time invested understanding the historic architecture has resulted in designs which are particularly sensitive to the existing structure.
Tafelmusik also regularly perform at another successful SSD/AMPC collaboration, the acclaimed Koerner Hall, which opened in 2009 and is one of four performance venues within the TELUS centre for performance and learning at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music.
An article in Ecclesiastical and Heritage World featured this, and another successful 2013 Sound Space Design refurbishment project Halle St Peters in Manchester. To read the feature please follow this link.