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Jeanne Lamon

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Critically acclaimed violinist and conductor Jeanne Lamon specialized in music of the Baroque and Classical periods on period instruments and was the longtime director of Toronto's Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, leading the group to international renown. Lamon's engaging, vibrant personality came through on the stage, and she inspired audiences and colleagues throughout her career. She initiated an artist training program with Tafelmusik, offering two workshops a year. Following her time leading Tafelmusik, Lamon served as the artistic director of the Health Arts Society of Ontario. Lamon was born in New York City on August 18, 1949. After taking up the violin at seven, she studied with Editha Braham and Gabriel Banat at the Westchester Conservatory of Music. For her bachelor's degree, Lamon attended Brandeis University, where her teacher was Robert Koff. After graduation, she moved to the Netherlands to study with Herman Krebbers and then took up the Baroque violin in the early 1970s when she began studies with Sigiswald Kuijken. Lamon returned to the U.S. a few years later and served as the concertmaster for several early music ensembles in the U.S. and Europe, including Il Complesso Barocco, Boston Baroque, and the Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington. She also took up a position teaching early music at Smith College in Massachusetts. In 1974, Lamon became the first violinist to win the Cambridge Society for Early Music's Erwin Bodky Award for excellence in early music performance. After successful guest appearances with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Lamon was invited to become the group's new music director in 1981. During her time leading Tafelmusik, the Canadian orchestra became an international success through its performances and recordings, now regarded among the top ensembles in its field. In 2002, Lamon instituted an artist training workshop with Tafelmusik, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, to teach period-instrument techniques to professionals and players new to the instruments. The success of this workshop led to the development of a second workshop in 2013 that is held in the winter. Lamon remained Tafelmusik's music director until 2014 when she became the music director emerita. That year, she became the artistic director of the Health Arts Society of Ontario, which provides concerts for seniors in retirement and nursing homes. She left this position in 2019 when she moved to Victoria, British Colombia, with her partner, cellist Christina Mahler. The bulk of Lamon's recording career was with Tafelmusik for such labels as CBC Records, Sony Classical, and Philips, among others. In 2012, the orchestra started an in-house Tafelmusik Media label. Her first album was a 1986 release featuring Leonardo Leo's cello concertos, with Anner Bylsma as the soloist. Together, Lamon and the orchestra won nine JUNO Awards, one of which, 2003's Dardanus and Le temple de la Gloire, also earned a Grammy nomination. Other highlights include recordings of Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Bach's Brandenburg Concertos (another JUNO winner) with Lamon as the director and soloist. She was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2000 and a Member of the Order of Ontario in 2014. Jeanne Lamon died on June 20, 2021, in Victoria; she was 71 years old.
© Keith Finke /TiVo
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