The Theatre of Early Music (= TEM), founded in 2001 by Daniel Taylor, is a new ensemble of some of the world's finest musicians, sharing a particular passion for early music. It's formation is the result of a search of instrumentalists and singers for opportunities that would allow devotion and dedication to enter into the creative process.
The core of TEM consists of a Montreal-based ensemble primarily made up of young musicians whose distinctive style, coupled with Daniel Taylor's expertise and enthusiasm, leads to captivating readings of magnificent but often neglected works. In various constellations, leading international musicians in the field perform on the platform provided by the Theatre of Early Music in their regular TEM concert series in Canada, on tours around the world and on recordings.
The TEM is directed by Daniel Taylor and presents guest artists such as Emma Kirkby, Deborah York, Suzie LeBlanc, Karina Gauvin, Nancy Argenta, Gillian Keith, Carolyn Sampson, Charles Daniels, Benjamin Butterfield, James Gilchrist, Michiel Schrey, James Bowman, Robin Blaze, Michael Chance, Peter Harvey, Stephen Varcoe, Daniel Lichti, Paul Whelan and Michael George.
The work of the Theatre of Early Music most recently has included productions with full orchestra and choir conducted by Daniel Taylor. In Canada, the TEM is perhaps best-known for the attention to the compositions at or around the time of Bach; this includes choral literature by Johann Kuhnau, Franz Tunder, Nicolaus Bruhns and the early Cantatas of J.S. Bach.
The Theatre of Early Music recently signed a long-term contract with the BIS label. Their first recording on the BIS label, François Couperin's Leçons De Ténèbres, was released in March 2005. Gramophone: "Beauty of this recording bows to no other." The second was the highly-praised and best-selling Renaissance disc, Love Bade Me Welcome, featuring the actor Ralph Fiennes reading poetry as well as countertenor duets with James Bowman and Daniel Taylor. The TEM has also recorded the Bach setting of the Giovanni Battista Pergolesi Stabat Mater with Emma Kirkby.
The Theatre of Early Music is Canada's only period-instrument ensemble now representing their work with the support of major recording companies.